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Past President Message: Doug Goodman, 2013-2014

December 2013: Message from our President to our NT Academy Families

Dear NT Academy Parents and Players:

As you know, at the start of this season, the NTHA embarked on an ambitious program to ensure that ALL our players were encouraged to develop in such a manner to promote fun and skill development. It was a realization that many of the most successful programs outside of Canada have being very progressive…and as a result more kids can have more fun.

In consultation with the NHLPA and Hockey Canada, we developed the NT Academy to ensure that kids were given a strong foundation that would allow all of them to touch the puck as much as possible, thereby becoming more confident. This would foster a lifelong love for the game and if it meant that more NT kids would progress further, then that would be a great side benefit. However, the focus was on the development of players for their own enjoyment.

We knew entering the program that we had to start with a plan and then be prepared to “tweak” things from feedback received and analyzing our own observations. The overwhelming feeling from our families is that they love the program and the intent behind it. Better yet, that the kids are having fun and also getting better!

However, like any great idea, it needs to adapt to the circumstances and realities presented. First and foremost, it appears that the sessions are a bit too long for the kids. Second, that because of some scheduling quirks, sometimes there are 4 weeks in a row without games. This was not our intent.

So what are we going to do to address these issues?

Effective with the New Year, we will be implementing the following slight alterations which you will soon notice on the website schedule:

Tyke, Minor Novice, and Novice –

  • Ratio of skills to game only days will be 2:1 (current 3:1 and has sometimes been 4:1).
  • Sessions will be 70 minutes (incl flood) instead of 90 minutes.
  • Teams on ice will be limited to 2 (from 3)

The rationale behind these changes is to ensure more game time without losing the foundation of the program. Second, the shorter sessions will decrease the incidence of tired kids! Third, the limiting of the teams on the ice at the same time will allow us to increase the number of professional instructors per player…and give the kids more of a sense of “team” instead of being mixed among three teams.

For the Minor Atom and Atom division, there were only going to be 2 skills dates left on the calendar anyway, so we are not altering that. It appears that the skills sessions were front end loaded onto the first half of the season. Players in this division will have more games now than before.

We hope you like the modifications and know that we are eager, with your help, to continue the growth of this great Program.

Regards…Doug Goodman