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The College Hockey Landscape: A Study of the 21-year-old Freshman

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Canarse    2
Canarse
39 minutes ago, kwey24 said:

Unfortunately, it's unrealistic to expect Iowa and most other states to be able to have youth hockey with no overnight travel.  In regards to national travel pee wee hockey, that's a failure in parenting, not USA Hockey.  If the market wants it, whatever.  I'd never do it.  You are sending your kid the wrong message (and your life must be pretty "cush" if you can galavant around the country for your 11- or 12-year-old's hockey). 

 

 

The situation for travel hockey varies by location.  Iowa is different from Chicago which is different from Philadelphia, etc.  We came from a non-traditional market.  Yes, we traveled quite a bit as Pee-Wees.  Everyone lived.  No kids turned out to be criminals after this parenting failure.  I also guess I'm supposed to apologize for being able to afford that as well?

The situation we had left us with little choice.  We had games against teams within a few hours drive, but after you beat them badly a few times they don't want to play your team any more.  If we wanted games, we had to travel.  It would have been much easier and cheaper to keep it closer, but it wasn't an option.  

Make the best choice for your kid as most parents do the same.  

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SCBlueLiner    1
SCBlueLiner

Canarse, your situation is a little different.  I'm speaking more about those teams in areas that are taking flights across the country at young ages when they have great competition all around them. Is there any reason for Pee Wees from Minnesota, Detroit, Chicago, New England to be flying to games?  Heck, even Iowa?  Minnesota to the North, Chicago to the East, St. Louis to the South.  No reason for it with great competition within driving range.  I actually give up on this discussion.  People are going to do what they want.  I just hate the perception it gives the sport and it does make recruiting new players difficult.  If you have the means, go ahead, it's not my dollar.

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kwey24    0
kwey24
10 minutes ago, SCBlueLiner said:

I would say this has been a good discussion.  Thought about what a few of you posters said last night and will admit you are right, USA Hockey can only do so much and coming off as heavy handed would hurt the sport.  It actually has hurt it as AAU has made in-roads in several areas because of the changes that have been made at Mites.  I agree with the cross ice games at Mites, it just makes sense and it does the most for development.  The only issue I have with it is that sometimes that game can start to resemble a game of ping pong and players do not skate because they are never too far out of the play.  Cross ice and half ice games are used a ton when your players get older.  I know we used them coaching through Bantams and my kid's Midget team uses them.  I've seen Midget tryouts that have some cross ice/SAG stuff too.  Mite parents need to understand that they are a great tool a coach can use to develop players.

As for burnout, my son played hockey, baseball, and football through 8th grade, ran track one year too, all while still playing spring and summer hockey.  He did soccer when he was really young but I don't really count that.  He dropped football after 8th grade and still plays summer baseball.  The baseball coach is understanding though and knows that hockey comes first and that baseball is just an activity.  My kid's a good ball player, but I have told him that if he's not dedicated to the baseball team then he can't be upset if he is a role player, which he was the beginning of last season, coming off the bench to pinch hit, etc.  By the end of the year he was an everyday player.  He'd play/practice hockey every day if he could.  He drives to every open ice session he can get and goes to the gym on his own to lift/workout, however, not as much as he should or I would like.  He is just beginning to see how the off ice workouts translate on ice so I expect that will change this next off-season and he'll be more active in the gym.

I'd strongly encourage your son to incorporate plyometrics, sprint interval drills, and agility drills into his training if he has not already and to really go all out in that.  Weightlifting is good. I found it was good for injury prevention (reducing serious soft tissue injuries) back in my day (when I was weightlifitng six to seven days a week).  But, what transformed my game was the plyometrics training my junior hockey team had us do.  If someone can get into that in their early teens, they're going to be way ahead of the game.  (Scientific research shows there are optimal windows to incorporate these sorts of things and early teens is good time.)  Another thing that I think is really good for overall conditioning is TRX  (Google it if you don't know what it is.)  A person will want to work with a trainer for awhile on it to really get the hang of it; but, it's a fantastic total body workout when the workout is structure properly and you can easily structure the exertion intervals and rest intervals to mimic hockey in terms of shift length and rest. 

There are lots of "goodies" that people can use for one-legged balance to help strengthen ankles and there's a lot you can do with fitness bands for ankles, too.  I'd also recommend a lot of wrist/forearm work.  I remember when I was a gym rat and people would ask me what I was doing.  Wrist curls and wrist extensions are a start, but wrist rotations are very helpful as are exercises that work on grip strength.  Those things can helps set a base of soft-tissue strength to maximize the work you do shooting.  Those repetitions of purposeful shooting practice are the most helpful; but, laying the groundwork with off-ice work is important (and for developing injury resistance).

Now that it's been over 10 years since I could work out with much regularity, I'm becoming an injury-prone weekend warrior. But, that doesn't mean I'm detached and/or don't have quite a bit of experience with this.  I started playing hockey when I was 12 in a city without an indoor rink yet managed to play junior hockey and ACHA college hockey.  It was entirely through off-ice work that I was able to close the gap in such a short amount of time (and then the junior hockey team I played for took me on as a project player for which I'm forever grateful--they cut kids who were better than me at the time to take me). 

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Canarse    2
Canarse
11 minutes ago, SCBlueLiner said:

Canarse, your situation is a little different.  I'm speaking more about those teams in areas that are taking flights across the country at young ages when they have great competition all around them. Is there any reason for Pee Wees from Minnesota, Detroit, Chicago, New England to be flying to games?  Heck, even Iowa?  Minnesota to the North, Chicago to the East, St. Louis to the South.  No reason for it with great competition within driving range.  I actually give up on this discussion.  People are going to do what they want.  I just hate the perception it gives the sport and it does make recruiting new players difficult.  If you have the means, go ahead, it's not my dollar.

No, I agree that areas that are full of hockey teams shouldn't feel the need to fly across the country for games, yet some still do.  It's their dollar and decision.  I am just trying to add the perspective of someone from a non-traditional market who often get left out when people want to do things to "fix" the game.  

I get it that the costs keep people out of the game.  One problem with youth hockey is that it's addictive.  You say you aren't going to pay for this and that, but you turn around a few years later and you are paying for this and that.  It's a great ride for parents and kids.  The kids love it and most parents want to see their kids happy and succeeding.  You pay the money.  Even if you have to put off things like painting the house, new carpet, a newer car....all things we have done.  At the end of the day we are happy about it, but I do warn parents of younger children that the game is addictive and the price goes up as your kid gets older.  Some stay away for that reason.  I don't blame them, but we have no regrets.

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SCBlueLiner    1
SCBlueLiner

Kwey, he does that.  His summer workout consists of 2 weight lifting days and 3 days of plyos/explosion/sprint drills.  Even the weight sessions incorporate plyo/explosion exercises in-between weight sets.  It's not weight lifting like we used to do for football back in the day either, it is hockey based weight training.  All the lifts have weird sounding names like Bulgarian Upright Pulls and stuff like that.  You know where he slacks though?  The track/plyo stuff.  He'll have to find out the hard way that he can't neglect that area.

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Mr Ricochet    2
Mr Ricochet
9 hours ago, Canarse said:

The situation for travel hockey varies by location.  Iowa is different from Chicago which is different from Philadelphia, etc.  We came from a non-traditional market.  Yes, we traveled quite a bit as Pee-Wees.  Everyone lived.  No kids turned out to be criminals after this parenting failure.  I also guess I'm supposed to apologize for being able to afford that as well?

The situation we had left us with little choice.  We had games against teams within a few hours drive, but after you beat them badly a few times they don't want to play your team any more.  If we wanted games, we had to travel.  It would have been much easier and cheaper to keep it closer, but it wasn't an option.  

Make the best choice for your kid as most parents do the same.  

 

I was waiting for this to come up, some having more resources than others that allows their kids more or better opportunities.  You know we all watch these talented kids play USHL hockey cuz they are talented and that allows them to compete at the highest level, most can't.  Well some adults are just as talented and compensated well as they should be for their hard work, education and talent.  No need to apologize for being able to provide opportunity for your children, live in a nice neighborhood or vacation overseas.  

My old man punched a time clock and made a solid union wage and when I was playing AAA travel and 50% of the time we picked up a doctors and a lawyers kid cuz their pops were working and took em to the game with us.  And as mentioned I looked like a freak with my equipment but I was on the ice with doctor's and lawyer's kids and they had more in their skates than I had in my whole bag and my old man never missed a PRACTICE. 

Give or make an excuse why you or your boy can't and he won't.  Not too early for a 12-13 yr old to see that some have more and some less, but as a teacher once told the class a C student that works hard will go farther than an A student who doesn't.  We are all dealt a hand it's how you play that hand that determines the outcome but one thing is for sure if you ain't at the table you ain't competing. ......... As a kid from the "other" side of the tracks it gave me a chip on my shoulder that quite frankly I believe helped me compete with a linebacker mentality that some others with more didn't quite have. 

Hope this thread doesn't go astray. 

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Canarse    2
Canarse
2 hours ago, Mr Ricochet said:

 

I was waiting for this to come up, some having more resources than others that allows their kids more or better opportunities.  You know we all watch these talented kids play USHL hockey cuz they are talented and that allows them to compete at the highest level, most can't.  Well some adults are just as talented and compensated well as they should be for their hard work, education and talent.  No need to apologize for being able to provide opportunity for your children, live in a nice neighborhood or vacation overseas.  

My old man punched a time clock and made a solid union wage and when I was playing AAA travel and 50% of the time we picked up a doctors and a lawyers kid cuz their pops were working and took em to the game with us.  And as mentioned I looked like a freak with my equipment but I was on the ice with doctor's and lawyer's kids and they had more in their skates than I had in my whole bag and my old man never missed a PRACTICE. 

Give or make an excuse why you or your boy can't and he won't.  Not too early for a 12-13 yr old to see that some have more and some less, but as a teacher once told the class a C student that works hard will go farther than an A student who doesn't.  We are all dealt a hand it's how you play that hand that determines the outcome but one thing is for sure if you ain't at the table you ain't competing. ......... As a kid from the "other" side of the tracks it gave me a chip on my shoulder that quite frankly I believe helped me compete with a linebacker mentality that some others with more didn't quite have. 

Hope this thread doesn't go astray. 

It takes all kinds to make the world go 'round.  Hockey world included.  There is always someone who has more than you and that has less than you.  It gets easy to point fingers either way, and yes maybe I was a bit too sensitive there.  

Hard work is universal.  It always helps.  That's one of the things I like about hockey is that it teaches some of the old school lessons of hard work and selflessness.  You don't see as much of that in the more popular sports these days.  

 

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