“How a Player gets that first taste of Hockey is crucial”

The Initiation Program serves as the foundation upon which the entire minor hockey association is built.  Youngsters at every level of play benefit from getting the “right start” in the game. The Initiation Program is crucial in building the skills of house league and competitive players alike. Children learn through participating in practice drills and informal modified games.  The Initiation Program is closely aligned with Hockey Canada’s Long-Term Player Development (LTPD) Model.

What is the Initiation Program?

The Initiation Program is Hockey Canada’s premiere ‘Learn to Play’ program and is the foundation of skills development for hockey.
The Hockey Canada Initiation Program is designed for players 5 and 6 years old but is suitable for any entry level hockey player and clearly lays out how to get them started in hockey so that they will: have fun; learn skills, and develop confidence.
The program consists of four phases of instruction, designed for any entry-level hockey player, helping introduce the skills of skating, passing, puck control and shooting in a progressive, one-step-at-a-time manner.

4 oz. Lightweight Blue Puck

Like other sports, in addition to reducing the size of the playing surface, the OMHA also uses the 4 oz. Lightweight Blue Puck, giving players the opportunity develop confidence in their puck control and shooting skills.

Cornerstones of the Initiation Program

  • A progressive learn to play teaching curriculum
  • To ensure that the child’s first contact with hockey is a safe and positive experience.
  • To have fun while playing hockey and engaging in physical activity
  • To learn the fundamental skills required to play the game of hockey – Introduced through stations/small spaces/small area games
  • To develop self-confidence, and experience a sense of personal achievement
  • To create and refine basic motor patterns
  • Emphasis is on fun and fundamental skill development, while also allowing youngsters to experience fitness, fair play and cooperation and to ensure a positive experience for children
  • Age-Appropriate – Designed practice and game play that is appropriate to the age, size and skill level of the participant

For more details on the program click here, download a pdf description of the program click here

The Scarborough Sharks GHA is excited to be working with the OWHA in implementing this hockey-wide initiative.