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Instructional Program

Program Payment Registration

We have received the program fees from the Accountant and Treasurer. 

Each registered family will receive an email once Sport Engine has completed the upload of fees and is ready to process payments.

Program payment registration is very similar to the original registration but will allow some program participants to make 6 monthly payments beginning on October 1st. 2018.

Learn To Play and Timbits are one registration fee and one program fee payment, no payment plans are available.

U-10 Too Stiff to skate?


03/09/2017, 2:00pm MST
By Guy "Goose" Gosselin, ADM Regional Manager

Q: It seems like my 10U player is tippy and unstable on the ice. The skates are brand new and offer excellent ankle support, but my child seems so stiff and rigid out there. Can you suggest anything to help?

A: Skates do offer much more support today than 20, 30 or 40 years ago. They are well manufactured and lightweight. Years ago, we used to put hot water in them, poor it out, put them on, and walk around the house in our skate guards doing deep knee bends to break them in. Things are a little different today, and in some ways, not necessarily better, but we’ll get to that shortly.

My first suggestion is to check the size of your child’s skates. Properly fitted skates will offer an easier transition during break-in time.

Next, consider the child’s age. As adults, we must take into account that limited physical strength and lack of refinement is normal in a 10U skater. Remember that doing amazing things on ice wearing an eighth-inch blade is no easy task to master.

The ultimate objective for players is to develop an athletic skating position. This is defined by good flex in the ankle area, bent knees, hips down, chest up, shoulders square and the head up. It’s asking a lot of a 10U child, but these characteristics will produce a more effective skater, so they should be the goal.

With patience, practice and proper emphasis on the aforementioned body mechanics, your child will gain more stability and that will turn into confidence, which will eventually end up in improved efficiency and enhanced skating performance.

So, what can you do to help? If your player is rigid and unstable, here are a few tips:

  • Help them get more flexion in ankles by skipping an eyelet or two in the ankle area (and don’t allow children to wrap their laces around the top of the boot/ankle). This will reduce the rigid ski-boot effect and increase flexion, which will allow the child to be more flexible and athletic when they are standing and striding in skates. If they’re accustomed to being ultra locked-in, this might be a little awkward at first, but they’ll adjust and develop better skating mechanics because of it.
  • When taping shin guards, do not go around the back of the skate boot. Avoid taping or strapping axis areas that could impede proper movement and positioning.
  • I never knew there was an art to tying skates until my equipment manager in college chewed me out for frequently ripping the eyelets out of my skates. To ensure proper tightening, pull outward on the lace away from the skate and then across, not against the eyelet. And don’t over-tighten.
  • Going back on the idea of things being different, but not necessarily better, one of the byproducts of such well-manufactured modern skates is that they are exceedingly stiff compared to old leather skates that had some flexibility. For adult-sized skaters, this can have its benefits, but for young children, it actually can be an impediment to their skating. Young kids are light and they don’t exert much force on the skate. Today’s stiff boots can impede young players from using the full range of motion required to skate well. Often, for young players, a used pair of skates is actually better for them, because they aren’t quite so stiff and they allow the player to move more athletically and explosively.
  • When you see a kid who looks stiff on the ice, it’s natural to think about skates, but stick length and weight can also be a factor. Proper stick length and weight will lead to better control on the ice. If a kid is trying to carry around an 8-foot 2X4 with a roll of tape on the end, then he'll perform like he’s carrying a 2X4 with a roll of tape on the end. Shorter sticks yield better puck control and a more athletic stance.
  • Also on the topic of non-skate factors, poorly fitted helmets may affect safety and sight. Elbow pads can restrict arm movement and stick-handing ability. Improper pants may shorten stride length. Poorly fitted shoulder pads can reduce vision and may fatigue smaller players. Keep these tidbits in mind to help your child feel better and gain flexibility on the ice.
  • Coach Ron

New Parents!

If you are new to ice hockey WELCOME to the best sport on earth! 

If you are unsure where your player may fit in, please contact the Coaches. Names and emails are listed below.

Some important things you need to know:

The programs for new skaters are called Instructional programs. These programs typically begin the first few weeks of October on Saturday mornings. Mini Mites skate on Sunday mornings as well.

Timbits and Learn to Play have 2 sessions. Session 1 runs from October through December, session 2 runs from January through March. Both of these groups meet once per week on Saturday morning. Registration and payments are required for both sessions.

The AAAHA ice schedule will be finalized in July as well as program costs.

There is a registration fee for any program, and ALSO a program fee. There will be a separate registration to hold a spot, and another registration to pay for the program.

Registration with USA Hockey is required for all skaters and coaches/on ice helpers. Register at

Registration with AAAHA is required for all skaters and coaches/on ice helpers. Register at (after July 4th)

Registration to make program fee payment is required for all skaters. Registration for payments will open in August. The link to payment registration will be on the front page of the website.

All practice times and dates will be on the AAAHA calendar at the end of July.  (Be sure to select the specific "team" you are looking for).

All skaters will need full gear, this includes: Mouth guards, neck guards, shin pads, elbow pads, jock, chest pads, glove, helmet, skates, and stick.

We will hold an informational parent meeting in late September for parents. At this meeting, you will be able to pick up your players jerseys, socks, paperwork and meet the coaches.

If you have questions about Mini Mites, please email Coach Ron Dragan at

If you have questions about Learn To Play or Timbits, please email Coach Kristina at or the AAAHA Executive Director at

Follow these steps to register:

1. Register for USA Hockey at

2. Register for AAAHA program (after July 4th) at

3. Once Program fee registration is open (late August) register for program fee registration at

4. Watch for emails from AAAHA and Coaches as season gets closer.

5. Attend parent meeting in late September. (All registered parents will receive an email with date and time).

6. Bring player birth certificate to parent meeting.

7. Fill out player paperwork at parent meeting.

8. Purchase full equipment for skater.

9. Make sure all paperwork is filled out and turned in to team manager before first skate.

10. If birth certificate was not turned in at parent meeting, bring to first skate.

Which Program?

If you have a beginning skater, ages 4-6, please click on the Timbits tab to the left.

If you have a beginning skater, ages 7-13, please click on our Learn To Play tab to the left.

Our Mini Mite program is designed for those ages 4-7 with a little experience.

If your child is under 8 with skating experience, please check out our Mite program listed under the House program tab.


Parent Volunteer Needed

AAAHA is seeking a Mini Mite parent to help with communicating and "managing" the Mini Mite program.
We have volunteers to run the on-ice, and collect paperwork, but are looking for a parent to help with communication between Head Coach Ron Dragan and the Mini Mite parents.

Please contact me, if you are interested.

Thank you!

Peggy Costello

Theda Joffe

Parent Questions?

New to ice hockey??   Read through the program descriptions below to find the age-appropriate choice for your child's introduction to ice hockey.

All of our instructional programs welcome both girls and boys, and no specific skating experience is required to enroll. Two sessions of Timbits and Learn-To-Play Hockey are offered, one beginning in October, the other in January. The Mini-Mite program begins in October and ends in mid March. AAAHA is excited to have long-time Coach Ron Dragan as well as Carrie Keil, Keil Power Skating working with our Instructional Programs for the Fall/Winter season!

How to Get Dressed Video

This video is a step-by-step instruction of how to get dressed to play ice hockey.  To download, right-click on Click Here and choose the 'Save link as' option and save to your desktop. Click  here.


Add Page Element

Full equipment is required for ALL programs: Ice hockey helmet with facemask, mouth guard, neck guard, ice hockey shoulder pads and elbow pads, hockey pants, cup or pelvic supporter, hockey shin pads, hockey stick, hockey gloves and properly fitted hockey skates. Jerseys and hockey socks will be provided by AAAHA. 

Mini-Mites (ages 4 - 8)

The Mini-Mite program focuses on teaching the fundamentals of hockey using USA Hockey's cross-ice model.

This program begins in October and ends mid March with a celebration during AAAHA's annual "Hockey Weekend".

Mini Mites skate both Saturday and Sunday mornings. Ice times rotate by group between 7, 8 and 9 am Saturday and 8 and 9:am Sunday. Long time AAAHA Coach Ron Dragan runs the Mini Mite Program. Contact him if you have any on ice Mini Mite questions. (

Players will be divided into groups. Each group will work on skating and puck handling while the 2nd year groups will work on continuing development of individual skills and building team skills. Players may be moved between groups at the discretion of the coaches during the season. Skating instruction will include forward and backward stride, glide turns, crossover turns, stops and starts, and edge control. Stick handling instruction will be taught at all levels with more advanced concepts (individual "moves" and speed with the puck) being introduced in the 2nd-year groups. Passing and shooting skills will be taught and incorporated into many of the drills, small area games will be played. 

On Sunday mornings, the Mini's will practice skating skills with professional skating coaches trained to teach beginning skaters solid skating skills to take with them as they grow. Contact Lead Instructor/head coach  Kristina Keil at with any questions about Sunday morning sessions.

On-line registration opens in July and requires a non-refundable deposit.  Questions regarding on ice Mini Mite activities, contact head coach Ron Dragan (

Timbits (ages 4 - 6)

A program for our youngest beginning skaters.

Fifty minutes of coach-supervised ice time for 9 weeks.

AAAHA offers this program for any young person wanting to try hockey for the first time.

Timbits is an opportunity to give ice hockey a try without making a huge time commitment. Sessions are designed as creative time to "try out ice skating and get the feel of the puck" - very basic skating and puck handling skills will be taught in a fun, relaxed setting. Timbits skate once per week on Saturday morning.

AAAHA provides a jersey.  Registration is on-line and requires a $100 non-refundable deposit. 

Session 1 begins in October, and a second session will be offered beginning in January.  

Learn to Play Hockey (ages 7 - 13)

A program for older kids who are new to ice hockey.

LTP offers 50 minutes of ice time for 9 weeks on Saturdays, beginning in October. There are 2 sessions, Fall begins in October, Winter session begins in January.

Learn to Play Hockey (LTPH) is a skill development program for older kids who have little, or no organized ice hockey experience. Basic Instruction in the fundamentals of skating, stick handling and necessary hockey skills required for future possible team placement is provided.

Enrollment is limited in order to allow ample individual instruction. Registration will open in July

Jerseys will be provided by AAAHA.

Registration is on-line and requires a $100 non-refundable deposit.  The program fee will be available in August. A second session will be offered beginning in January.

Full hockey gear is required.