2014-2015 Mite Development Program

Seacoast Spartans

Mite Development Program 2014-2015

Preston Callander (Program Director)

Preston’s hockey knowledge and hardworking style of play translates to his expert teaching and coaching skills. As a former UNH hockey captain, Preston lead the Wildcats to 2 Hockey East Championships and 2 Frozen Four appearances. Preston also played 4yrs of Professional Hockey with a 3 year stint in the German Elite League and 1 season in the ECHL with the Florida Everblades. Preston is excited to bring his expertise of skating and stride development to Elite Hockey Development “EHD”.

The goal for the Seacoast Spartans Mite Development Program is to follow as closely as possible USA Hockey’s American Development Model (ADM) and the research and guidelines for age-appropriate Long-Term Athlete Development.  Areas of focus for this program:

     1.         Help each of our participants develop a love for the game of hockey.

     2.         Ensure all practice and game events are FUN!
     3.         While keeping them fun, a strong focus on skills development in our practices.

     4.         Keep travel to a minimum.

     5.         Keep the cost to a minimum. 

What sets the Seacoast Spartans apart from other youth hockey organizations?  The fact that ALL of our practices are run by professional skills instructors.  For most of the 50 Mite Development practices the Spartans organization averaged three (2) professional skills instructors on the ice together for these practices.  Often we had as many as five (4) professional instructors on the ice together during this program.  We are one of the few organizations that follow USA Hockey’s ADM recommendation to put your best coaches with your youngest players.

Here are the Spartans Mite Development program highlights:

Mite Development Program (2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009’S)

This program is predominantly for children born in the years  2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 that have some organized hockey experience (learn-to-play-hockey as a pre-requisite is fine).  A few beginner 2005 birth year players may be allowed to participate (these will be determined on a case-by-case basis).  We want as many players as possible to participate in this program.

Tuition Cost: $795

Approximately Fifty 60-minute practice/skills sessions.
  • Practices sessions are run by professional skills instructors and Spartans coaching staff.
  • The teams will play mostly cross-ice games, but could play a couple full-ice games later in the year. Approximately 20 games total.
  • The travel will be kept to a minimum and all travel is optional. Most games will be at the Rinks at Exeter with possibly some minimal travel for away games/scrimmages.  If you don’t want to travel, you can play only the games in Exeter.
  • Game jerseys.
  • Practice jersey and socks.

More Detail on Mite Development Teams:

Length of the Season: Our regular practice sessions start the Wednesday after Labor Day and run through the end of February. Games will start up in late September or early October and will continue through the end of February.

Practice Days/Times: These teams will practice for one-hour sessions on Wednesdays in the 5:00 - 7:00pm time range and Saturday mornings in the 8:00am to 10:00am time range. Once set, practice times will be consistent throughout the season. There may be a slight adjustment to times once high school hockey starts, but it will then remain consistent throughout the remainder of the season. There will be approximately 50 practices.
All our Mite Development players practice together.  We break the kids up into different groups for practices based on age and ability, so the kids are always grouped with other kids that are very close to their skill level.  We do not have set rosters for our mite development teams.  This allows us the flexibility to better ensure that when our kids play games they are playing with and against kids that are comparable to their ability.

Why Cross-Ice Games?  As recommended by USA Hockey’s ADM, almost all of these games will be cross-ice or half-ice hockey games.  There is a lot of research that shows that playing in a smaller space at this age is a better development model as opposed to full-ice because the players are forced to become better puck-handlers and small area decision makers.  This is important because as they get older, they will need these skills to be good players.  The full-ice games result in less puck touches for most players and also creates a false incentive system that rewards only the players that are fast.  These fast/young players are considered the “best” at this age but often never develop the small area puck/decision skills because they have never had too.  It is actually these young/fast players that can be hurt the most as they develop habits and a style of playing that will become less and less effective as they get older.  Each year as all players get bigger and faster there is less time and space and the game changes to more of an emphasis on puck-handling and decision making.  If you are a player that has never had to develop those skills, you will be at a severe disadvantage.
How do I make a Spartans Mite Development Team?  It could not be easier.  Just sign up.  As long as we still have room in the program, you have a spot.  Enrollment instructions are listed below.
Mite Development Enrollment Instructions:  To enroll your child into the 2013-2014 Mite Development Program, please email Kurt Mallett at: kurtmallett@yahoo.com and inform him you would like to sign up for the program.  If there is still availability you will be emailed a contract along with instructions.  A $200 deposit will be required to secure your spot.