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Development for my 4 yr old

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Old
08-05-2009, 07:18 AM
  #1
Tackleberry
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Development for my 4 yr old

My son has been in love with hockey for about 2 years now. He has been skating since he turned 3. He just turned 4 and is skating very well for his age. He is able to skate backwards, crossover, turn, and power stops. He lives and breathes hockey. Almost every day he grabs his stick and practices with a puck or ball in the house. (My wife is pisssed because our dishwasher is all dented up. )

He is enrolled in Learn-to-skate-to-play-hockey classes and will be attending the Paul Cohen Hockey Camp on 10-14 Aug in Brandon Fl. Later on this year, he may get into Mini-Mites. Depends if coaches say he is ready.

Here is a link showing him when he was 3.5 years old: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nmid-PiZmK8

I also pay for private lessons about 1 or 2 times a month. These lessons are for him to work on his weak points.

My boy and I attend public skate sessions about 6-8 times a month.

My son is also an avid roller-blader. He is able to rollerblade about 1-1.5miles.

In all, he gets about 5-6 hours of ice time per week. He also gets about 4 hours of rollerblading per week as well.

Please note that I do not want to burn him out of hockey. I want him to love the sport and have the time of his life. He is kind of a perfectionist. When the coach shows him a drill, he works on the drill slowly until he gets the hang of it, then he speeds up. Most kids want to go as fast as they can at first. My son also is very agressive when scrimmaging. He is not afraid to go up against the 5, ,6, 7, and 8 year olds in the class.

My question (to all) is: Is there a development guide for youth?

I am looking for: what should he be able to do when he is 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and so on. How much is good?, What is a waste of time? What is a good sample "template" of what some good hockey players have done when they grew up? What did their parents do for them? What programs? etc....

Again, I dont want to push him over the edge. I want to provide him with good direction and opportunities. When he is grown up, I want him to remember that hockey was the best sport he ever played.


Last edited by Tackleberry: 08-05-2009 at 09:54 AM. Reason: Adding a link
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08-05-2009, 07:33 AM
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I'm in sort of the same boat, I have a hockey obsessed 4 yr old, sounds like he's not quite as far along as yours. I think he'll tell you if your pushing him anywhere near the edge, just make sure you are listening. On the other hand this is a good time and opportunity to teach him that anything worth doing is worth doing right. And there's despite what people think there's nothing wrong with pushing kids to do something they choose to do better. Trophies are for winners not showing up. In any case I'd like to see the same type of developmental stuff you are talking about.

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08-05-2009, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Tackleberry View Post
He is kind of a perfectionist. When the coach shows him a drill, he works on the drill slowly until he gets the hang of it, then he speeds up. Most kids want to go as fast as they can at first. .
The above is probably one of the most important characteristics for young players to improve.

There are some guides about where a kid should be at a certain age. But those are general guidelines and probably won't help in your case, your son being somewhat advanced.

The love of the sport translates into time on ice ans is probably the most important factor. The desire must be your son's, he has to ask, don't try to push him into a little bit more.

So how much is good? He has to decide. There are tendencies nowadys that say less is more (quality vs. quantity). It basically says: stop practicing something as soon as quality deteriorates.

One more thing: especially for kids, I favor different activities (sports, cultural, music...). Only hockey is maybe not enough to really prepare your body and mind for all game situations. Other sports and activities will develop other faculties that will help you when playing hockey. It all goes about your ability to position your body in space. So jumping on a trampoline, skateboarding, skiing, water-diving, gymnastics will all help.

An excellent book on the subject: Dan Bylsma's: "So you want to play in the NHL".

I was, or still am, in the same case as you. My son is 10 now. Still asking for a lot of ice-time. He's an above average player in his category. Probably because he has twice as much ice time in his legs than most of his friends, asking to go to the ice-rink even after or before a game. But he also plays soccer, skies, surfs, skateboards, windsurfs, trampolines, skimboards (great for acceleration!), plays in the swimming-pool. It's just about having fun. He skips most of the hockey summer preparation practicing those other sports and arrives on the ice in better condition than most of his teammates.

To give you an idea:
At 6 playing against 10y/o:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IXIaTT6qg80
At 10, playing against 13y/o:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qDsFUIeHCPI

krax

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08-05-2009, 09:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krax View Post
To give you an idea:
At 10, playing against 13y/o:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qDsFUIeHCPI

krax
your son is pretty good! keep up the good work.

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08-05-2009, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by krax View Post

To give you an idea:
At 6 playing against 10y/o:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IXIaTT6qg80
At 10, playing against 13y/o:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qDsFUIeHCPI

krax
Nice.

The neat thing about those clips is not just the talent level, but the obvious drive and instincts for the game. Does he play like that all the time? Is there checking? The toughest thing for a kid like that IMO is finding the right level to let him play, have fun and be challenged without getting hurt.

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08-05-2009, 09:55 AM
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I just added a link of my son (when he was 3 1/2 yrs old). He is even more agressive now.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nmid-PiZmK8


To Crosbyfan, stafuccijr, krax and vyktor:
Thanks for all the inputs.


Last edited by Tackleberry: 08-05-2009 at 09:57 AM. Reason: update
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08-05-2009, 10:41 AM
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i like what i see from your son.

Seems like he picket up that skating stuff very fast.

Let him do what he wants to do until he turn into arround 5.
keep an eye on his way to do the things. Teach him to stay confident but more important teach him to listen to other guys. He will come to a point when he needs leadership to make the next steps.

When he reaches the age of 5-6 you or better a coach should teach him positioning on the ice. For that it is important what his skills are made for and what position he wanna play.
For positioning he needs to play with other guys. It's not possible to teach him that alone.
The most high level coaches i know are going with their kids to a large concrete area and paint the areas on the simulated rink in colours. The kids get a colour and are not allowed to leave their area. If one kid leaves the are the coach whistles and break up the game.
When he turns into 7-8 years he should have a pretty good idea what position playing is and will be even without the skills better than the kids who raised up without this coaching.

From there the practice basics stay almost the same. just a little bit of adjustment for the individual position skills

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08-05-2009, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Kurrilino View Post
i like what i see from your son.

Seems like he picket up that skating stuff very fast.

Let him do what he wants to do until he turn into arround 5.
keep an eye on his way to do the things. Teach him to stay confident but more important teach him to listen to other guys. He will come to a point when he needs leadership to make the next steps.

When he reaches the age of 5-6 you or better a coach should teach him positioning on the ice. For that it is important what his skills are made for and what position he wanna play.
For positioning he needs to play with other guys. It's not possible to teach him that alone.
The most high level coaches i know are going with their kids to a large concrete area and paint the areas on the simulated rink in colours. The kids get a colour and are not allowed to leave their area. If one kid leaves the are the coach whistles and break up the game.
When he turns into 7-8 years he should have a pretty good idea what position playing is and will be even without the skills better than the kids who raised up without this coaching.

From there the practice basics stay almost the same. just a little bit of adjustment for the individual position skills
Thanks,
Since my son is still getting his skating skills down, he doesnt understant the "position" aspect of the game yet. All I tell him right now is to stay out of the "mob" and wait for the puck to come out. When the puck does come out, get to it quickly and go as fast as you can to the net.

Good idea on the color areas.

Also, I am hoping that the Paul Cohen camp will give him added skills. Later this fall, (IF) he makes the mini-mite team, he can work on what you described.

Does anyone know anything about the Paul Cohen camps? I have tried to read any reviews but havent found any. Also, Greg Carter has camps here in Brandon. Does anyone any comments about his camp as well? This could be a new thread.

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08-05-2009, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Crosbyfan View Post
Nice.

The neat thing about those clips is not just the talent level, but the obvious drive and instincts for the game. Does he play like that all the time? Is there checking? The toughest thing for a kid like that IMO is finding the right level to let him play, have fun and be challenged without getting hurt.
There is checking in the league he plays, but there was none in the clips you've seen. The games were much nicer to watch without checking.
Yes he plays all the time like this.

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08-05-2009, 12:33 PM
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At his age, the best thing for him is to just have fun. If he wants to be a good hockey player, just tell him to concentrate on learning how to skate good/great in relation to others his age. Everything else will come, but skating is something that will prohibit him from being able to control a game, unless you have the intangibles.

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08-05-2009, 01:21 PM
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You might find some answers to your questions in the Q&A section of http://danbylsma.com

Specifically: http://danbylsma.com/askDanAnswer.asp?q=151

And again, don't miss his books:

So You Want to Play in the NHL : A Guide for Young Players
ISBN-10: 0809299526

So Your Son Wants to Play in the NHL
ISBN-10: 1886947392

Anbody else read those?

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08-05-2009, 02:49 PM
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krax, your kid is better than me

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08-05-2009, 03:21 PM
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Congrats on getting your child into hockey and you do sound like a really good parent. I'm not a parent yet but my advice is this, follow his lead but still give constructive advice. You'll know if you push him too far

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08-05-2009, 05:36 PM
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vyktor
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krax View Post
You might find some answers to your questions in the Q&A section of http://danbylsma.com

Specifically: http://danbylsma.com/askDanAnswer.asp?q=151

And again, don't miss his books:

So You Want to Play in the NHL : A Guide for Young Players
ISBN-10: 0809299526

So Your Son Wants to Play in the NHL
ISBN-10: 1886947392

Anbody else read those?

krax
I'll definitely be checking out those books, but Dan needs to get his website upgraded, still has the Ducks logo on it and he's done a thing or too since then.

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08-05-2009, 08:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tackleberry View Post

My question (to all) is: Is there a development guide for youth?

I am looking for: what should he be able to do when he is 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and so on. How much is good?, What is a waste of time? What is a good sample "template" of what some good hockey players have done when they grew up? What did their parents do for them? What programs? etc....

Again, I dont want to push him over the edge. I want to provide him with good direction and opportunities. When he is grown up, I want him to remember that hockey was the best sport he ever played.
Well...well...well, it good to see that your boy is skating at 4. Lets see if I can help you. I currently have about (10) 4 years olds that will be in my program starting in the Fall.

One of the major things you need to teach this age group is balance. Well, this should be taught at every age group. However, skating is 80% of the game, 20% for all of the rest of the B.S., shooting, passing, checking...etc.

80% of skating is balance!

So take a look at this first. These are some dry land videos that I did this summer with my 4 years olds. Get him use to doing these dry land drills first. Once he has done this for several days (two weeks) then PM me and I will send you a skating regiment that he can use for the next year.

Go here first: http://www.facebook.com/passthepuck

Hope this helps
Head coach

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08-05-2009, 09:35 PM
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Tackleberry and Krax how did you guys get your kids into hockey? i have a 2 year old who loves shooting the puck around in the garage and even skating on some cheapo plastic skates i bought him from toys r us, where should i go from here?

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08-05-2009, 11:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dick341 View Post
Tackleberry and Krax how did you guys get your kids into hockey? i have a 2 year old who loves shooting the puck around in the garage and even skating on some cheapo plastic skates i bought him from toys r us, where should i go from here?
Well, the problem is finding equipment for his size. You know, pants that fit and shine guards that are small enough so they don't dig into the top of his foot.

Once you get those two items taken care of the rest of the equipment they make small enough. Don't get elbow pads that are going to cut off blood circulation.

Then you need to find a skating program or you take him to public session and work with him by yourself. Go get him some good used skates at "play it again sports"

This is the most important thing you can do for your childs development. No, I did say go buy expensive skates...at least not yet. Wait until he's about 8 or 9 to get the good skates. But you can still find good used skates that will save you a dime.

Make sure that he is fully outfitted before you take him skating. Why? you want him to get use to wearing all of this equipment and trying to get use to the helmet.

Now, once he puts on alll this stuff, he might not want to wear it. Kids at this age have a very low attention span. So he might only do this for a few minutes. Don't push him or he won't do it. Have him try on the equipment on at the house a little at a time. And if I were you, I would make a game out of it. How? Treat it like he was some kind of Knight. or even a Jedi knight, Darth Vader...or something. This way he will not reject the equipment.

When you have him on the ice, you need to work with his balance. One of the best ways to do this is to have him just take small walking steps. Once he can get up on his own, after falling down, he's ready for jumping.

Once he get to this stage, PM me and I will give you some drills for you to use to get him to the next level.

Hope this helps

Rob Lopez

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08-05-2009, 11:44 PM
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actually i bought him some ice skates (that sorta fit him) and shin guards (that do fit him) and a helmet (which also fits).

i had him try the stuff on at home and i was pretty impressed with his balance. its funny that you said, "I would make a game out of it. How? Treat it like he was some kind of Knight. or even a Jedi knight, Darth Vader...or something." because he got two light Sabres for his birthday and he loves sword fighting now.

did you start your kid out on roller or ice? i ask because we live in southern california and i have very easy access to a roller rink and i was curious about your thoughts on expandable roller skates?

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08-06-2009, 12:01 AM
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Well, the problem is finding equipment for his size. You know, pants that fit and shine guards that are small enough so they don't dig into the top of his foot.

Once you get those two items taken care of the rest of the equipment they make small enough. Don't get elbow pads that are going to cut off blood circulation.

Then you need to find a skating program or you take him to public session and work with him by yourself. Go get him some good used skates at "play it again sports"

This is the most important thing you can do for your childs development. No, I did say go buy expensive skates...at least not yet. Wait until he's about 8 or 9 to get the good skates. But you can still find good used skates that will save you a dime.

Make sure that he is fully outfitted before you take him skating. Why? you want him to get use to wearing all of this equipment and trying to get use to the helmet.

Now, once he puts on alll this stuff, he might not want to wear it. Kids at this age have a very low attention span. So he might only do this for a few minutes. Don't push him or he won't do it. Have him try on the equipment on at the house a little at a time. And if I were you, I would make a game out of it. How? Treat it like he was some kind of Knight. or even a Jedi knight, Darth Vader...or something. This way he will not reject the equipment.

When you have him on the ice, you need to work with his balance. One of the best ways to do this is to have him just take small walking steps. Once he can get up on his own, after falling down, he's ready for jumping.

Once he get to this stage, PM me and I will give you some drills for you to use to get him to the next level.

Hope this helps

Rob Lopez
basically I agree with everything you've said except the part about the skates, you never want your kid to put his feet in a pair of skates that may have been molded by another kid skating on his ankles......this was my number one rule...." never ever chince on skates "....... also the first time out for him on ice bring a chair with you and let him try to push it around......it will hold him up to keep him from falling.... he may get discourage and not want to do it anymore....he can also sit in it and watch all the other kids having fun....it will keep his interest up.....hope this helps....good luck and hope to see some future NHL.ers from you guys

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08-06-2009, 12:43 AM
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Tackleberry and Krax how did you guys get your kids into hockey? i have a 2 year old who loves shooting the puck around in the garage and even skating on some cheapo plastic skates i bought him from toys r us, where should i go from here?
My boy enjoyed playing roller hockey in our kitchen when he was 2. We would go to public skating like once a week during winter. At age 3.5 he entered what we call "hockey school" here. 1h per week for the 4-10y/o. He continued public skating, roller hockey at home and shooting pucks in front of the garage.

To answer your question: I would buy some roller skates and sticks for your son and yourself. Then, when ice rinks are available, buy some decent skates (not high end stuff, neither plastic toys) and go for public skating/hockey with him. If he likes it, he'll ask for more. If you do not skate: learn it with him.

I agree with the OlderTimer. Get new skates. Used might work, but it can do some damage.

Have fun and enjoy every second with your son playing hockey. Soon he'll be too good for you

k.

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08-06-2009, 04:30 AM
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You can probably get very good used skates for a young kid if you know what to look for. Their feet grow so fast, the kids don't put much force on them, and they tend to skate so little before they grow out of them, that the skates barely get broken in. If you can find a good "play it again" just keep trading them in, so they always have a good skate that fits well.

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08-06-2009, 03:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OlderTimer View Post
basically I agree with everything you've said except the part about the skates, you never want your kid to put his feet in a pair of skates that may have been molded by another kid skating on his ankles......this was my number one rule...." never ever chince on skates "....... also the first time out for him on ice bring a chair with you and let him try to push it around......it will hold him up to keep him from falling.... he may get discourage and not want to do it anymore....he can also sit in it and watch all the other kids having fun....it will keep his interest up.....hope this helps....good luck and hope to see some future NHL.ers from you guys
yeah, but the kid is 2 years old. I'm not sure baking skates at this age is required. The skates are too small. With this kind of size, he should be looking to see how the skate leans when the child puts the skate on. It souldn't lean so that the child is standing on the out side edge. If anything the balance of the skate should be so that the child is riding on the blade properly or at least more towards the inside edge.

But, because he is too young, he might have a problem with fit and balance. I have seen it too many times where parents buy skates for kids and when you have them on the ice, they are standing on the out sides edges. And this was a kid who was 4 years old.

So at this young age, make sure that skate blade balance is correct!

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08-07-2009, 01:24 AM
  #23
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Originally Posted by krax View Post
My boy enjoyed playing roller hockey in our kitchen when he was 2. We would go to public skating like once a week during winter. At age 3.5 he entered what we call "hockey school" here. 1h per week for the 4-10y/o. He continued public skating, roller hockey at home and shooting pucks in front of the garage.

To answer your question: I would buy some roller skates and sticks for your son and yourself. Then, when ice rinks are available, buy some decent skates (not high end stuff, neither plastic toys) and go for public skating/hockey with him. If he likes it, he'll ask for more. If you do not skate: learn it with him.

I agree with the OlderTimer. Get new skates. Used might work, but it can do some damage.

Have fun and enjoy every second with your son playing hockey. Soon he'll be too good for you

k.
yeah i have roller skates and i take him to the roller rink that i go to where he usually runs around the rink chasing the puck or slashing someones shins(which might i add he is very very good at)
i will hopefully put him in the youth program they have there called young stars when he is old enough. its cool they meet twice a week to work on all of the basics such as off sides, passing, skating, shooting, a little on positioning, and for 10 minutes a week they scrimage.

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08-07-2009, 07:11 AM
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yeah i have roller skates and i take him to the roller rink that i go to where he usually runs around the rink chasing the puck or slashing someones shins(which might i add he is very very good at)
i will hopefully put him in the youth program they have there called young stars when he is old enough. its cool they meet twice a week to work on all of the basics such as off sides, passing, skating, shooting, a little on positioning, and for 10 minutes a week they scrimage.
Never too early to develop an agitator!

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08-07-2009, 10:42 AM
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Tackleberry and Krax how did you guys get your kids into hockey? i have a 2 year old who loves shooting the puck around in the garage and even skating on some cheapo plastic skates i bought him from toys r us, where should i go from here?
I started to take him to Lightning games and he got hooked. My son also hits the plastic puck in the house. We have the hard Pero-style floors. Puck mooves nice and fast. I started getting him skating lessons when he was 2 or 2.5 yrs ol. I tried to skate with him but he did better with an instructor. He wanted to goof around with me too much. After several Learn to Skate classes, he finally got the hang of skating. He was also motivated by skating with a boy who's dad plays for the Lightning. They are about the same age and of course, being the son of an NHL'er, he skated really well. That motivated my son even more to try hard in practice. Try to find some kid about his age that plays hockey or rollerblades.

When he was 3, I got him some roller-blades. They are of descent quality and are adjustable. He will be able to wear them for a couple years. Ironically, it is hard to find roller-hockey rinks in the Tampa area. Go figure? He loves to play with the older kids. I also bought him all the pads, sticks, and pucks for roller-hockey. Sometimes I take him to one of the larger parks in the are that has long (and paved) nature trails. He forgets about "skating" and enjoys the outdoors/nature while skates.

My biggest drawback is my wife. She doesnt understand the sport, let alone know how to put on his gear. She is always complaining about he costs associated with hockey. "Blah, blah blah, you picked the most expensive sport for him to get in to". Well, it is the funnest and requires the most skill. Besides, I like the fact that I can go indoors and avoid the 95 degree heat and 95% humidity.

If you dont have smooth floors, you may want to research synthetic ice. It costs about 9$ per sq ft. Rather expensive, but he can practice shooting and skatiing. A lot of people do their garage. You can still park your car on it. Just keep a pan under your car in case of oil leaks. I am still trying to talk my wife into getting some, but she wants a new kitchen. She doesnt have her priorities straight.

I also go to the library and get kids books about hockey. He loves hearing me read stories about hockey. My sister has also bought him The Mighty Ducks I and II movies.

Any of you Northerners or Canadians have any good Hockey movies for kids? Please let me know.

That is where I am at now. My son is all excited about hockey camp (Paul Cohen Camp) starting on Monday.

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