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6U (formerly Atoms)

To Register for the 6U Program, Click here to go to the Registration Page

Then click the Fall/Winter Program Registration Link on the Registration Page.

MYHA 6U Program

USA Hockey undertook a major study to examine the way youth hockey players are developed in the United States.  A core group of USA Hockey personnel spent one year talking to sport doctors and psychologists, college coaches, the NHL, youth hockey programs in other countries and other major sports organizations in this country. The result of this study was a recommended new model, named Long Term Athlete Development or LTAD, for youth organizations to better develop all young hockey players to enjoy the game of hockey and to better prepare more US youth players to have the skills to play at the collegiate/professional level.  In summary the key recommendations of this study are:

  • Increase practice time and decrease game time
  • Concentrate on skill development not team skills at the younger levels
  • Create small game situations – cross ice only - at the younger levels.
  • At the younger levels deemphasize winning and losing and individual player statistics.  Make the “games’ fun for all players.
  • Structure the practice/skill sessions to maximize ice time for all players.
  • The study details a development plan for players from 5 years to old to 18.  Complete details about this USA Hockey initiative can be found on the USA Hockey web site.

MYHA whole heartedly supports this approach and has developed its 6U program to comply with the USA Hockey recommendations. MYHA has been very pleased with the increased skill level of those players who participated in the program.  These developmental practices allow the player to focus on skating, stick handling, passing and shooting skills.  The cross ice games provide the younger player more ice time opportunities that will reinforce these skating and stick handling skills.

The 6U Program is designed for the 5 or 6 year old player (boys and girls) with some prior hockey experience (i.e. MYHA Instructional, MYHA 6U Program, Mighty Mites at Cabin John ice rink, Hockey Initiation Program at the Rockville Ice Arena, etc.) 

6U players begin the year in early September with a series of evaluations for the first two weeks.  These evaluations are designed to provide an assessment of individual skill level. 

From mid September until the end of November the 6U’s will be placed into small teams.  They will have a weekly practice on Saturday AM at Rockville focusing on skill development and play cross ice game on Sunday afternoon at Rockville. The Saturday session will be under the direction of Rob Keegan, MYHA’s Director of Hockey.  By playing cross-ice games, each player will get more touches of the puck keeping the players focused and allowing them to put the skills learned in practice into use in a game situation.

In December the 6U’s will be placed into the more traditional team roster format.  They will continue to have the weekly practice on Saturday AM at Rockville focusing on skill development and continue to have games once a week on Sunday PM at Rockville.  The 6U’s will end the season with a tournament in March.

MYHA and Rob Keegan believe this program incorporates the main points of the USA Hockey recommendations and will result in better player development at the critical younger ages and the kids having more fun.

If you have any questions about the 6U program please do not hesitate to contact Rob Keegan, Director Of Hockey Programs.

Rob Keegan

MYHA Hockey Director