COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - USA Hockey announced today that the Kalamazoo (Mich.) Optimist Hockey Association, the Kettler Capitals, the Montgomery (Md.) Youth Hockey Association and San Jose Jr. Sharks have been named USA Hockey Model Association programs.
With the designation, the four organizations have committed to follow the American Development Model in full at the 8-and-under, 10-and-under and 12-and-under age groups. The ADM is based on age-appropriate training to fully benefit children in their hockey and overall athletic development.
"We are excited to welcome this next group of model associations," said Kevin McLaughlin, senior director of hockey development for USA Hockey. "They're committed to ensuring the best possible competition and training environment for kids involved in their programs."
All USA Hockey associations have the opportunity to be recognized as a model association by meeting appropriate criteria. More information can be found here.
As a benefit of their model program designation, KOHA, MYHA, the Kettler Capitals and the San Jose Jr. Sharks will receive added support from USA Hockey to assist in implementing the ADM throughout their programs, including equipment, signage, and educational materials. Further, all four will receive on-going staff support from USA Hockey's national office, including in-depth coaches training and parent education that will commence in early September.
"Our mission is to continue to grow the game of hockey in the Bay Area and provide all the tools necessary for our customers to enjoy the game for years to come," said Jon Gustafson, general manager of Sharks Ice. "We are honored to be a driver and a partner with USA Hockey and the ADM program, which emphasizes long-term skill development and creating a love for the game. California is now considered a thriving hockey market and we are very excited about the future growth on the West Coast."
"Since being implemented into our 8U program, the ADM has been a huge success," said Brian Tulik, director of hockey operations for KOHA. "The players' level of skill, passion and love of the game has increased, and seeing the young, smiling faces participating in this great game of ours is priceless. Although there are still a few people that think it can't work, the sports science and research that has gone into the ADM and LTAD (Long-Term Athletic Development) prove otherwise. We look forward to our kids' improved development and overall enjoyment of the game as we continue to implement the ADM throughout all divisions within our program."
"For the past few seasons, we have used the ADM at the Mite level and have seen a tremendous increase in the overall skill development of all players," said Rob Keegan, director of coaching at MYHA. "We look forward to working with USA Hockey and continuing to provide our players with the best possible age-appropriate training which will enable our players to reach their full potential."
"Kettler Capitals Iceplex, home of the Washington Capitals, is excited to be recognized as a USA Hockey Model Association," said Dan Jablonic, hockey director for Kettler Capitals Iceplex. "Implementing this world leading model set out by USA Hockey and the NHL gives our players and coaches the opportunity to improve their skills, have fun and enjoy the sport for a lifetime. We welcome the challenge and look forward to working with USA Hockey to set the example as the best player development program in our region."
NOTES: The ADM, with full support from the NHL, was launched in January of 2009 to provide associations nationwide - for the first time ever - a blueprint for optimal athlete development. The ADM is based on age-appropriate training and uses long-term athlete development principles as its foundation. It is for players of all ages and ability levels, including the most competitive ... The associations announced today join the Arvada (Colo.) Hockey Association, Colorado Springs Hockey Association, New Jersey Bandits and Orchard Lake (Mich.) United in being recognized as USA Hockey Model Association programs.