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Jr. Sharks Named USA Hockey Model Program

by Staff Writer / San Jose Sharks

SAN JOSE, California - USA Hockey recently announced that the San Jose Jr. Sharks program has been named as a USA Hockey Model Association Program.

The Jr. Sharks are one of just four programs in the United States to receive this national recognition this year, joining the Kalamazoo (MI) Optimist Hockey Association, Kettler Capitals (MD), and Montgomery (MD) Youth Hockey Association.

The program was developed as a means for USA Hockey to forge a closer relationship with highly-motivated youth hockey associations that have the ability to deliver world-class youth hockey programming.

"USA Hockey spends considerable time and effort looking globally for the best youth player development practices to deploy within the Model Association Program," said Kevin McLaughlin, senior director of hockey development for USA Hockey. "We feel that the staff of the San Jose Jr. Sharks and Sharks Ice at San Jose have shown commitment to implement the recommended ADM programming and will be an excellent fit for the program. We look forward to helping youth hockey in the Bay Area continue to grow and develop players."

Click here for more information on the San Jose Jr. Sharks program.

With the designation, the four organizations have committed to follow the American Development Model (ADM) in full at the 8-and-under, 10-and-under and 12-and-under age groups. The ADM is based on age-appropriate training to fully benefit children in their development, regardless of ability level.

As a benefit of their model program designation, the San Jose Jr. Sharks will receive added support from USA Hockey to assist in implementing the ADM throughout their programs, including equipment, signage, and educational materials. Further, they will receive on-going staff support from USA Hockey's national office, including in-depth coaches training that will commence in early September.

"Our mission is to continue to grow the game of hockey in the Bay Area and provide all the tools necessary for our customers to enjoy the game for years to come, said Jon Gustafson, General Manager of Sharks Ice. We are honored to be a driver and a partner with USA Hockey and the ADM program which emphasizes long term skill development and creating a love for the game. California is now considered a thriving hockey market and we are very excited about the future growth on the West Coast."

NOTES: USA Hockey's American Development Model, with full support from the NHL, was launched in January of 2009 to provide associations nationwide - for the first time ever - a blueprint for optimal athlete development. The ADM is based on age-appropriate training and uses long-term athlete development principles as its foundation ... The ADM is for players of all skill levels and helps all participants reach their full potential ... The other Model Association Programs are Arvada (Colo.) Hockey Association, Colorado Springs Hockey Association, New Jersey Bandits and Orchard Lake (Mich.) United.

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