Sno-King Amateur Hockey Association (playing out of arenas in Kirkland and Renton, WA) is a certified USA Hockey Model Association.  

The club is one of only 19 associations in the nation to receive this designation. 

With the designation, Sno-King is committed to follow the American Development Model (ADM) in full at the 8-and-under, 10-and-under, and 12-and-under age groups. USA hockey has recently developed a program that includes all levels from 8 to 18 years of age, which has been well received by our older aged coaches. The ADM is based on age-appropriate training to fully benefit children in their development, regardless of ability level.

As a benefit of their model program designation, Sno-King will receive added support from USA Hockey to assist in implementing the ADM throughout their programs, including equipment, signage, and educational materials. Further, they will receive on-going staff support from USA Hockey's national office, including in-depth coach training.

 Click here for the Sno-King Hockey Press Release.

What is long-term athlete development?

The ADM utilizes long-term athlete development principles as its framework. LTAD principles can be used as a basis on which to make our existing systems and structures more consistent. Developed by internationally renowned coach educator Istvan Balyi, and adapted to ice hockey by USA Hockey, the principles of LTAD are rooted in successful programs throughout the world.

This is a great opportunity to change the way we go about developing hockey potential.

One of the first things that USA Hockey did when beginning this project was to look closely at the statistics related to player development – specifically the skill development time each player has when in both a practice setting and a game setting. When viewed from the perspective of how kids learn the number of repetitions of specific skills and situations that occur in practice versus a game, we quickly learned where players have a chance to develop the most: Practice.

So a model was created that valued practices and proper training above all else. This isn’t to say that the ADM is about taking the fun out of hockey, quite the contrary. Practices can and should be fun, especially if the kids are all playing together and having a blast with a game that they love. The more they play it, the better chance that they’ll love it. And when you combine a passion for the game with increased puck time, kids will start to excel at it. Play, love, excel. That’s the ADM.
As research was conducted in developing the ADM, it became apparent that critical areas in our system were neglecting kids at a very early age. As children mature, they each progress through the same development stages. And certain aspects of these stages must be addressed at the appropriate points along the development curve in order for our children to reach their genetic potential. Maximum development occurs through age-appropriate structure and content. Without developing skills and certain physical and mental attributes at the appropriate time, the long-term prospects of becoming a truly elite player diminish each day.

The ADM, through utilization of LTAD principles, allows us to integrate training, competition and recovery programming with relation to biological development so that we can fully get at a kid’s potential. To make an athlete out of a kid. Make a hockey player out of an athlete. The ADM offers equal opportunity for recreation and competition – a key to retaining younger players.

Sno-King ADM Model Association FAQ’s       

Q:  Why is Sno-King a supporter of the Athletic Development Model? (ADM)

The benefits of the ADM are many, but the number one reason is hockey player development! Sno-King believes that the ADM and Long Athlete Development principles will give each athlete a much better opportunity to reach their genetic potential.

Other reasons include:

  • Making the game more affordable to attract and retain more players.
  • Reducing the time commitment to allow young players to participate in other sports and activities and to allow their families to plan for other family activities.
  • Make the most of the time that is spent at the rink by utilizing age optimal training techniques.
  • Making every trip to the rink a great experience for the player to make them look forward to their next practice and game.

How does the ADM make the game more affordable?
The ADM encourages associations to make more efficient use of their largest expense, ice time.  By utilizing the ice more effectively the cost of the ice can be shared with many more players.  That allows for more time for the players on the ice and/or a reduction in their fees.

Sno-King adopted the ADM model at the 10u and younger ages a few years ago and reduced the player fees accordingly at the time.  This season the 12u Tier 2 team is realizing an additional hour of on-ice practice time per week with no increase in fees due to more efficient ice usage. 

How does the ADM reduce my time commitment?

  • At the 12u and younger recreational levels the programming is already setup such that the families have a free day every weekend and almost all of the long weekends free to plan other activities. 
  • At the 10u rep and 12u Tier 2 level this season Sno-King is making the following changes to reduce the time commitment. 
  • The team’s home weekends will have two games on Saturday (one in the morning and one later in the afternoon) freeing up Sunday for other activities. 
  • They will also be scheduling some of the long weekends off including Thanksgiving and at least a week around Christmas.
  • Travel and expense will also be reduced with limited travel tournaments, and missing school for hockey is highly discouraged. 

How does the ADM make the most of the time that is spent at the rink?
As you may have already seen at the 8u and 10u station practices, they contain

  • Age appropriate drills that utilize the Long Term Athlete Development  (LTAD) research and emulate real game situations
  • lots of quality iterations
  • limited standing around
  • We will be incorporating those into more teams this season. 
  • All teams will have dryland training before or after one or more of their practices. 

What are the benefits to Sno-King in being a USA Hockey Model Club?

USA Hockey offers a significant support package for the Model Clubs in guidance, expertise, and resources.  

Where can I get more information on the ADM and LTAD?

www.ADMKids.com  and http://www.usahockey.com/ADMKids_LTAD.aspx

More Truths over Myths!

Myth 1: ADM fails in youth goalie development. Kids need to be identified as goaltenders and taught goaltending-specific skills at young ages.

Truth: Almost none of the NHL’s top goaltenders began playing between the pipes until they were at least 9 years old. Finland, which is viewed as a model for producing great goaltenders, doesn’t let kids play full-time in goal until age 10.

Goaltending experts worldwide state that, at 8U, it’s far more important to develop overall athleticism and skating ability than goaltending technique. And, as Kevin Woodley recently wrote in InGoal Magazine, “most NHL goaltending coaches will tell you they’d rather add some structure to a skilled athletic goalie than try to add athleticism to a technician.” Thus, the ADM’s emphasis on development of athleticism at young ages is ideal for skaters and future goalies alike.

Myth 2: To develop understanding of positional play and offsides, 8-year-olds should play full-ice hockey.

Truth: Not only can positional play and offsides be taught with cross-ice hockey, it can be taught more efficiently than in a full-ice environment.

When the puck is dropped, positional play becomes a player’s relationship to the puck, the opponent and the net. All of these elements are key components of the small-area games used in USA Hockey’s American Development Model. By teaching these concepts in the context of small-area games (spacing, gap control, angles, support, body positioning), players not only learn the concepts, but also learn them more efficiently thanks to increased repetitions.

Regarding offsides, it can be easily taught by using a marker and drawing a line across the middle of a cross-ice environment. This line represents the offensive blue line. And, much like positional play, it can be taught more efficiently through cross-ice play, since the number of zone entries (and especially non-breakaway zone entries) is dramatically increased in a cross-ice scenario.

Myth 3: ADM practices don’t provide enough skating, especially long skates.

Truth: Forty to 50 percent of every USA Hockey ADM practice plan is skating-focused. Additionally, the cross-ice environment requires children to take an equivalent number of strides to what an adult takes when covering a full ice sheet.  It’s simply scaled for a child’s leg length. Lastly, skating form deteriorates over long distances. Age-appropriate skill development emphasizes development of proper skating form and an increase in quality strides.

But most importantly, what separates players at advancing levels of hockey is their ability to turn, stop, start and change direction. These are the skating skills that are vital to becoming a successful hockey player – and these are the skating skills emphasized by the ADM with small-area games and cross-ice hockey.

Myth 4: The ADM removes competition from 6U and 8U programs.

Truth: Competition is at the heart of the ADM, but it emphasizes age- and developmentally appropriate forms of competition, e.g., two players competing for a loose puck, rather than an overemphasis on the final score of a 6U or 8U hockey game.