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Bench Briefs

By Todd Valento, 02/28/12, 9:57AM CST


What is ADM?

What is ADM?

For starters, many athletes spend too much time traveling, competing and recovering from competition and not enough time preparing for it. Second, there is too heavy a focus on the result rather than the performance. This attitude leads to long-term failure, as coaches forgo the development of skills to focus on specific game tactics. And third, too many athletes are specializing too early on. An early focus on just one or two sports often leads to injuries, burnout and capping athletic potential. This way of thinking has led to 60% of players dropping out before PeeWees and 20% dropping out after only one season leading to an overall decline in retention since 2000.
Coach Herb Brooks was famous for saying that, “Great moments are born from great opportunities.” Well this is our opportunity, our time to get it right. The American Development Model is a nationwide model for successfully developing American hockey players. It is a tool that will ensure every kid will have the same chance to succeed. By implementing ADM, associations will see an increase in player retention. Again, ADM is a set of guidelines designed specifically to help kids reach their full potential.
The above was taken from USA hockey’s ADM website. ADM (American Development Model) is especially crucial in towns like Owatonna. If we want to compete at a high level, we need to ensure EVERY kid is reaching their POTENTIAL. How do we do this? As an organization we follow the guidelines put in place by USA hockey. The OYHA board is currently working to implement this program at the Squirt/U-10, and PeeWee/U-12 levels. These are our maximum development ages. We need more ice hours, and more skill work in these sessions. Our kids need to be skating, not standing in line waiting for their next turn. I ask every parent of a son or daughter to time the amount of time their child is skating in their practice. No kids have ever gotten better by standing in line. Last year I watched a skills practice and decided to time the amount of time our kids were moving and the amount they were standing in line.   I went upstairs and timed my son the last 45 minutes of the practice. He stood in line for 37 ½ minutes and skated for 7 ½ minutes. 

The ADM promotes skill development in every kid. We are able to break the ice into six stations working on skills to include skating, puck handling, competition, etc. The kids will be moving and improving throughout the practice. It is amazing to see the Park and Rec kids as well as the Squirt kids having so much fun, yet getting better every day. Many parents have stated how much their kids have enjoyed this season and how much they have improved. The kids are excited for practice!    The best thing about ADM is the kids are having FUN, and developing their skills. 

We as an organization have the opportunity and guidelines to lead this program in the right direction. USA Hockey is a great resource and has a simple guideline for us to follow to become a better program from top to bottom. We can not allow the lower level kids of today to be forgotten. With more coaches and more kids on the ice we are getting these kids to reach their potential. I encourage every parent and coach to read about the ADM. Get to know it and understand it. We all struggle with change. But if we all work together and keep in mind what is best for our kids, we will have successful teams. This is a long term commitment to excellence. It will not happen overnight. With the right coaching and direction we will become the program we all know we can.

For more information on the American Development Model, check out the links button on the OYHA website or visit