The Ontario Minor Hockey Association and its member associations in partnership with Hockey Canada’s Initiation Program fosters a love of sport and has a lot to do with the growth of hockey in Canada. Although the emphasis for young players is to have fun, build confidence and learn skills, the Initiation Program also allows for players to learn about sportsmanship and fair play while staying physically active.
How a player gets that first experience in hockey is critical. Fundamental skills are what the Initiation Program is all about, with the common denominator being fun. The Initiation Program is Canada’s premier Learn to Play program for beginning hockey players. Hockey Canada has created this program to ensure that children can play in a safe and positive environment. At the forefront of this program is skill acquisition while ensuring that young players also have fun and build a lifelong passion for the game of hockey.
The program features drills, games and resources created by coaches and program administrators. Since the acquisition of skill takes time, we all need to remember to be patient when teaching young players new activities. This resource guide lays out clear instructions for age-appropriate development and skill-building of players. Skills are laid out in an interactive, one-step-at-a-time manner where kids can learn for themselves while on the ice. Playing on smaller ice surfaces in modified games means that players get more time with the puck and only have to cover age-appropriate distances.
The Ontario Minor Hockey Association believes it’s important for every player to have access to the best programs for developing fundamental skills while having fun doing so. The sport can only become a lifetime adventure if you start with the fundamentals of the Initiation Program.