Interesting article on junior development

RTfarty

Active Member
#2
More ice time, better competition, and superior coaching are why kids go abroad.

In the UK, junior teams play 15 to 20 games a season over 8 months, 50% of which end up being cricket scores. Compare this with Europe/North America where they're playing 1-2 competitive games a week and we're already heavily on the back foot. Many of the junior coaches throughout the UK are, to be very critical, enthusiasts, who haven't played the game to a decent standard (if any) and aren't supported enough in terms of their own development. Certainly not the case for all; there are many talented coaches doing a fantastic job and you only need to look at the prolific success of several junior clubs through the decades, but there are not enough of the ex-professionals currently residing in this country, who could offer so much, involved with the junior clubs.

It needs heavy financial investment and, in my opinion, a country-wide development program in place, overseen by people who know what they're doing; paid positions for experienced players/coaches to lead the development, more ice-time/game-time for teams and more academies like Xtreme Edges and Hendrikx Hockey so kids have access to elite level skills development. But until these things can be facilitated, we'll never be able to offer what clubs can abroad and only a very small minority will break out into the Elite League and beyond.
 

moggy#9

Well-Known Member
Thread starter #3
More ice time, better competition, and superior coaching are why kids go abroad.

In the UK, junior teams play 15 to 20 games a season over 8 months, 50% of which end up being cricket scores. Compare this with Europe/North America where they're playing 1-2 competitive games a week and we're already heavily on the back foot. Many of the junior coaches throughout the UK are, to be very critical, enthusiasts, who haven't played the game to a decent standard (if any) and aren't supported enough in terms of their own development. Certainly not the case for all; there are many talented coaches doing a fantastic job and you only need to look at the prolific success of several junior clubs through the decades, but there are not enough of the ex-professionals currently residing in this country, who could offer so much, involved with the junior clubs.

It needs heavy financial investment and, in my opinion, a country-wide development program in place, overseen by people who know what they're doing; paid positions for experienced players/coaches to lead the development, more ice-time/game-time for teams and more academies like Xtreme Edges and Hendrikx Hockey so kids have access to elite level skills development. But until these things can be facilitated, we'll never be able to offer what clubs can abroad and only a very small minority will break out into the Elite League and beyond.
Thanks. A fascinating read. I guess that we're luck in Cardiff to have the second ice pad, but you're right immersion in the sport seems vital.
 

OJLloyd

Active Member
#4
I think relying on the clubs to develop youngsters is gifting them a poisoned chalice.

The league, and fan bases, do not allow for losses for the purposes of development. So the only option is to have enough money to develop them outside of the first team. Junior teams, feeder teams etc cost money, money that most clubs can ill afford to spend.

of course the other issue is that most people will only pay to watch the best team they can. Not that many people are invested in the game at international level, and so don’t really think much of development.

As RT says, a centralised development is one of two choices, the other being throwing huge sums of cash at clubs.
 

Leighton

Active Member
#6
The EIHA system, with the best of intentions, prevents good people from getting (and staying) involved. I've lost count of the number of meetings i sat in where the senior devils wanted to get involved with the juniors but couldnt because they'd need at least level 1 coaching to be anything more than a puck pusher. there's also availability of ice (or lack of), very small number of competitive games, lack of competition, lack of coaches which leads to a lack of teams, lack of practise, teams with a wide range of ability levels etc... there's a long list. If any club is doing it right its Sheffield and probably Manchester too.

also, as much as i hate to say it, by and large kids dont have to compete for a spot.

my 15 year old is currently playing AAA and high school hockey in the US. His AAA coach was assistant coach for the swamp rabbits and his HS coach has not long retired after 13 years in the NHL. He's on ice for practice a minimum of 8 hours a week and he's played about 25 games since August. that would be a year and a half of competitive UK hockey in two months.

That level of coaching, ice time and immersion is impossible right now in the UK.

not to to mention hockey is crazy expensive and its incredibly expensive to develop because you got to go outside the club system to camps etc etc

There are good people in Cardiff inside and outside the Junior system and there’s nothing wrong with the Junior system. They’re doing the best with what they’ve got.
 
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moggy#9

Well-Known Member
Thread starter #7
From what I can recall when I did it, the level 1 coaching cert was as lot about child protection stuff. Surely for highly skilled individuals there should be some sort of background check to suffice.
 

Leighton

Active Member
#8
From what I can recall when I did it, the level 1 coaching cert was as lot about child protection stuff. Surely for highly skilled individuals there should be some sort of background check to suffice.
you’re correct. It’s a pathway to L2 which is what every club needs and the eiha don’t give them out unfortunately. Although, with all the changes there of late maybe there’ll be a move to common sense. Mcdavid could come to Britain and he couldn’t coach.
 

dave

Active Member
#9
They used to give L2's if you could you played in a top league (ISL and BNL) or if you were a senior official, but stopped that a while back and therefore much harder to get into coaching past puck pushing.
 

Leighton

Active Member
#13
Out of curiosity, what was your boy's path from Cardiff juniors to AAA like? How did it all come about?
Dont want to make a long boring post but....

We made a decision to move to Canada and got on a plane in December 2019. Didnt have any understanding of the Canadian system at the time (its VERY different to the UK) and didnt have much of an expectation with no-where to play and moving so late in the season. Canada (and the US) has winter hockey that runs september to march then the team essentially disbands and spring hockey starts (its not like the UK where you train and play with the same team year round) he went to an ID skate for a spring team in early january and the coach spoke to me after the tryout and asked him to join the winter team.

so he got lucky and got on a team for the remainder of the season. THey called themselves a AAA team but looking back it was AA. Covid then ended hockey within a week of the end of the season and like everyone else we sat in the house until June/July when everything came back with a vengeance and he was on ice 10 hours a week. tried out for a team, got cut which was devastating, then got asked to join a different team in Calgary because the coach knew him from the summer hockey. They managed 9 games before covid ended the season.

we decided after 18 months Canada wasnt for us (its too damn cold) so we moved to California. He tried out for a AAA team here and made the cut. AAA obvs being the highest level of youth hockey in North America.

I wont lie, at times its been tough and a lot of hard work. there has been lots of ups and a more than a few downs, set backs and disappointments but you keep going. Goes without saying the standard is high in Canada and from what i've seen so far here in the US, its even higher (and thats something i never expected) he's decent but there are kids who are phenominal, there's a guy on his team from the Ukrane who is another level totally. his coaches are unreal, he pretty much lives on ice and he's pushed hard, but the two countries are totally set up for hockey with well over a million youth players between them.
 
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RTfarty

Active Member
#14
Dont want to make a long boring post but....

We made a decision to move to Canada and got on a plane in December 2019. Didnt have any understanding of the Canadian system at the time (its VERY different to the UK) and didnt have much of an expectation with no-where to play and moving so late in the season. Canada (and the US) has winter hockey that runs september to march then the team essentially disbands and spring hockey starts (its not like the UK where you train and play with the same team year round) he went to an ID skate for a spring team in early january and the coach spoke to me after the tryout and asked him to join the winter team.

so he got lucky and got on a team for the remainder of the season. THey called themselves a AAA team but looking back it was AA. Covid then ended hockey within a week of the end of the season and like everyone else we sat in the house until June/July when everything came back with a vengeance and he was on ice 10 hours a week. tried out for a team, got cut which was devastating, then got asked to join a different team in Calgary because the coach knew him from the summer hockey. They managed 9 games before covid ended the season.

we decided after 18 months Canada wasnt for us (its too damn cold) so we moved to California. He tried out for a AAA team here and made the cut. AAA obvs being the highest level of youth hockey in North America.

I wont lie, at times its been tough and a lot of hard work. there has been lots of ups and a more than a few downs, set backs and disappointments but you keep going. Goes without saying the standard is high in Canada and from what i've seen so far here in the US, its even higher (and thats something i never expected) he's decent but there are kids who are phenominal, there's a guy on his team from the Ukrane who is another level totally. his coaches are unreal, he pretty much lives on ice and he's pushed hard, but the two countries are totally set up for hockey with well over a million youth players between them.
Fantastic. To go from playing junior hockey in the UK to a AAA team in the US system is an incredible achievement and not one that many have ever achieved. It takes a very driven individual to pick themselves up after being cut and go again, all credit to him. Sounds like he is on a great path and for him to be in that system, on the ice every day, surrounded by so much experience and talent.. sky's the limit!

Look forward to following his progress and hope you're all enjoying the new surroundings.
 
#15
Dont want to make a long boring post but....

We made a decision to move to Canada and got on a plane in December 2019. Didnt have any understanding of the Canadian system at the time (its VERY different to the UK) and didnt have much of an expectation with no-where to play and moving so late in the season. Canada (and the US) has winter hockey that runs september to march then the team essentially disbands and spring hockey starts (its not like the UK where you train and play with the same team year round) he went to an ID skate for a spring team in early january and the coach spoke to me after the tryout and asked him to join the winter team.

so he got lucky and got on a team for the remainder of the season. THey called themselves a AAA team but looking back it was AA. Covid then ended hockey within a week of the end of the season and like everyone else we sat in the house until June/July when everything came back with a vengeance and he was on ice 10 hours a week. tried out for a team, got cut which was devastating, then got asked to join a different team in Calgary because the coach knew him from the summer hockey. They managed 9 games before covid ended the season.

we decided after 18 months Canada wasnt for us (its too damn cold) so we moved to California. He tried out for a AAA team here and made the cut. AAA obvs being the highest level of youth hockey in North America.

I wont lie, at times its been tough and a lot of hard work. there has been lots of ups and a more than a few downs, set backs and disappointments but you keep going. Goes without saying the standard is high in Canada and from what i've seen so far here in the US, its even higher (and thats something i never expected) he's decent but there are kids who are phenominal, there's a guy on his team from the Ukrane who is another level totally. his coaches are unreal, he pretty much lives on ice and he's pushed hard, but the two countries are totally set up for hockey with well over a million youth players between them.
I have to say I fully admire your dedication
Dont want to make a long boring post but....

We made a decision to move to Canada and got on a plane in December 2019. Didnt have any understanding of the Canadian system at the time (its VERY different to the UK) and didnt have much of an expectation with no-where to play and moving so late in the season. Canada (and the US) has winter hockey that runs september to march then the team essentially disbands and spring hockey starts (its not like the UK where you train and play with the same team year round) he went to an ID skate for a spring team in early january and the coach spoke to me after the tryout and asked him to join the winter team.

so he got lucky and got on a team for the remainder of the season. THey called themselves a AAA team but looking back it was AA. Covid then ended hockey within a week of the end of the season and like everyone else we sat in the house until June/July when everything came back with a vengeance and he was on ice 10 hours a week. tried out for a team, got cut which was devastating, then got asked to join a different team in Calgary because the coach knew him from the summer hockey. They managed 9 games before covid ended the season.

we decided after 18 months Canada wasnt for us (its too damn cold) so we moved to California. He tried out for a AAA team here and made the cut. AAA obvs being the highest level of youth hockey in North America.

I wont lie, at times its been tough and a lot of hard work. there has been lots of ups and a more than a few downs, set backs and disappointments but you keep going. Goes without saying the standard is high in Canada and from what i've seen so far here in the US, its even higher (and thats something i never expected) he's decent but there are kids who are phenominal, there's a guy on his team from the Ukrane who is another level totally. his coaches are unreal, he pretty much lives on ice and he's pushed hard, but the two countries are totally set up for hockey with well over a million youth players between them.
Credit to you and your family for upping sticks and making the sacrifices to enable your lad the best chance to better himself in the hockey world.
As much as I love Cardiff though, maybe California is not that much of a sacrifice now!!!!
 
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