Summer Training for Nine Year Olds?

Last week I received the question below

Q- I need to put together a summer plan for my 9 yr old hockey team. Obviously I don’t want to look like a crazy person, but it would be something that I think could be good for my own kids as well. Is it too young?

My first reaction was to say “are you crazy”? Instead, slightly  tongue-in-cheek I developed the plan below.

Step 1- play another sport. Lacrosse is highly recommended as it has similar skills to hockey although baseball is fine. This does not mean another sport in addition to hockey. Summer is the off season.

Step 2- Cancel all hockey camp registrations except 1 week. Pick your favorite that has the largest number of your friends attending and go to that one. Ideally look for a camp that only has you on the ice once a day. No need to get blisters. You won’t get better in a week anyway.

Step 3- Cancel any summer hockey leagues you are scheduled for. The best players in the world never play summer hockey and, they never have. The only conceivable exception would be a weekly skill session lasting one hour. Another exception would be “play”. If ice is available and the kids can play, let them. Please remember play means NO COACHES or COACHING.

Step 4- Reread steps 1-3. Acknowledge that the key problem in youth sports is applying adult values to children’s activities.

Step 5- Go to the nearest bike shop. Get nice bikes for everyone in the family

Step 6- Ride the bikes, not in a race. For fun. Maybe put a few hockey cards in the spokes to make noise.

Step 7- Head to Walmart and buy fishing rods.

Step 8- Take the fishing rods to the nearest lake and fish.

Now That is an off-season plan for any nine year old.

Step 9- repeat steps 5-8 while continually rereading steps 1-3

37 Responses to “Summer Training for Nine Year Olds?”

  1. […] Summer Training for Nine Year Olds? March 2010 31 comments 4 […]

  2. mboyle1959 Says:

    I think that would be a waste.

  3. Awesome Mike!!! I love it!

    But could I have them wearing their hockey boot (blades removed of course) all summer to build up thier ankles, I mean elinate their ability to dorsiflex?…jk…


  4. […] few weeks ago Mike Boyle posted a blog and sent out an email about a question he had received regarding summer strength and conditioning […]

  5. mboyle1959 Says:

    Feel free to spread the word.

  6. One of the best pieces I have read and should be spread to parent magazines advertising specialty camps for youth athletics.

  7. Thanks for this great post. Unfortunately, this issue exists in many youth sports, not just hockey. I’ve been preaching this message for years. It’s great to see someone of your stature and experience talk about the importance of letting kids have fun. It’s time adults give the game back to the kids.


  8. Read two posts so far today and you are 2-for-2 right now. Be honest, which intern is writing these? 🙂 They deserve a bonus of some sort. Great advice! Thanks for sharing.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: