MITES 6U & 8U
Birth year 2014 - 2017
2022/2023 LEAGUE PLAY OPTIONS
House League (YETI) - GHA is proud to partner with Flathead Valley Hockey Association (FVHA) to provide local hockey opportunities through our Yeti House League program. Yeti League is currently offered and included in the base option for programs at the 6U/8U/10U age levels. Players participate in all team practices and play games locally in Kalispell and Whitefish. Games will be played at Woodland Ice Rink in Kalispell on Friday nights, or will be played as a jamboree format across several weekends throughout the playing season. This season there will be only one session with two levels for YETI (season long).
Local tournament @ Stumptown Ice Den plus YETI League games (minimum of 14 games, including Yeti League).
Commitment to 2-3 out of town tournaments (additional 8-12 games).
Commitment to 6 out of town tournaments (additional 24 games).
GLACIER HOCKEY MITES PHILOSOPHY
From the coaches and Board members of the GHA, we are thrilled to welcome you to the upcoming hockey season. This letter is to introduce the coaches, our philosophies and approach to the game. This should provide a framework to guide expectations on the team and individual development. At the simplest, hockey should be fun for all involved.
Kids play sports to have fun and playing with friends adds to the enjoyment. Team sports like ice hockey, provide kids with the physical activity and challenges that they enjoy and a ready-made group of new friends to play with. We will strive to develop a team atmosphere, playing together and working towards a common goal. Development of the individual hockey player can and will occur simultaneous with team development.
GHA is part of USA Hockey and each team will have all coaches certified for that age level. All players must be members of USA Hockey in order to practice or play games. We will follow the USA Hockey ADM model. Improving Agility, Balance and Coordination (ABC) among all youth hockey players is a main goal for the American Development Model.
Following the ADM set by USA hockey, we will begin the season with cross ice games. Cross ice games are important for young players for many reasons. Children between the ages of 7 and 9 years old are in the first of two optimal windows for development of athletic speed. This first window is primarily one in which young athletes can develop quickness. Quickness is exemplified by short-burst, multi-directional speed. This is one reason why the cross-ice playing environment is so vitally important for development in the 8U mite/novice age category. Hockey sense or hockey instincts are what give players the ability to read and anticipate the play. The best players are the ones with the best hockey sense and just like any other skill, it can be taught. The key is to place kids in live action situations and small area games in practice. The reason the 5v5 full ice game is not a great teacher for young kids is due to a lack of timely repetition and feedback.
In the cross-ice game, players stop, start and change direction far more often than they do in the full-ice game. At this stage, children benefit exponentially from using key skating skills that promote quickness. So the more of these stops, starts and quick changes of direction we give our kids in this stage, the better it is for their long-term development. Hockey is a sport that places a high value on quickness, especially with our older players. Between the ages of 7 and 9 is the time to take advantage of each child’s natural growth pattern to help them improve their quickness for the long run. Full ice game experience will occur later in the season. Extensive information regarding the ADM, and its success, can be found at the USA Hockey website.
EXPECTATION OF COACHES:
The primary goal of our coaches is to help players create positive experiences on and off the ice. We want all players to learn to strive to play to the best of their abilities. We will emphasize sportsmanship in all aspects of the game – courtesy, respect and effort will be expected of all coaches, players and parents. This is expected in all practices, games and any situation in which the GHA is represented. Coaches coach, players play, referees ref and parents cheer.
Coaches will be positive role models for the children both on and off the ice. They will treat all players regardless of skill level as equals. Ice time will be distributed evenly to all players given the child attends practice regularly. Coaches will focus on developing all players and recognize that all children develop at different rates. They will follow the belief of team first, individual second. They will make hockey fun for all!
PLAYER & PARENT EXPECTATIONS
Ice time is limited. We expect that players and coaches are punctual and ready to practice on time. During practice we will focus on skating, passing, shooting and positioning. We will often share the ice during practice with other teams.
Advanced players will be expected to assist others for the benefit of the team. Beginning players will give their best effort at all times to improve. Prior to 13 years of age, all USA Hockey players compete under body-contact rules, but it's important to understand that no-check hockey doesn’t mean no contact.
Playing time in games will be divided equally among all players present given that the child attends practice on a regular basis. If your child is ill and will not be able to attend practice, please inform the coaching staff. We will practice twice a week and have many weekend games. Travel to tournaments will include many weekends throughout the season. Commitment to travel games in advance is required for team planning.
In some tournament situations, we will be in very tight games. During the last minutes of the game, the coaches have full discretion on playing time. Coaches may play the strongest/more experienced players in the final moments of tight games.
We require that parental concerns allow 24 hours of thought prior to bringing issues to the coaches. If the coach is unable to resolve the issue to your satisfaction, please contact the GHA board. Major penalties and misconduct on and off the ice will be addressed by coaches and, if necessary, the GHA Board.
We hope you find this information useful as we all get ready for the greatest of seasons – Hockey season. It should be fun and exciting for us all.