Most youth elite hockey players participate in various training and tournament activity during the spring and summer. The overall participation in hockey in North America is growing but the biggest growth by far has been participation in hockey during the spring and summer by players who already participate in the fall. The game brings a lot of joy to our youth and the opportunity to keep playing games is very exciting for young and old players. Some players play more games in the spring and summer then they do in the fall. When all is added up we have kids as young as 8 playing over 100 games in a calendar year. Kids love the opportunities to get trophies and the parents can often feel that they have to participate in these tournaments to keep the game relevant for the kids. There are many issues that come strikingly home. The spring teams and their participation brings pressure for the players.
Parents, coaches, and teammates are so focused on winning that there are many unreasonable demands on the players. Players are no longer students. They miss school a lot, they over train and overuse muscles and worst of all they many don’t have fun anymore. The pressure of Spring and Summer hockey has caused many players to quit hockey all together. The stakeholders that provide the game for the players take away the biggest reason why players play the game. This reason is fun. Also the money invested by parents causes them to want a return and make specific aspects of player performance more important than it should be. The other problem is that many of the suppliers of hockey find it contrary to their business to give players good advice. Telling a superstar to sit out a big tournament is unheard of.
It is clearly proven that whether your elite player participates in all the spring or summer hockey or not they have an equal chance of making it to the next level. What will cast their future in hockey is their love and passion for the game. We want to create summer opportunities for your elite player that help him love the game more. More importantly the value as a parent you assign to the game vs. your child will also have an effect on your player. Parents need to put the player first. Forget the rat race, forget the money chasing tournament teams and focus on the love your child gets from the game. By all means do something else. Many families get caught up in the marketing by the hockey vendors. “Train all year around so you participate in an exclusive tournament.” The truth is participation in the exclusive tournament will not improve your players hockey career as much as your love and support. Tournaments are not bad but they should not be treated greater than their relevance. Good coaching is important, good training on and off ice is important but also getting away is important.
We would like to create a new environment for spring and summer hockey. We are looking for sponsors that want to create opportunities for players to participate in elite tournaments and training but for the right reasons and to receive the right results. There is a need for age appropriate training and goal setting. If you are in a position to sponsor events or education for young hockey players we want to work with you. Our goal is to improve the youth hockey experience and create opportunities so players can reach their potential. If you have suggestions for programs please let us know. If you have a player that would like to participate in our programs let us know.