Newport Hockey Debuts Mite Development Program
- Name: Mite Development Program
- School or league: NCYHA
- Award: New Program Launched for 8 and Under Hockey Players
Newport County Youth Hockey Association (NCYHA) has created a new program for Under 8 Hockey players called The Newport Mite Development Program (MDP). The MDP’s objective is to create an environment that fosters better development for our 5 to 8 year-olds during a critical period of their maturation. Our program will utilize USA Hockey’s ADM (American Developmental Model) which is a scientifically based initiative that focuses on long-term athlete development. Research has also shown that by focusing on developing hockey skills, kids develop confidence, creativity and have more fun playing hockey!
In a cross-ice and station-based environment, a player’s activity level skyrockets which results in better skills development and love of the game. Drills are designed to focus on multiple skills and situations, increasing time with the puck and situational repetition. The goalies are more involved in the drills because they get more shots to stop. It’s been proven that kids who begin their hockey training in this environment develop a better and enjoy the game more.
NCYHA President Kevin Sullivan has been a driving force behind the change. Sullivan underlines his commitment stating “We are creating an environment that does a better job of developing hockey players without asking families to travel all over the state to play hockey. We don’t believe any kid ever got better at hockey by spending time in the car.”
USA Hockey has been a big supporter of this change across the country and has specifically supported the NCHYA change by providing many tools, coaching instructions and inspiration to have Newport embrace what USA Hockey calls “Red, White and Blue Hockey.” Roger Grillo, area director for USA Hockey adds “I’ve spoken to the NCYHA on numerous occasions as well as run a few practices for them last season. I’m thrilled with their move in their Mite program and expect that many other RI programs will follow their lead.”
The MDP starts on Oct 13 and runs through the first week in March. There will be between 8-10 evenly matched teams and kids will skate three times per week at St George’s Rink in Middletown. Registration for the program is open now at www.ncyha.org. People interested in finding out more details should visit the MDP link on www.ncyha.org or contact program director Scot West at email@example.com.