McNabb explained that Hockey Canada started looking at the concepts of Long Term Athlete Development almost a decade ago. It examined seasonal structure and how to optimize player development through practice to game ratios, along with identifying phases within the season, including preparation, evaluation (including tryouts), development, and end of season.
“Do we think that it is the best practice that a child’s first experience in hockey in the fall is an official tryout where if they screw up they might get cut? Most people, if you say it like that, would probably say that doesn’t make the most sense,” said McNabb.
One of the key elements of the seasonal structure deals with the season start.