Hockey and Kids
This is an article specifically related to kids hockey programs. When starting your son or daughter off in a hockey program it's important to understand the various ways hockey is taught. One of the big programs making the rounds over the last few years is something called the American Development Model or ADM Hockey. This program focuses and teaches kids the fundamentals of the game of hockey.
So what is the American Development Model all about. First off the focus is on fundamentals, and not necessarily the competitive game. Given that, games are only played leveraging half ice games or cross ice games. The intent of this is to let the kids all have an equal chance of controlling the puck and limit the break away opportunities that a skilled player may have which takes away the fun of the other players. The other aspect of ADM Hockey is the practices. A practices is split into multiple stations, each of which focuses on a fundamental of the game. These fundamentals are around skating, puck movement, shooting and so on. During the practice the kids move from station to station each working on a different skill. At the end of the practice, each player should have had the opportunity to hit each and every station working on those various skills.
All of this is well and good, except when it comes to being prepared for a real live hockey game. The one thing that is not taught at the ADM level, is hockey positioning. Why is this important. Well if you've ever been to a game and see 10 kids following the puck around like a magnet you'll know what I'm talking about. Hockey positioning teaches the kids where they should be when the puck is at a specific point on the ice, taking their position into account.
The focus on the American Development Model is on fundamentals, and not game play. So if you really want your child to be prepared for a game, and they have the basic fundamentals down, you may want to look for a program that is not focused on the ADM Model.