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Mini Mites

Regular Season Fall/Winter 2020-2021
Fall/Winter 2020-2021 x Regular Season

Mini Mite Schedule (Updated 1/20/2021)

Mini Mite Schedule
Fall/Winter 2020-2021
All Skates Are on Stadium Rink Unless Indicated

 

1/23/2021

7 AM Red Mini Group

8 AM Green Mini Group

9 AM Blue Mini Group

 

1/24/2021

8 AM Blue/Green Mini Group

9 AM Red Mini Group

 

1/30/2021

7 AM Green Mini Group

8 AM Blue Mini Group

9 AM Red Mini Group

 

1/31/2021

8 AM Red Mini Group

9 AM Blue/Green Mini Group

 

2/6/2021

7 AM Blue Mini Group

8 AM Red Mini Group

9 AM Green Mini Group

 

2/7/2021

8 AM Blue/Green Mini Group

9 AM Red Mini Group

 

2/13/2021

7 AM Red Mini Group

8 AM Green Mini Group

9 AM Blue Mini Group

 

2/14/2021 

7:30 AM Red Mini Group

8:30 AM Blue/Green Mini Group

 

2/20/2021

7 AM Green Mini Group

8 AM Blue Mini Group

9 AM Red Mini Group

 

2/21/2021

8 AM Blue/Green Mini Group

9 AM Red Mini Group

 

 

 

2/27/2021

7 AM Blue Mini Group

8 AM Red Mini Group

9 AM Green Mini Group

 

2/28/2021

8 AM Red Mini Group

9 AM Blue/Green Mini Group

 

3/6/2021

7 AM Red Mini Group

8 AM Green Mini Group

9 AM Blue Mini Group

 

3/7/2021

8 AM Blue/Green Mini Group

9 AM Red Mini Group

 

3/13/2021

7 AM Green Mini Mite Group

8 AM Blue Mini Mite Group

9 AM Red Mini Mite Group

 

3/14/2021  Varsity Rink

7:30 AM  Red Mini Mite Group

8:30 AM Blue/Green Mini Mite Group

 

3/20/2021

Mini Mite Jamboree

Times and Teams TBA

Circle This date NOW!

You don't want to miss it 

 

 

 


Or 7 AM Practice


The Love for Hockey starts at an early age!

8U Q-and-A: Yabba Dabba Doo

02/13/2017, 11:00am MST
By Roger Grillo, USA Hockey ADM Regional Manager
 

Q: What is the best way to improve younger players’ fundamental skills?

A: The best way to improve young players’ basic skills is what I call the “Flintstones Vitamins approach.” What is it? In simple terms, it’s doing something for kids that is both developmentally beneficial and wrapped in fun.

At 8U, kids need to learn the most basic and fundamental skills. It’s essential as a building block in their overall development. But sometimes, these stripped-down, basic elements can be boring. They’re essential, but maybe not a lot of fun – like taking vitamins; bland adult vitamins.

Well, kids need to take their vitamins, but instead of bland vitamins, we give them Flintstones instead. Fun characters. Gummies. Sweet flavors.

It’s the same concept when it comes to providing the essentials on the ice. Instead of forcing kids to choke down bland basics, we can hide the basics in a fun, competitive, activity-based environment.

The two most important things to remember when dealing with our 8U athletes is to (1.) build passion for the sport and (2.) give them a base of athleticism that will serve them well in future years. Forcing bland essentials may help fortify their base, but it doesn’t build their passion, and without passion, they won’t excel. So we’ve got to make those essentials fun, like Flintstones vitamins.

How does the Flintstones vitamins approach look in terms of practice? We hide all the basic skill development in games. For example, to teach proper skating, we utilize tag or races that force kids to work on their edges and balance and coordination in a fun, challenging and competitive environment.

When visiting rinks, I sometimes see the 20-25 minutes of full-ice power skating at the start of practice for young players. It makes me cringe. I understand that skating is extremely important, and if the young player does it well, then they will have more success, but it’s critical that we avoid making the process of becoming a great skater stale or boring. An effective coach or teacher can hide the necessary work or repetitions in a fun format that will ultimately have a much greater impact for the young athlete.

If we aren’t patient and we force development on our adult terms, then the pushback comes in two forms: 

  1. Slower development and less competitive players.
  2. Higher burnout rates due to adult culture being forced on young kids.

If more of our coaches and parents approached skill development like we approach our kids’ nutritional needs (Flintstones vitamins), then we would have a much larger pool of older players with the necessary base of skills to have the success they desire.

6U/8U: Patience & Passion

12/10/2020, 5:00pm MST
By Michael Rand
 

The challenges of parenting are too numerous to count, but many of them seem to rush to the forefront when we see our kids struggling.

As parents, we instinctively want to help, but a voice inside our head – louder for some than others – is also reminding us that the way we learned to do so many of the things we take for granted now was by a slow process of trial and error.

This plays out at ice rinks around the country, particularly at the youngest age levels. With such varying stages of development for players in 6U and 8U hockey, parents are often left to wonder: What can I do to help? Is my child falling behind already? Should it be this hard?

For those parents, Ken Martel – Technical Director for USA Hockey’s American Development Model – has some tips.

Patience Is a Virtue

Martel says he doesn’t see dramatic levels of parent angst at the youngest age groups, noting that real concerns emerge “at 10U and 12U when they see their kids aren’t at the same level as others.”

However if those thoughts do creep in, Martel advises parents to simply be patient. 

“At 8U, you might have a kid who’s been playing for four years and another who has only been playing for one year,” he said. “First-year parents sort of expect it’s hard, especially when you have to learn how to skate. … A lot of it comes down to patience. If there’s an 8-year-old that’s been playing several years, of course they’re going to be better.”

Skating Is the Equalizer

That said, if parents want to help kids succeed there is one easy thing to do: take them skating.

“Just being on the ice helps,” Martel said. “So the biggest thing for kids is skating. Take your kids public skating. It doesn’t have to be more ice hockey. Let them go skating and fool around with friends.”

Most of us who have learned how to skate think of it as natural now, but in the beginning, it is a very foreign movement that requires balance and coordination on a completely new surface.

If a child switches from, say, soccer to basketball there are new rules and new objectives, but many of the fundamental movements are the same. 

Acquiring comfort on the ice on skates is an entirely new thing.

“It isn’t like you have to take them to a skating coach,” Martel said. “But if they can be on the ice skating and trying different things, they have a chance to catch up. Skating is the big equalizer at that age. If you can skate, you can kind of play.”

Let Them Get Comfortable

Comfort on skates is a big part of the puzzle, but beyond that parents can help by encouraging other areas of fundamental play. 

“It’s about comfort with the puck. We have a stick and a puck and if I can be comfortable just pushing a puck around that’s a big deal,” Martel said. “It doesn’t have to be fancy, just have a puck on the stick and have the head up a bit, and they can play.”

Those things can be worked on off the ice to build confidence and competence in a fun environment.

“Just playing with your kids is great,” Martel said. “Let them play street or ball hockey. It goes a long way because you work on stick skills. Most of it’s just time with those young ages, if you really look at where the imbalance comes it’s kids that haven’t been playing as long, but they will catch up.”

Love Is All They Need

Above all else, the greatest thing a parent can give a 6U or 8U player is the space to grow a love for the game.

“Just make sure they love going to the rink,” Martel said. “Don’t talk too much.”

But … but … but … how will they know what they’re doing right or wrong?

Repeat: Let them love the game and don’t talk too much.

“If they love it, they’ll be engaged when they’re at the rink and they’ll make improvements,” Martel said. “If they don’t love it, they won’t have the emotional energy and attention that goes along with making improvements.”

Trying too hard to create a hockey player?

Q: What should be the ultimate goal for an 8U hockey player?

A: In my opinion, the biggest mistake made by parents and coaches when working with younger players, particularly the 8U player, is that they are trying to make a hockey player. What I mean by that is, when the focus is on making the child into a hockey player, too much instructional time is spent on how the game is played and the tactical and team-play aspects of hockey. This is an example of adults structuring their teaching for mini-adults. Children, especially 8U children, are not mini-adults. They are young children. When this type of adult mindset, culture and environment is put on the shoulders of 8U players, they tend to get the short end of the stick in terms of pure, unbridled 8-year-old fun and individual skill development that will serve them better in later stages. So I believe that the focus should not be on making a hockey player at 8U. Rather, it should be on making an athlete and building passion for playing hockey, primarily through filling it with 8-year-old fun. Sometimes it’s difficult to remember what was fun when you were 8 years old, but for most 8-year-olds, it wasn’t structure, systems, rules or waiting in line, listening to instruction.

If the adults – parents, coaches and parent-coaches – can create an environment that is fun and nurturing of individual skill development, then the later stages of hockey will be filled with much greater success for these young players. The only hockey-specific skill needed early is skating, and that should be taught in a fun, competitive and childlike manner for the young player. In far too many situations, adults are in such a rush to develop the hockey player that they skip the most critical phase of development and that is building the athlete. So let’s put a big emphasis on developing agility, balance and coordination (the 8U sporting ABCs) while having fun and competing in an age

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