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Junior Sharks Host USA Hockey Model Association

by Staff Writer / San Jose Sharks

- Staff from USA Hockey will be in California to host a series of on-ice youth hockey practices, in addition to off-ice coaching and parent forums, as part of a USA Hockey Model Association event with the San Jose Junior Sharks from September 30 to October 2, 2014.

The on-ice sessions, to be held in San Jose and Oakland, will focus on age-appropriate training methods as part of USA Hockey's American Development Model. ADM regional managers Michele Amidon, Ty Hennes, Matt Herr and Bob Mancini will help lead the sessions in cooperation with the Junior Sharks' staff.

Off the ice, USA Hockey representatives will explore the ADM and its skill-development emphasis with coaches, administrators and parents, covering a range of topics from practice planning to competition schedules to sport science and long-term athlete development principles.

"As an organization, we're skill development-focused, and this event will help us take that commitment to an even higher level," said Robert Savoie, Sharks Ice Hockey Director. "We're excited to host the staff from USA Hockey; we're looking forward to some terrific on-ice practices for our players; and we're excited for our parents to have an opportunity to learn about how the ADM benefits their kids."

Sharks Ice at San Jose, the nation's largest ice skating facility under one roof west of the Mississippi River, has the nation's biggest adult ice hockey program with over 4,900 participants. In addition, the facility accounts for 28% of all USA Hockey registered players in the state of California and boasts a total of 28 teams in its Junior Sharks program, a program that is widely recognized as one of the top competitive clubs in the entire country.

Because of its commitment to age-appropriate, age-specific skill development throughout the 8-and-Under (mite), 10-and-Under (squirt) and 12-and-Under (peewee) age classifications, the Junior Sharks were designated as a USA Hockey Model Association in June 2013. At the time, it was the first Model Association in California, and one of only four associations nationwide to receive the honor. Today, the number of USA Hockey Model Associations has grown to 17, as more and more American youth hockey associations embrace an emphasis on skill development and age-appropriate training methods.

"Our staff is excited to visit the Bay Area and spread the word about age-appropriate skill development," said USA Hockey's ADM Technical Director Ken Martel, a California native. "The Junior Sharks program has truly been a model throughout the state and the nation. We're proud to partner with them in growing the game and providing the best possible competition and training environment for players."

NOTES: USA Hockey's American Development Model, with full support from the NHL, was launched in January 2009 to provide associations nationwide with a blueprint for optimal athlete development. The ADM is based on age-appropriate training and it uses long-term athlete development principles as its foundation ... The ADM is for players of all skill levels and helps every participant reach his or her full potential through an emphasis on skill development and fun.
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