Hockey and the US…keep them playing for longer-make them lifers!

March 1, 2010 at 11:07 pm Leave a comment

I’ve spent the last two weeks watching more hockey than I’ve watched in a LONG time. Doug commented that he felt like it was when we had the Center Ice package back in California-hockey…all day, every day!

Isaac watched with us, and I could tell the wheels in his head were turning. He keeps remarking (to this day!) that Ryan Miller is the coolest thing ever. I can’t disagree, but I keep trying to change his thinking, because I really don’t want a goalie in my family.

I digress about the not having a goalie in the family…

So, I dig into my email this evening and find a mail from the hockey association Isaac plays for. They’re having a meeting regarding the American Developmental Model (ADM) for youth. They’re going to be discussing the hallmarks and how it fits in with the SYHA organization. I spent a lot of time combing through this model when Isaac demanded to play hockey, so this wasn’t news to me What was news to me was the shocking statistics of retention of players.

What really scares me is that if we don’t get it right NOW, we may not have a future generation of US born hockey players to challenge the world like this year’s team did. We may not see the next Ryan Miller, Zach Parise or Brian Rafalski. The scary statistic is that 60% of kids who start hockey drop out before pee wee. They learn to skate, play and play maybe a season of mites and squirts. They never make it to pee wee and past. This is an issue. Hardcore. If we only have 40% making it through now, what’s to say that number won’t drop?

The ADM emphasizes diversifying in sports-not just playing hockey. For some, that’s a bold statement. For us here, it’s actually welcome.


Isaac thrives on motion. He loves the rink, but I want him to see the wide world outside the rink. If he goes and plays fall or spring soccer, goes and swims, he’s developing key skills that will assist him in the rink. Can we keep him skating? Sure! BUT, he doesn’t need to be in the throws of hockey year round.

It also forces my child with special needs to interact with other kids. He has found his like minded group at hockey, but he needs to diversify (see? there’s that word again) and meet new people, who he may find just as like minded…but he never would have met if he didn’t play soccer or swim or go run around at the park. Then, when he goes back to the rink after a month or two off, he finds his friends, like N and T who love him for the nutty hockey player he is. They’ll all be back where they left off, encouraging each other, playing together and maybe bringing new blood into the fold with their friends they met in other sports!

Does that mean that I’m definately opposed to sending Isaac to hockey camp this summer? Nope. I’m not. that’s one week in the grand scheme of things. If he goes for ONE WEEK in the summer, he’s got the rest of the time off before he comes back to the rink in November.

I think this is the right way to go. Keep more than just 40% playing hockey. Of course, there are always the detractors, but come on. You have to start somewhere.

Play, Love, Excel.
That’s the ADM motto. I think it’s a good one.

You learn to play, learn to love the game and then excel to the best that you can be.

More sports should adopt that.

Play. Love. Excel.


Entry filed under: Hockey!, musings, shrimper.

And the draft is here! Haircut Hell

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