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MThockeydad

Starting an Adult Beginner League: Politics

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New thread to replace the one I started a month ago when the server crashed. I have a good idea of what to do for a skills progression, my thread was started to discuss how to implement an adult beginner league in an association dedicated to youth hockey. A concern that was also passed on to me was that my proposed "D-League" moniker might not have sounded serious enough to some.

I got some fantastic advice including, "Parents who play hockey have kids who play hockey," and "Call it a Rookie league, not 'D-League' or beginner league."

I have a meeting tonight with the prior association president who gave me the initial go-ahead to get this rolling, and the current association president who had passed along some of the concerns others had noted.

Wish me luck!

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Just call it Adult League.

Best of luck to you keeping it fun. We have a low level league and no matter how hard a few of us try there is no stopping the idiots from acting like it's the Conference finals.

It's amazing to me how competitive and ridiculous adults that are new to the sport can be where as guys that have played for a while can really just enjoy it and have some laughs. Not everybody that is new to the sport is like that but many of them take it WAY too seriously.

I sincerely hope you can get this thing started because it is a blessing to be able to talk to your kids about your games and one day have them play with you.

Best of luck to you bud!

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Good luck. Our league is just called C League with the other two levels dubbed A and B. Pretty easy. :)

I skipped some of the detail I had put into the previous thread. Sorry I left a lot out--I posted this as an update for the people who saw that thread.

We also have the same A-B-C. C is generally the beginner league around here, but most "c-leaguers" have been playing for 5-6 years and are pretty good. Intimidating enough for the rank beginners that they don't want to venture out. My intention here is a feeder for the actual C league. Myself and two other guys jumped headfirst into c-league this season, but it was not without a steep learning curve. The great news is that adult hockey is continuing to grow.

This would be more of a skills clinic than an actual league.

I got good feedback last night and am presenting it to the association board on Tuesday night.

Edited by MThockeydad

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"Farm Team"? :laugh: No, I think "Rookie League" or "Novice League" is on the right track. There's an outfit around here that calls themselves the Rookie Hockey League, they seem to do alright.

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This would be more of a skills clinic than an actual league.

I would call it something like a "program" and not a league so that people have a better idea what it is all about

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At the rink I play in they break each of the A B and C leagues into gold and silver divisions. C silver is a step above the rec league, basically guys that are still new to the game but want a little more competition. C gold is for the guys that are better C league guys, but aren't quite B silver players.

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The rink I play at has a Sunday C, D. and Novice league. They have a poorly named Elite League on Tuesday that has an upper, middle and lower division. It used to be called Tuesday Rec League and some guys wouldn't play in it. So they did a 180 and dubbed it the Elite League, the only problem is the bottom division is a solid D league at best. There is also a beginner league that has a 45 min. lesson/practice, that is followed by a 45 min. scrimmage.

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Board meeting is the week after next. Wish me luck!

I would call it something like a "program" and not a league so that people have a better idea what it is all about

Duh. I didn't want to call it just "skills" or "clinic" or "skills clinic" and it's not competitive for it to be actually called a "league" or "team".

Didn't you also suggest "Rookie"?

Adult Rookie Program. I like it.

What do I owe you? :)

:lol:

There is also a beginner league that has a 45 min. lesson/practice, that is followed by a 45 min. scrimmage.

That's exactly what we'll be doing.

Some people likely won't come if it's just scrimmages because they can't skate yet. Some people are competitive enough they probably won't come if it's just skills...so I want to do both. Learn a skill and apply it in a game-like setting.

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I remember in the initial thread, you said the rink manager (or whoever) said something along the lines of "we don't want to be known as the rink with the D league." That sounds like some misplaced pride, as possibly a loss of vision as to what the youth association is about. (Except that from a lot of horror stories I've heard from people, youth hockey associations are all about misplaced pride and loss of perspective.)

Whatever the name ends up being, being able to differentiate yourself is always a positive. There's a lot to be said for marketing adult leagues/programs as being more friendly and welcoming to everyone, particularly if you can impress that upon players and refs and make it a reality. If the other rink/association wants to have the A league for adults who were coached a lot and are really talented, that's fine, they can have that. There's no shame at all in being the rink/association that teaches adults, particularly because teaching skills and development, even for adults, fits the mission of a youth hockey association. Plus, if you're offering something that no one else in the area is, you can charge a little more, which can go to funding the youth program. I would also guess (with absolutely zero evidence and knowledge about your area) that there is more growth and income potential in catering to beginner adults than people who have played a long time.

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I remember in the initial thread, you said the rink manager (or whoever) said something along the lines of "we don't want to be known as the rink with the D league." That sounds like some misplaced pride, as possibly a loss of vision as to what the youth association is about. (Except that from a lot of horror stories I've heard from people, youth hockey associations are all about misplaced pride and loss of perspective.)

Things like that happen way too frequently when you have parents and players running a non-profit organization that operates a rink. In far too many cases, they are not thinking about the best business practices.

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Whatever the name ends up being, being able to differentiate yourself is always a positive. There's a lot to be said for marketing adult leagues/programs as being more friendly and welcoming to everyone, particularly if you can impress that upon players and refs and make it a reality. If the other rink/association wants to have the A league for adults who were coached a lot and are really talented, that's fine, they can have that. There's no shame at all in being the rink/association that teaches adults, particularly because teaching skills and development, even for adults, fits the mission of a youth hockey association. Plus, if you're offering something that no one else in the area is, you can charge a little more, which can go to funding the youth program. I would also guess (with absolutely zero evidence and knowledge about your area) that there is more growth and income potential in catering to beginner adults than people who have played a long time.

Exactly. It's a little strange to hear that attitude when that attitude isn't really prevalent at the youth level. The coaches have pretty much all embraced ADM and they push the kids for development, not just zeroing in on the one kid who MIGHT get a crack at a Junior team. Like anyone from MT is going to the NHL. :lol: Fun, teamwork, and camaraderie are all stressed over winning.

That and rinks are expensive. The people who are already in hockey have already given to the local non-profit rinks. New people are fresh pockets. :)

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Prior legwork all paid off. Thanks to everyone for the great suggestions.

I sat through a 3-hour board meeting last night and it got unanimous approval with only 30sec of discussion.

And we might even luck out and get ice time at 8:30pm on Wednesday nights. How cool is that for adult hockey?!

Just sent out emails to all my beginners to start buying their gear and have it all before the end of October.

Edited by MThockeydad
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Congrats, great to see all your hard work pay off. The only thing to keep in mind is that you just got the easy part done, the hard part starts now.

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I'm stoked. I already wrote up a syllabus so I don't have to try to figure out what to teach when.

I also plan to ask the youth coaches to guest coach one night each.

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I've lurked awhile before joining & this particular topic made me take the plunge. This is my first post here on MSH. I just turned 40 in April and decided I wanted to learn how to play hockey. Short story long- I began checking local rinks to see if they offered a "Adult beginner clinic." One of the 4 places here did have a clinic for June (once a week); however, its now over and I feel like I would like to attend more. I feel like it was more of a filler class between private rentals and I didn't know if class was going to happen till the night/ day of. I've went and watched some Drop-in and sticks & pucks nights. They are dominated by young guys that are super fast & competent players, so its a little intimidating. My $.02, is the syllabus is awesome cause its going to let people know the duration/ techniques of what they are paying for. I would love to have a league that is all adult and similar level of playing.

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Haha, it sounds like I'm just a year ahead of you in hockey and a year behind you in age.

Good for you for starting, Dirtheadz.

I started a year ago and lurked here most of last summer before joining.

There were supposed to be adult skills clinics that only happened sporadically for me, too; otherwise it was a lot of drop-in.

Is there any chance there are lower level drop-in sessions in your area? I went to the C drop-in and while it was a lot faster play than I was capable of, I would have been completely lost in A or B. Are the other skaters at least cool, or do they merely tolerate you? In my case, they were really good, but they gave me time and space and only took the puck if I lost it myself. I saw several other people join in the past year and we similarly gave them space.

Here's my syllabus--I'd value your input...and if you don't feel like you have any input, use it to self-teach yourself. There are a TON of YouTube videos you can watch. I really like the HowToHockey and M2 Hockey videos.

Meet at 9:15pm for chalk talk

On ice at 10:00

WEEK 1 - Nov 5

Chalk talk: Getting dressed

Learn to skate

Edges

Stopping

Turning

Easy scrimmage 15min

Homework: Go skating!

WEEK 2 - Dec 12

Chalk talk: Gear selection

Basic skating technique

C-cuts

Stopping

Turning

4 on 4 half ice 20min

Homework: Go skating!

WEEK 3 - Nov 19

Chalk talk: Skate blades, sharpening, radiuses, profiles

Skating technique

Stopping with feet together

Introduce Backwards skating

Scrimmage 20min

Homework: Go skating!

WEEK 4 Thanksgiving

Basic skating - review

WEEK 5 – Dec 3

Chalk talk: Skating drills

Skating technique-stride

Introduce quick steps/crossovers/movement drill

Stopping with feet together

Backwards skating, c-cuts

4 on 4 20min

Homework: Try pond hockey or find a frozen lake

WEEK 6 - Dec 10

Chalk talk: Watch pivot videos

Forward to Backwards transitions -pivots and mohawks

Power Turns

Passing

Scrimmage 30min

Homework: Go to drop-in!

WEEK 7 – Dec 17

Chalk talk: Watch speed skating videos

Forward Crossovers

Power Turns

Stickhandling

4 on 4 30min

Homework: Pond Hockey!

WEEK 8 Christmas Eve - No Adult Beginner night

Go skating, hit the pond

WEEK 9 New Year's Eve – Dec 31

Optional Scrimmage

Homework: Watch the Winter Classic, volunteer at U19 Jamboree

WEEK 10 - Jan 7

Chalk talk: Offsides

Forward Crossovers

Offside drills

Passing

Scrimmage 30min

Homework: Go to drop-in

WEEK 11 – Jan 14

Chalk talk: Positions

Mohawks

Stickhandling

Scrimmage 30min

Homework: Drop-in

WEEK 12 – Jan 28

Chalk talk: Drop-in ethics

Backward Crossovers

Passing

Scrimmage 30min

Homework: Go to drop-in! Brew fest!

WEEK 13 – Feb 4

Chalk talk: Watch Mohawk videos

Mohawks

Stickhandling

Scrimmage 30min

Homework: Go to drop-in!

WEEK 14 – Feb 11

Chalk talk: Penalties

Power skating

Passing

Scrimmage 30min

Homework: Go to drop-in!

WEEK 15 - Feb 18

Chalk talk: 3-D Hockey

Team drills

Passing

Scrimmage 40min

Homework: Go to drop-in!

WEEK 16 – Feb 25

Chalk talk: Defensive tips and tricks

Team drills

Scrimmage 40min

Homework: Go to drop-in!

WEEK 17 – Mar 4

Chalk talk: Offense tips and tricks

Team drills

Passing

Scrimmage 40min

Homework: Go to drop-in!

WEEK 18 - Mar 11 - Final

Chalk talk: Plan 2015-16

Scrimmage 60min

Homework: Go to drop-in!

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I wouldn't do the profiling or speed skating "chalk talk" sessions so early, if at all. The speed skating stride is so different from a good hockey posture that I think it would do a lot more harm than good and they probably shouldn't start fiddling with things like profiles until they are competent skaters.

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The clinic I was in wasn't structured. We had some goalies that wanted ice time in 2 of the sessions, which was a blast. We did a lot of puck dribbling/ control drills. Edge work (that's what I assume it would be called); ie, skating and turning on one skate, jumping the lines. 2 & 3 person passing with a couple shots on net. We worked on dropping to one knee (trying to stand up) and switching knees, Large C's & Towing backwards with joined sticks and a partner. We also did a couple half court scrimmages and this passing drill around the center ice with all of us surrounding the circle with 1 & multiple pucks. It was fun and I felt comfortable.... wish it continued. I've decided Im going to start hitting up the sticks & pucks nights. It is supposed to be practice unlike a "drop in" (right?). I feel that more adults would be willing to participate if they knew that it is a true adult beginner clinic. I think its great your establishing this and wish I was could participate.

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Sounds like you got a lot of "power skating" type drills. They're awesome--work on those techniques on your own time (open skate) and focus on stick handling during stick and puck time.

I wouldn't do the profiling or speed skating "chalk talk" sessions so early, if at all. The speed skating stride is so different from a good hockey posture that I think it would do a lot more harm than good and they probably shouldn't start fiddling with things like profiles until they are competent skaters.

Thanks.

Makes a ton of sense about profiling.

I was thinking of speed skating because they do so many forward crossovers...but I could just as easily find forward crossover-specific videos on YouTube.

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I was thinking of speed skating because they do so many forward crossovers...but I could just as easily find forward crossover-specific videos on YouTube.

From that angle it's fine, just make sure they aren't trying to get so much bend at the waist. With your instruction, plan on something like 50% old and 50% new information and drills. Repetition leads to confidence and improvement. Introducing all new drills every session leads to a lot of time "wasted" on instructions and demonstrations.

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With your instruction, plan on something like 50% old and 50% new information and drills. Repetition leads to confidence and improvement. Introducing all new drills every session leads to a lot of time "wasted" on instructions and demonstrations.

Yikes. Maybe I'm too optimistic. We have 1-1.5hr/week.

I based that on all the things I learned my first year...but neglected to consider that I spent a LOT of time at open skates and on the pond.

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To echo what Chad said: Make sure just as much emphasis is placed on reviewing and practicing what is learned in previous weeks, if not more. It does no good to continue to learn more if the basics aren't on point.

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