Welcome to the West Hartford Youth Hockey Association 8-Under Development Program
The WHYHA 8-Under Development Program (birth year 2014 and younger) is a 3-Step program, building from a beginner skater to a game-ready hockey player. The program is structured to promote player development in a fun-filled, on-ice environment using the USA Hockey ADM Model. Upon successful completion of each program step, the player will be eligible for an in-season promotion to the next level, at the coach’s discretion, to continue their development in a skill-appropriate environment, while continuing to grow their love for the great sport of hockey.
The three development steps consist of the Learn To Play Program, the Mite Development Program, and the Mite House Program. Each of these groups normally start in October, with practices typically first thing in the morning on Saturdays and Sundays. In addition to the Saturday and Sunday morning ice times, the Mite House Program also meets in the early evening on Tuesdays. Read below for a description of each of the three 8-under development groups.
This entry-level development program is designed for the Under-8 first time skater with less than 1 full season of on-ice skating experience. The Learn-To-Skate/Learn-To-Play (LTS/LTP) program promotes on-ice hockey fun and enjoyment, while teaching the basic skills of balance, getting up from the ice, and fluid skating strides. Following the USA Hockey ADM Model, this beginner hockey program strives to encourage a love for the sport in an introductory environment which utilizes fun games in a small-area station-training setting. The LTS/LTP program meets every Saturday and Sunday morning for a 1-hour small area development practice, sharing the ice with the Mite Development Program. Practice times are typically Saturday and Sunday around 8 am with full schedules released prior to the start of the season.
Mite Development Program
This second-level development program is designed for the Under-8 skaters with less than 2 full seasons of on-ice skating experience who have completed the LTS/LTP program. The Mite Development program promotes on-ice hockey fun and enjoyment, while building on the LTS/LTP basic skill set through the introduction and development of turning, stopping, and proper striding techniques. Following the USA Hockey ADM Model, this second-year hockey program strives to further develop the players love for the sport in a small-area station-training environment comprised of increasingly challenging obstacle courses and races, as well as fun games and challenges for the players. The Mite Development program meets every Saturday and Sunday morning for a 1-hour small area drill and games development practice. Practice times are typically Saturday and Sunday around 8 am with full schedules released prior to the start of the season.
Mite House Program
This third-level development program is designed for the Under-8 skaters with greater than 2 full seasons of on-ice skating experience who have completed the LTS/LTP and Mite Development programs (or similar). The Mite House program continues to promote on-ice hockey fun and enjoyment through a combination of development focused practices and weekly in-house game play using our cross-ice board system; the look and feel of a real hockey game! Increased puck-handling, shooting, and power-skating activities will be employed with concentration on maintaining full-skating speed and agility. Following the USA Hockey ADM Model, this third-year plus hockey program strives to further develop the players skating and hockey skills in an increasingly competitive environment to prepare the players for future hockey opportunities while maintaining a fun on-ice environment. The Mite House Program meets every Saturday morning for a development-focused practice and each Sunday morning for a cross-ice Game Day following a House League Game Schedule. Practice times are typically Saturday and Sunday around 7 am with full schedules released prior to the start of the season. Players will be assigned to a house team during the first few weeks of the program.
** WHYHA reserves the right to reassign registered players to a skill-appropriate development level following on-ice evaluation to ensure the player’s development opportunity and environment are maximized.
Comments, questions, concerns – please contact
(WHYHA President). We look forward to seeing you out there!