USA Hockey Puts Fun Into Hockey for Young Players
Any parent can tell you that in order to keep children ages 6 to 9 engaged, it is important that an activity include an element of “fun.” Using that as a basis, USA Hockey has come up with several steps to ensure that young hockey players are having fun while learning the game of hockey. The following article outlines USA Hockey’s FUNdamentals program, which provides a guideline for hockey programs to more effectively reach and teach young players.
The objective of the FUNdamentals stage is to refine fundamental movement skills and begin to acquire basic sports skills. This is the time when a foundation is laid for future acquisition of more advanced skills.
General Description of the FUNdamentals stage:
- This is the stage where children learn physical literacy; the interrelationship between
- movement skills and sport skills.
- The skills that children acquire during this stage will benefit them when they engage in any activity regardless of their level of participation.
- By-passing the acquisition of ‘basic and specialized movement’ and ‘sport skills’
- during the FUNdamentals stage is detrimental to a person’s future participation in physical activity and sport (A, B, C’S = Agility, Balance, Coordination, Speed;
- gymnastics, swimming, running, gliding; throwing, striking, kicking).
- Basic sport skill development in this stage should be well structured, positive, and one in a FUN and social environment.
- All programs should be structured with proper progression, and monitored regularly by trained certified coaches, volunteers and parents.
USA Hockey’s key focus for this stage:
- Help ensure our participants gain physical literacy
- Develop a passion for hockey in all our children (keep kids & families in the game)
- Encourage participation in a variety of complimentary sports to help our children
- Maximize their ability to reach their genetic potential in hockey
- Develop on-ice balance, coordination, agility and speed
- Introduce basic puck control skills
Editor’s Note: For more information on Hockey FUNdamentals, please click here