Development programs are aimed at developing players to their full potential by focusing on skating and skill development. Program content follows the Hockey Canada Long Term Player Development guidelines and the Skill Development Guidelines which provides a guideline for appropriate skill development at the appropriate age.
Many of our students have taken their game to the next level by participating in our weekly power skating and skill development programs and team training programs. Tara has taken many players from house league to rep, from AE to A or AA and from A/AA to AAA.
Hockey Canada recommends a certain percentage of practice for each age group to be spent on 3 areas: technical skills, individual tactics, and team tactics. For younger players there is a large emphasis on technical skills: skating, shooting, passing, and checking.
Click here for the skill breakdowns for each age group.
Research has shown that a player possesses the puck from 20 to 50 seconds per game. A player would have to play approx. 180 games to get the puck possession and skill development time that they would obtain from a 1 hour practice or development session.
Fundamentals should be practiced at all age and skill levels. However, there are key ages for fundamental skill introduction, fundamental skill development and fundamental skill refinement.
There are critical periods for males and females where they can maximize their development in strength, speed, stamina, flexibility and skill. The critical periods correlate with chronological age and the developmental age, which is the age of the growth spurt. Remember, all skills and fitness levels can be trained at all ages but these are the critical periods.
Males: Ages 13 to 16 or 17 years
Females: Ages 11 to 14 or 15 years
Skill – optimal trainability
Males: Ages 9-12
Females: Ages 8-11
Speed Development – 2 periods of optimal trainability
Males: Ages 7-9 & 13-16
Females: Ages 6-8 & 11-13
Strength Development – optimal trainability
Males: 12-18 months after the growth spurt (17 years of age +)
Females: After growth spurt or onset of menarche (1 years of age +)
Endurance/Stamina – optimal trainability occurs from the onset of growth spurt to the peak of the growth spurt for both males and females.
Flexibility – optimal trainability occurs between the ages of 6 and 10 for both males and females. During the growth spurt special attention should be
given to maintain flexibility.