USA Hockey hosted a youth player development symposium in Chicago in November. The three-day event focused exclusively on the development of 8U, 10U & 12U players. There were about 100 youth hockey directors, and hockey program leaders from all over the country in attendance. There were lecture presentations as well as on and off-ice hands-on demonstrations by some of the world's leaders in youth athlete and hockey development. Five members of Minnesota Hockey’s coaching leadership group were in attendance.
“The Symposium was extremely positive and the instructors all came away with a better understanding of USA Hockey’s Long Term Athlete Development,” said Mike MacMillan, USA Hockey Coach-in-Chief and head boys hockey coach at Buffalo High School. “It was especially interesting to hear the presenters from the IIHF commend USA Hockey for the major strides we have taken in player development,” continued MacMillan. “And it was especially gratifying to hear that the Minnesota model was continually referred to by so many of the presenters.”
A short video of some of the highlights from the weekend can be viewed here. If you have more time, please view a series of videos that were recorded on many on the symposium’s presentations. One presentation of note was by Don Waddle president of the Atlanta Thrashers and Dr Steve Norris Director of Physiology and Strategic Planning at the Canadian Sports Center in Calgary, CA. Dr. Norris set that stage for the rest of the weekend with his talk on long-term athlete development. His presentation made many realize what changes we need to make to provide better development and opportunities for all those that participate in our sport.
Another recommended presentation is from Brian Burke, the General Manager or the Toronto Maple Leafs and the 2010 USA Olympic team. Brian summed it all up and put in perspective where we are now and where we need to go in the future with our development programs.
“Many of the community-based associations found in Minnesota Hockey have actually been incorporating many of the principals of ADM for quite awhile,” said Terry Evavold, ACE/ADM Coordinator for Minnesota. “Attending the Symposium reinforced my belief that we have something special in Minnesota that all of us should be very proud of!”