Youth Hockey And The American Development Model
The USA Hockey definition of the American Development Model (ADM) is: provide age-appropriate guidelines to hockey associations to help more kids play, love and excel in the sport of hockey. The purpose of the American Development Model is to make hockey fun by implementing practices that focus on fundamentals and cross-ice games that allow all kids to get involved in the game. If your chid is just starting to get involved in the game of hockey be sure to find a program that leverages the American Development Model. Talk to your local rink to see if this is a program that is offered as part of their hockey programs.
ADM's focus is on hockey fundamentals by having certified hockey coaches teach/coach across multiple stations during a practice. A station targets a specific area that focuses on a hockey fundamental, and the kids rotate among each of these stations during the course of the practice. Fundamentals are the focus during an ADM practice and the following areas are the drills that are touched on during a typical practice: power stops, cross-over skating, puck handling, backward skating, passing, battling for the puck, and shooting.
A practice will normally have at least three teams on the ice at any one time. This gives the ability to have multiple coaches on the ice teaching the various drills. Cross-ice games are normally 3 on 3 with a goalie and allows all the kids to get more involved in the game and forces them to use the fundamentals they are taught in the various practices. Multiple games can take place at the same time since only half the ice is being used, and this can also lead to reduced ice-time which in turn leads to lower costs for the parents.
The American Development Model is a great way to teach your child about the game of hockey. Not only does the American Development Model teach the various fundamentals, it makes hockey fun to play and is something the kids look forward to doing! Based upon my experience, I've seen huge improvements in the kids that are playing the game using this model.