Benefits of Small Area Skill Development
Updated: Jul 13
When my son started playing ice hockey several years ago, the American Development Model (ADM) of Hockey, approved in 2009, was beginning to be widely implemented. I would sit in the stands and watch my son, then a U10, rotate through several stations and work on specific skills in small areas. Frequently, I would overhear parents around me complaining that their children needed to be simulating games on full ice to be competitive. They did not see the benefits of working on skills while playing games. Now that the ADM has shown proven benefits over the long run, hockey families see the importance of working on specific skills and tailoring training sessions to the needs of individual players. Small ice skill pads have become and excellent training tool to develop these skills and build muscle memory for both skaters and goalies of any age. Station-based training is not just for beginning players, either. According to the USA Hockey website:
As our players get older and bigger, what was previously a large patch of ice becomes smaller. And as the playing surface shrinks, the time players have to react in game situations is reduced. It's important that, during practices, our players are forced to do things quicker and in smaller areas. That way, on gameday, they are in better position to adapt and excel.
Here are links to several sites that provide training using small ice spaces:
I will add additional links as I come across them.
The Black Forest Performance Center offers a 50' x 40' skill pad that is convenient and affordable. Please contact me to see how you can rent ice in order to take your players to the next level.
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