Do you hear that? It's the sound of skate sharpeners, ice resurfacers, whistles and pipes ringing. Winter is upon us, which means it's our time to shine.
Welcome to hockey season in Minnesota. It is finally here.
Minnesota Hockey began 65 years ago (then called the Minnesota Amateur Hockey Association) with the vision of a few who set the foundation for Minnesota's community-based hockey. That very same community-based model continues to thrive and grow today because of the dedication and efforts of thousands of volunteer coaches, administrators, officials and workers. There are now more than 67,000 members.
To all of you, we say thank you!
Minnesota Hockey has three primary areas of focus:
Player Skill Development
Our community-based structure provides players the best opportunity to reach their full potential and develop a love of the game that will last a lifetime. And for players whose potential is collegiate or professional hockey, our community associations, in tandem with Minnesota Hockey and USA Hockey, provide the most comprehensive development model available. The Coaching Education Program (CEP) ensures that our players receive high-quality coaching. The American Development Model (ADM) and the Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD) model guides our programs using proven scientific rationale. The Reebok High Performance Programs provide unparalleled advanced development and identification opportunities for players ages 15-18. In short, whether your peak potential is the Minnesota Wild or an adult league in Moorhead, we provide a sound plan for you to get there.
Minnesota Hockey numbers have grown for each of the past five years and Minnesota continues to have more hockey players than any other state in the country. Minnesota Hockey is made up of 160 community associations throughout the state. These associations are the drivers of this growth by inviting new families to try hockey. Minnesota Hockey assists the growth efforts of the associations by providing various grant programs and sharing “best practices” for recruiting and retention strategies. You too can get involved by personally inviting a neighbor, friend or co-worker’s child to your association’s introduction to hockey events.
Playing hockey includes some inherent risk. Minimizing that risk as much as possible is an important part of what we do. One example of our leadership in providing a safe playing environment relates to our role in reducing the quantity and severity of concussions. Concussions are an increasing concern in all youth sports. Our coaches and officials will receive training on the prevention, recognition and response to a concussion. Parents are encouraged to also learn more from the Minnesota Hockey concussion guidelines document or at www.CDC.gov/ConcussionInYouthSports.
Again, I want to thank our volunteers who make Minnesota Hockey the premier development model in the country and all the wonderful hockey moms and dads who support their child in this great game.
Best wishes for a great 2012 - 2013 season and have FUN!
See you at the rink,
President, Minnesota Hockey