Summer Training for Nine Year Olds- Repost

I originally posted this last spring but wanted to re-post it as we move into the summer. With the new Facebook and Twitter feeds I think it will get a lot more views.

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


10 Responses to “Summer Training for Nine Year Olds- Repost”

  1. […] Make sure he is playing a different sport in the summer – here is another article by Mike Boyle (I might have sent it to you before) – […]

  2. excited about life Says:

    After 3 or 4 weeks off ice, and playing baseball as always, we rock climbed, jumped on trampoline, swam and dryland training 1 time per week, we added a 8 week skills camp, 1 hour per week. Then when that wrapped up we did a monday tuesday program, 1 hour monday, 2 hours tuesday all skills and skating. He loved every second of it and I was asked by a canadian junior a coach from toronto if my sons birth year was 2000 or 2001. He was beside himself that my boy is only 9 and was dominate in skating, stickhandling and spacial awareness/positional play againt his tier II national boys. He did give me some advice and that was dont talk about the game anymore, just tell him how proud I am of him for effort only and if he had fun. He told me to let him be accountable for his season. Fail or succeed on his own and he ended up making our cities AAA tier I national team as a squirt minor. I guess it worked because today he told me after practice he wants to be captain of his new team. Im sure its not for everyone but for our lifestyle it works. Just no worms for us, neither like fishing lol

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