10 Myths About the American Development Model
1. It isn’t REAL hockey. Using half the surface and the smaller nets won’t help kids learn the REAL game. Smaller fields and equipment are used everywhere except in hockey.
2. It will be too crowded on the ice. NHL teams put 30 grown men on the ice at one time, so how would 3 or 4 mite teams be too crowded?
3. The kids won’t learn teamwork. How much teamwork is involved with one skater taking the puck from end to end?
4. The kids won’t learn to skate. Smaller areas also help kids increase their quickness and explosive speed.
5. The kids won’t learn about positioning. Teaching positions too early can stifle creativity and the ability to think of the fly.
6. The ADM is only for the average player. The 7-year-olds who you think might be the next superstar may not develop as fast as others later on.
7. How will kids get in shape or get their conditioning? There are a lot more ways than skating lines on a full sheet to build up conditioning, especially with fun drills.
8. Too much fun is a bad thing. I just don’t get that comment, but hey people have said it (I can’t make this stuff up).
9. The rinks and associations are just trying to make more money by jamming more kids on the ice. More efficient use of ice can decrease your costs and can increase the number of times you practice each week.
10. The kids won’t have as much fun. More scoring opportunities and less stoppages make for a more enjoyable game for everyone.
USA Hockey put a lot of research and effort into looking at how to approach the game-so give the ADM a chance when your organization implements the model. I am very confident you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the results!
Editor’s Note: Thank you to Kevin Universal, president of the Carolina Amateur Hockey Association, for this story.