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Player Training & Development


BDHA has adopted USA Hockey's American Development Model (ADM) for optimal player growth and development. The ADM is USA Hockey’s nationwide player-development program for youth hockey associations. It’s based on age-appropriate, age-specific competition and training for boys and girls, beginning with their first steps onto the ice and carrying them through age 18 and beyond. The ADM places a heightened emphasis on skill development and long-term athlete development principles, providing a blueprint for the best possible youth hockey experience. Put simply, it’s doing what’s best for kids.

The American Development Model (ADM) utilizes long term athlete development (LTAD) principles as its framework. LTAD principles can be used as a basis on which to make our existing systems and structures more consistent. Developed by internationally renowned coach educator Istvan Balyi,and adapted to ice hockey by USA Hockey, the principles of LTAD are rooted in successful programs throughout the world.

One of the first things that USA Hockey did when beginning this project was to look closely at the statistics related to player development — specifically the skill development time each player has when in both a practice setting and a game setting. When viewed from the perspective of how kids learn the number of repetitions of specific skills and situations that occur in practice versus a game, we quickly learned where players have a chance to develop the most: practice.

So a model was created that valued practice and proper training above all else. This isn’t to say that the ADM is about taking the fun out of hockey, quite the contrary. Practices can and should be fun, especially if the kids are all playing together and having a blast with a game that they love. The more they play it, the better chance that they’ll love it. And when you combine a passion for the game with increased puck time, kids will start to excel at it. Play, Love, Excel. That’s the ADM.

The ADM, through the utilization of LTAD principles, allows us to integrate training, competition and recovery programming with relation to biological development so that we can fully get at a kid’s potential. To make an athlete out of a kid. To make a hockey player out of an athlete. The ADM offers equal opportunity for recreation and competition — a key to retaining younger players. Click on the links at right and videos below to learn more about the model at each developmental age level.

ADM Quick Links

ADM Parent Handbook

Every parent wants to create a great hockey experience for their child, one that leaves them with wonderful memories and an expanded skill set. Read ADM Parent Handbook to find out how!

USA Hockey

The ADM is a nationwide model for successfully developing American hockey players so ensure every kid will have the same chance to succeed.

Joe Knows Campaign

“Empirical evidence shows that a diversity of activities in early development is an indicator of continued involvement in more intense activities later in life, elite performance and continued participation in sport.”

Moe Knows Campaign

Better athletes make better hockey players. Play multiple sports!

Parent and Coaches Guides to ADM