Association or AAA ?

Discussion of Minnesota Youth Hockey

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broten7
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2012 10:38 am

Association or AAA ?

Post by broten7 » Wed Oct 31, 2012 10:50 am

I'm new to all of this. My son is 3 years old and I hope to put him in hockey next season. He is learning to skate now so I hope he can hit the ground running when he's able.

As I've started to survey the youth hockey landscape there is the local Association which is Prior Lake. I've also learned there are a lot of other options in the area via web searches, this and other forums. Should I be putting my kid into AAA hockey or stick with the local association?

Can anyone tell me what to look for in an association? I'd really be interested in feedback about the AAA programs as well as any information about the association.

Thanks in advance
Broten7

elliott70
Posts: 13584
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2004 3:47 pm
Location: Bemidji

Re: Association or AAA ?

Post by elliott70 » Wed Oct 31, 2012 11:20 am

broten7 wrote:I'm new to all of this. My son is 3 years old and I hope to put him in hockey next season. He is learning to skate now so I hope he can hit the ground running when he's able.

As I've started to survey the youth hockey landscape there is the local Association which is Prior Lake. I've also learned there are a lot of other options in the area via web searches, this and other forums. Should I be putting my kid into AAA hockey or stick with the local association?

Can anyone tell me what to look for in an association? I'd really be interested in feedback about the AAA programs as well as any information about the association.

Thanks in advance
Broten7
Real new to hockey are you?

You have little choice during hockey season unless you move or send your child to another school. You are Prior Lake.

Off season, well, if you have a checkbook, you have lots of options.

Good luck!

For the rest of us...

:lol:

Shinbone_News
Posts: 458
Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2011 9:50 am

Post by Shinbone_News » Wed Oct 31, 2012 11:32 am

You probably know that Prior Lake is turning into one of the best associations in the state for youth hockey. You're lucky to live there! I wouldn't worry too much about AAA hockey (which is usually shorthand for summer hockey programs in Minnesota) for a few years -- until your player shows interest in playing year around.

Unless you move or send your kid to school outside of PL, your only in-season alternative is going to be Minnesota Made, which is great for developing skills at the mite and squirt age. In my experience (just as an observer) Mn Made kids tend to learn skills very fast and thoroughly, faster and better than a lot of associations. That's probably due to high reps and individualized attention,as well as disciplined coaching -- but it's a for-profit business, so they want to make it worth your $$$. By peewees, I think this developmental advantage begins to disappear as other kids catch up.

Opinions on this forum will vary, but I'm of the opinion that the main thing you want to offer a 4 year old is the opportunity to just play, have fun, and learn how to love the game without making it too hardcore too soon. Make some friends in the community, eat hot dogs after every practice.

Again, just my opinion -- but I think you'd be crazy not to give your home association (Prior Lake) the opportunity to work with your player.

I'm not from or in Prior Lake, have never even played there more than once. I just know from their results at Peewee and Bantam, and from their amazing facility, that they've got something very good going on there.
Last edited by Shinbone_News on Wed Oct 31, 2012 11:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

O-townClown
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Location: Typical homeboy from the O-Town

Post by O-townClown » Wed Oct 31, 2012 11:33 am

If your son is 3 he'll be fine doing whatever in a year. Just get him on the ice and see if he likes it.
Be kind. Rewind.

broten7
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2012 10:38 am

Re: Association or AAA ?

Post by broten7 » Wed Oct 31, 2012 11:39 am

New to it as a parent anyway. I played some as a kid but I'm very confident my parents didn't have the options there seems to be today and why parents would choose option A over Option B.
elliott70 wrote:
broten7 wrote:I'm new to all of this. My son is 3 years old and I hope to put him in hockey next season. He is learning to skate now so I hope he can hit the ground running when he's able.

As I've started to survey the youth hockey landscape there is the local Association which is Prior Lake. I've also learned there are a lot of other options in the area via web searches, this and other forums. Should I be putting my kid into AAA hockey or stick with the local association?

Can anyone tell me what to look for in an association? I'd really be interested in feedback about the AAA programs as well as any information about the association.

Thanks in advance
Broten7
Real new to hockey are you?

You have little choice during hockey season unless you move or send your child to another school. You are Prior Lake.

Off season, well, if you have a checkbook, you have lots of options.

Good luck!

For the rest of us...

:lol:

BadgerBob82
Posts: 658
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 8:49 am

Post by BadgerBob82 » Wed Oct 31, 2012 11:42 am

April Fools Day moved to Halloween?

My son is still in diapers, but should I look into AAA hockey options?

Nice Halloween joke little #7

MrBoDangles
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Post by MrBoDangles » Wed Oct 31, 2012 12:03 pm

You're already behind the mark. Bernie had a Speed Academy for 2 and 3 year olds this Summer. Poopers weren't allowed!

broten7
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2012 10:38 am

Post by broten7 » Wed Oct 31, 2012 12:07 pm

Thanks. This is a helpful response. I've been told the Prior Lake association is good but that was by a possibly biased person who has kids in the association now.

Does Minnesota Made take anyone? Looking at the ages on their programs seems like he might be too young unless they'll take even the youngest skaters? Wouldn't high reps and individualized attention be a good thing at a young age?
Shinbone_News wrote:You probably know that Prior Lake is turning into one of the best associations in the state for youth hockey. You're lucky to live there! I wouldn't worry too much about AAA hockey (which is usually shorthand for summer hockey programs in Minnesota) for a few years -- until your player shows interest in playing year around.

Unless you move or send your kid to school outside of PL, your only in-season alternative is going to be Minnesota Made, which is great for developing skills at the mite and squirt age. In my experience (just as an observer) Mn Made kids tend to learn skills very fast and thoroughly, faster and better than a lot of associations. That's probably due to high reps and individualized attention,as well as disciplined coaching -- but it's a for-profit business, so they want to make it worth your $$$. By peewees, I think this developmental advantage begins to disappear as other kids catch up.

Opinions on this forum will vary, but I'm of the opinion that the main thing you want to offer a 4 year old is the opportunity to just play, have fun, and learn how to love the game without making it too hardcore too soon. Make some friends in the community, eat hot dogs after every practice.

Again, just my opinion -- but I think you'd be crazy not to give your home association (Prior Lake) the opportunity to work with your player.

I'm not from or in Prior Lake, have never even played there more than once. I just know from their results at Peewee and Bantam, and from their amazing facility, that they've got something very good going on there.

Shinbone_News
Posts: 458
Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2011 9:50 am

Post by Shinbone_News » Wed Oct 31, 2012 12:18 pm

I'm with OTC on this one -- just get him on the ice and let him have fun. Plenty of time for reps and discipline later, if he has a solid base of love for skating and whacking a puck around.

Not sure how young they take 'em at MN Made. I know they have a learn to skate program that's probably for 3/4 year olds, and then a mighty mite league probably for 4/5 year olds. But that's a guess.



broten7 wrote:Thanks. This is a helpful response. I've been told the Prior Lake association is good but that was by a possibly biased person who has kids in the association now.

Does Minnesota Made take anyone? Looking at the ages on their programs seems like he might be too young unless they'll take even the youngest skaters? Wouldn't high reps and individualized attention be a good thing at a young age?
Shinbone_News wrote:You probably know that Prior Lake is turning into one of the best associations in the state for youth hockey. You're lucky to live there! I wouldn't worry too much about AAA hockey (which is usually shorthand for summer hockey programs in Minnesota) for a few years -- until your player shows interest in playing year around.

Unless you move or send your kid to school outside of PL, your only in-season alternative is going to be Minnesota Made, which is great for developing skills at the mite and squirt age. In my experience (just as an observer) Mn Made kids tend to learn skills very fast and thoroughly, faster and better than a lot of associations. That's probably due to high reps and individualized attention,as well as disciplined coaching -- but it's a for-profit business, so they want to make it worth your $$$. By peewees, I think this developmental advantage begins to disappear as other kids catch up.

Opinions on this forum will vary, but I'm of the opinion that the main thing you want to offer a 4 year old is the opportunity to just play, have fun, and learn how to love the game without making it too hardcore too soon. Make some friends in the community, eat hot dogs after every practice.

Again, just my opinion -- but I think you'd be crazy not to give your home association (Prior Lake) the opportunity to work with your player.

I'm not from or in Prior Lake, have never even played there more than once. I just know from their results at Peewee and Bantam, and from their amazing facility, that they've got something very good going on there.

OGEE OGELTHORPE
Posts: 703
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Location: State of shock/without the awe

Post by OGEE OGELTHORPE » Wed Oct 31, 2012 12:39 pm

He's 3 for cripes sake.

Association or AAA?

You're hilarious :lol:

IHEA
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Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2012 11:37 am

Post by IHEA » Wed Oct 31, 2012 1:05 pm

MrBoDangles wrote:You're already behind the mark. Bernie had a Speed Academy for 2 and 3 year olds this Summer. Poopers weren't allowed!
Yes but I think thumb suckers are allowed. Bernie had a Pee Wee suck his thumb on the ice to discipline him. No joke new guy!

barry_mcconnell
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Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2012 4:43 pm

Post by barry_mcconnell » Wed Oct 31, 2012 1:27 pm

He's 3 already and you haven't decided on association or AAA program? Get that kid in breakfast club fast! Before its too late.

Actually you might want to just sign him up for basketball at this point.

Towelie
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Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2010 12:12 pm

Post by Towelie » Wed Oct 31, 2012 1:54 pm

barry_mcconnell wrote:He's 3 already and you haven't decided on association or AAA program? Get that kid in breakfast club fast! Before its too late.

Actually you might want to just sign him up for basketball at this point.
Yeah...way way behind...kids these days are wearing skates at 5 months rocking in their baby einsteins...knee hockey by 8 months and full out daily training by 12-16 months. make sure they start out every morning with a nice hammy stretch.

Good luck on playing catch up and god bless PL
Did somebody say they needed a Towel ??

Mnhockeys
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Post by Mnhockeys » Wed Oct 31, 2012 7:33 pm

MrBoDangles wrote:You're already behind the mark. Bernie had a Speed Academy for 2 and 3 year olds this Summer. Poopers weren't allowed!

old goalie85
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Post by old goalie85 » Thu Nov 01, 2012 6:39 am

PL mite program will be just fine for him next year. No sense jumping into the "rat race" before you need to. Outdoor ice is free, fun, and you can hang out together. [ I bring a bottle :oops: ]

Shinbone_News
Posts: 458
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Post by Shinbone_News » Thu Nov 01, 2012 9:59 am

Newbie comes to the forum looking for a little advice and gets this load of attitude.

Nice work, gentlemen!

No wonder this bored has a reputation for being filled with cranks and grumps and naysayers -- all the people you DON'T want to hang with at the rink.

old goalie85
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Post by old goalie85 » Thu Nov 01, 2012 10:30 am

Shin-I was being straight up. 4 yr old will be fine in PL mite program w/the kids from school ! As far as the "rat race" thats my name for AAA and 4yr olds don't need that . My opinion. Outdoors w/ the little kids is great. You seem like the kind of guy I don't want to hang out w/@ the rink.

Shinbone_News
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Post by Shinbone_News » Thu Nov 01, 2012 10:47 am

old goalie85 wrote:Shin-I was being straight up. 4 yr old will be fine in PL mite program w/the kids from school ! As far as the "rat race" thats my name for AAA and 4yr olds don't need that . My opinion. Outdoors w/ the little kids is great. You seem like the kind of guy I don't want to hang out w/@ the rink.
It wasn't you OG. It was the other tweakers. I don't disagree with your opinion or the sentiment at all. It's the unhelpful sarcasm of these guys that poisons the scene around here and keeps newbies away.

savagegopher
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Post by savagegopher » Thu Nov 01, 2012 11:13 am

Broten7 go to the www.plsha.com website and find out about the program, maybe email the guys running the mite program and they can help make your decision

DrGaf
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Post by DrGaf » Thu Nov 01, 2012 11:28 am

Shinbone_News wrote:
old goalie85 wrote:Shin-I was being straight up. 4 yr old will be fine in PL mite program w/the kids from school ! As far as the "rat race" thats my name for AAA and 4yr olds don't need that . My opinion. Outdoors w/ the little kids is great. You seem like the kind of guy I don't want to hang out w/@ the rink.
It wasn't you OG. It was the other tweakers. I don't disagree with your opinion or the sentiment at all. It's the unhelpful sarcasm of these guys that poisons the scene around here and keeps newbies away.
I agree Shin, it's sad everyone assumes these are troll posts. I normally don't post on these, because I'd hate to be fooled.

But the youth hockey landscape, especially for younger families, has changed so dramatically over the last 5-6 years. These kinds of threads could be very useful.

If I had it to start over, I definitely would have avoided the AAA summer meat grinder until my boy reached double digits. Summer camps and 3v3's would have been in play, but this "keeping up with the Jone's" and skating 11 months a year (looking back now of course) is IMO ridiculous at that age.

How good any kid is isn't truly decided until puberty anyways. Testosterone is the great equalizer. With a 2nd year peewee, it's amazing how many top line squirts have faded. And equally amazing how many 2nd / 3rd liners have blossomed into serious competitors. Sure some kids will always be the best, but that's in their genes and in their work ethic.


meh, for what it's worth anyways.
Sorry, fresh out, Don't Really Give Any.

BadgerBob82
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Post by BadgerBob82 » Thu Nov 01, 2012 11:35 am

Sorry hall monitor Shinbone. I read the original post and actually thought it was a "tweaker" pulling chains. Since he was serious. My advice is to video tape the child playing hockey. Send to Mite Director at PL and MnMade. Have them view the video of the kid and have them offer their opinion if the kid should enroll in Association Mites this year, wait until next year or go to MN Made immediately.

We can't speculate as to how advanced this 3 year old really is. And is the child a 2008 or 2009? If 2008, definately Mn Made should get the first look at the child. If 2009, might want to wait until next season to enroll, but again, the video should provide the basis.

If he hasn't done so yet, create a youtube account. Post the child's progress. At this age, their progress can be measured on virtually a daily basis. Programs are contantly searching for these young kids on youtube.

OGEE OGELTHORPE
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Post by OGEE OGELTHORPE » Thu Nov 01, 2012 11:44 am

BadgerBob82 wrote:Sorry hall monitor Shinbone. I read the original post and actually thought it was a "tweaker" pulling chains. Since he was serious. My advice is to video tape the child playing hockey. Send to Mite Director at PL and MnMade. Have them view the video of the kid and have them offer their opinion if the kid should enroll in Association Mites this year, wait until next year or go to MN Made immediately.

We can't speculate as to how advanced this 3 year old really is. And is the child a 2008 or 2009? If 2008, definately Mn Made should get the first look at the child. If 2009, might want to wait until next season to enroll, but again, the video should provide the basis.

If he hasn't done so yet, create a youtube account. Post the child's progress. At this age, their progress can be measured on virtually a daily basis. Programs are contantly searching for these young kids on youtube.
Image :lol:

broten7
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Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2012 10:38 am

Post by broten7 » Thu Nov 01, 2012 12:04 pm

Sorry to have created this issue. I'm just looking for the best path for my kid when he turns 4. I'm able to get past the sarcasm so no worries there.

A guy at work told me that the difference in where he should start depends mostly on the mental make-up of the kid. He said at MN Made it's more of a traditional drill and repetition approach which might not be as fun and kids can tune out more easily where most associations are using some different approach that is more along the line of games.

Any feedback on that opinion?

BadgerBob82 wrote:Sorry hall monitor Shinbone. I read the original post and actually thought it was a "tweaker" pulling chains. Since he was serious. My advice is to video tape the child playing hockey. Send to Mite Director at PL and MnMade. Have them view the video of the kid and have them offer their opinion if the kid should enroll in Association Mites this year, wait until next year or go to MN Made immediately.

We can't speculate as to how advanced this 3 year old really is. And is the child a 2008 or 2009? If 2008, definately Mn Made should get the first look at the child. If 2009, might want to wait until next season to enroll, but again, the video should provide the basis.

If he hasn't done so yet, create a youtube account. Post the child's progress. At this age, their progress can be measured on virtually a daily basis. Programs are contantly searching for these young kids on youtube.

Shinbone_News
Posts: 458
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Post by Shinbone_News » Thu Nov 01, 2012 12:11 pm

I'm sure there's a diaper or thumbsucking joke still waiting to happen from the enormous braintrust here, but your question is actually interesting because Mn Made doesn't seem to buy into the ADM too much -- that's the American Development Model, which is big with USA Hockey (and thus your local association).

The point is the ADM emphasizes lots of goofy games for the little kids -- soccer on the ice, tag, ringette, keep-away, sharks and minnows. They try to make every practice a party, to make it fun and get the kids engaged. Small area games are the Big Thing. You won't see any full-ice games. Mn Made is more traditional, like you say. Drills, drills, drills.

You can learn more about the ADM here: http://www.usahockey.com/ADMKids.aspx

old goalie85
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Post by old goalie85 » Thu Nov 01, 2012 1:06 pm

Shin- I may have jumped the gun. Your post was right after mine. Brotzy- I agree w/The Dr. 3x3 is very good as well. Iforgot that one. I wish I had at least 1/2 of the AAA money back that I spent. Not to mention time. I won't be doing it w/my younger ones that is for sure.

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