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Best Practices


LTAD - Long Term Athlete Development

Excellent read for athletes, coaches, and parents.

ADM - American Development Model

The American Development Model (ADM) provides age-appropriate guidelines and curriculum to hockey associations across America to help more kids play, love and excel in hockey. Brought to you by USA Hockey, in partnership with the NHL.

ADM is a nationwide model for successfully developing American hockey players. It is by no means a mandate sent from USA Hockey, but a tool that will ensure every kid will have the same chance to succeed.

By implementing ADM, associations will see an increase in player retention. Again, ADM is not a set of rules or mandates, but guidelines designed specifically to help kids reach their full potential.

The ADM website is for everyone...players, parents, coaches and administrators. Visit the ADM website to view features, videos, practice plans:

Click here to read a great article on the American Development Model that appeared on and in the NHL All-Star Game program.

Dr. Stephen Norris is Director of Sport Physiology & Strategic Planning for Canadian Sport Centre Calgary and was the head of Canada's Winter Sports 'Own the Podium' project for the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games. He has also been an advisor to Hockey Canada in different capacities for over 12 years. His high performance and strategic planning background provide valuable insight into the process of how kids develop excellence in sport from the grass roots level through truly elite adult performance. Watch the video of Dr. Norris' presentation on Potential & Talent.


In setting up your hockey program, there are several areas that should be addressed to ensure that Best Practices are followed. Many of these are incorporated into the CAHA Strategic Plan. The following links provide detailed information about each age group. These should help you to set up the most effective program at every age group.