“I think it’s really important that people have the education, that they have the information and the understanding of why these changes take place or why these adjustments are being enforced now as opposed to left at the recommendation level.”
Concepts like forechecking and breakout systems can be taught at an older age while the game’s youngest participants should be focusing on building the fundamental skills of passing, puck control and shooting before learning the more complex aspects of the game.
“The idea behind our youngsters in sport is a marathon, not in a sprint. I always use the expression ‘You can’t be in a hurry to get to Grade 12. You get to Grade 12 around 16 or 17 years of age. You don’t go to school 12 months of the year, cram it all in, and then hope that you can get Grade 12 finished by the time you’re 12 or 13.”
The Pathways are set up so players can develop their skillsets at an age-appropriate pace. An increased emphasis on fun is in place, with an increased number puck touches, puck battles, passes and shots in a modified ice setting.