2015-2016 - Mite Development Program - Description
This document will explain the overall purpose and function of the Cazenovia Park Hockey Association Mite Development Program.
The objectives of the Cazenovia Park Hockey Association Mite Development Program are the following:
· Provide an enjoyable introduction to hockey for players of all abilities
· Teach the fundamentals of skating, balance, agility, and puck control
· Stress participation, fun and individual skill development
· Provide a healthy environment for fun and learning
The Mite Development Program is the fundamental stage of the Cazenovia Park Hockey Association. Creating a positive, healthy environment for the youngest members of Cazenovia is essential to a player’s long-term participation, growth and successful experience in hockey. The Mite Development Program will focus on individual age appropriate skill development for all players based on USA Hockey's Cross Ice format. The smaller ice will generate more touches of the puck, develop better footwork, and keep players moving during practice drills.
The cross ice format encourages a noncompetitive environment in which children and youth can learn the basic skills without the distractions that are often associated with an overemphasis on winning. Mastery of the fundamental skills and the fun of playing are essential to the development of a lifelong interest in hockey. Enjoyment and recreation are the focal points of the guidelines for youth hockey issued by USA Hockey and the Caz Hockey Board of Directors.
III. Program Structure
The structure of the Mite Development Program is important in creating a successful experience for ALL players and parents. Caz Hockey realizes that families are stretched in many directions and is committed to creating as cost-efficient and family-friendly an environment as possible.
IV. Player Development
The Caz Hockey Mite Development Program, based on Cross Ice, is centered on skill repetition, small area drills, station work and cross ice games. Practices are designed according to the ability level of the skaters in each group and will concentrate on the individual development of each player above all other interests.
Player development is based on the following beliefs:
· Participants will be taught the proper way to perform skills. Practice makes permanent, not perfect. By learning to perform skills correctly, players will eliminate the formation of bad habits.
· Muscle memory is developed through repetition. Skills must be practiced repeatedly until performing each skill becomes second nature. The more times players practice the fundamental skills, the more success they will feel which translates into fun.
· Limited “games”. Full-ice game situations are not the best way to develop skills and often end up not being as fun as people hope. Instead, the Mite Development Program will employ various cross-ice and small area games which are shown to develop individual and teams skills, promote creativity, increase involvement, and provide more opportunities for players to touch the puck.
V. Coaching Development and Support
For many players and parents, the coach will be their first contact with the sport of hockey. The impression the coach makes upon players and parents will have a lasting effect on their perception of the game of hockey and Cazenovia. It is critical that we have coaches who can relate to children and teach the skills that will ensure ALL participants are successful and enjoy their experience playing the game.
The coach plays a prominent role in the lives of players in the program and helps to shape their view of hockey by his/her actions and attitudes. Coaches will be the first point of contact for players while on the ice and should teach the players to:
· Play for the love of the game.
· Respect the opponent.
· Work for the good of the team.
· Play within the rules of the game.
· Be generous in victory and graceful in defeat.
· Always conduct themselves with honor and pride.
· Love the game!!
Volunteering to coach children is a worthy task that demands responsibility. Cazenovia is committed to working with and supporting all individuals willing to take on the responsibilities of coaching in the Mite Development Program. To fulfill that commitment, Caz Hockey will:
· Train coaches how to teach skills properly.
· Provide resources for coaches to use in planning practices and teaching skills.
· Hold meetings prior to the season to explain the program and what is expected of coaches.
· Provide a mechanism to support coaches throughout the season and keep them on track and enthused about the program.
· Encourage coaches to stay the course – skill development is the single most important aspect of the program.
· Develop a coaches’ curriculum that will give all coaches access to a wide variety of drills and exercises that will help them teach the specified skills.
· Promote USA Hockey’s Coach’s Code of Conduct
o Hockey is fun.
o Honest representation and skills should decide the final outcome of games.
o Both players and opponents are to be respected and complemented.
o Rules and regulations are to be respected and followed by all participants.
o Officials are to be viewed as honest arbitrators.
o Winning is a consideration, but not the only one nor the most important one.
o Hockey is for all to enjoy.
o Set an example of good behavior.
The success of the Mite Development Program relies greatly on the commitment and conduct of parents. We ask that you help support the programs in the following ways:
· Ensure that your player is at practice on-time and ready to skate.
· Communicate directly with coaches whenever you have a question or concern.
· Conduct yourself in a positive, healthy way by following USA Hockey’s Parents’ Code of Conduct.
o Players require a good example as opposed to criticism.
o Help make your child’s participation rewarding for all participants.
o Be understanding and supportive of the coach and the officials. The coach is a volunteer and is giving his/her personal time, at his/her expense, to help provide a positive experience for your child.
o Support and assist the program in a positive manner.
o The parent is the most important example to which a child can relate.
o Be everything you want your child to be.
If you have any questions or concerns about the Mite Development Program, feel free to bring them to your child’s coach or to the Mite Director, Joseph Insera at