We have A LOT of exciting new changes for this year, the biggest one being that since we have moved the skating treadmill over to the Cube, we NO LONGER NEED TO WORRY ABOUT MULTiPLE PICK-UP AND DROP-OFF POINTS. YAY!!!! Everyone will be able to drop off and pick up their skaters at the Cube. Whew!!! I’m sure the players will be sad to know that they don’t get to jog back and forth anymore, but tell them not to worry, we’ll still have plenty of opportunities to run! But what about the stickhandling and dry-land balance work? No worries there either, we will have the ability to work on those things at the Cube.

The other BIG change is that we will be running double on-ice sessions on Mondays. We’ve always wished for more ice time for the players, and now that we don’t have to “commute” over to Advantage Sports, the schedule is open for more ice time. The Monday Music Skate will remain, and in addition we will have a 2nd hour of ice for small group “lessons” where we will be able to offer the players more individual help with specific skill areas. We are VERY excited about this! It will be so great to have a better student to coach ratio for one of our sessions.

We also realize that many of you have participated in Hockey U for a number of years, and we are always working hard to keep the program “fresh” and interesting. This summer, the High School and Bantam age players will be participating in a boxing workout at Title Boxing, just down the street from the Cube. So the older players will still get to jog! And the PeeWee and Squirt II players will participate in an athleticism workout at AirTime Trampoline (we are working on providing transportation to and from). With kids these days sitting more and moving less, the need for cross-training is more important than ever. To be an elite athlete, it takes a lot of training in a variety of areas to become successful. Just showing up to hockey practice won’t make you a great player!

Our last BIG change is in how we evaluate Hockey U participants. For the last 8 years, we have attempted to get a base testing score (on-ice and off) on Orientation Sunday. Because there are so many players involved in other activities that time of year (LAX tournaments, baseball, softball, recitals, graduations, etc), we have found the attendance on that Sunday to be diminishing each year. It is pretty difficult to try and do make-up testing during the first 2 weeks. So this year WE WILL TEST THE PLAYERS ON THE FIRST DAY ONLY. So that’s Monday June 3rd for PeeWee, Bantam, and High School; and Tuesday June 4th for Squirts and Mites. We hope that everyone can make their schedules work such that you can attend on your first day. In addition, we will only be doing the on-ice testing. The off-ice testing is extremely time-consuming, to the point of not being able to properly administer the tests, or finish the testing for all of the players. We strongly believe in the old adage of doing things right or not doing them at all. For us, the off-ice testing has never had the quality or consistency that we feel it should have.

Last but not least, with 24+ players in each group, the number of times the kids get to do the skating treadmill is 1x every 2 weeks or so. Many of you have expressed a desire to be able to get on the skating treadmill more often. So this year every player will get a free 5-pack of sessions put into their online account! The sessions will be good for the whole summer, so in addition to your Hockey U treadmill skates, you can use the 5-pack to come in on any other days or times that work for you. We know the skating treadmill really produces great results, and we want to make sure that the Hockey U program provides you with every opportunity to improve your skating skills!!!

All for now, we wish you continued success with your current hockey season, and don’t forget that registration for the 2019 Hockey U program opens on February 1st!!!!

Carrie and Kristina