Youth Hockey - catch all

tonyandpals

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Mar 18, 2004
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Learn to Play programs. Does your town/program have one? What is the cost? How many hours on ice and how many weeks does it run?
I feel like we're too expensive, even though it takes a loss every year. It's important to getting kids into our mite program, so I get it. Wondering what we can do better.
 

OfTheCarmen

Cow Humper
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Jul 18, 2007
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My town league runs LTP October - February with hour long full ice on Saturdays and hour long half ice Sundays.

Starting in October costs $1k, starting in November is $800, starting in December costs $600.

They also have an Advanced LTP program, but the site doesnt currently have any information on that one.
 

kenneycb

Hates Goose Island Beer; Loves Backdoor Play
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Dec 2, 2006
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Tuukka's refugee camp
Learn to Play programs. Does your town/program have one? What is the cost? How many hours on ice and how many weeks does it run?
I feel like we're too expensive, even though it takes a loss every year. It's important to getting kids into our mite program, so I get it. Wondering what we can do better.
Can you shift people to think of it as a "loss leader"? It's a feeder system into the broader program where you will make your money, it's just a longer payback. Of course not everyone will continue on but if you lower the prices and take a bigger hit in Year 1more people you get in the front door, the more that will likely join mites, the more that will stay with it to squirts, etc.

This is way more business jargon-y than I prefer so sorry for that.
 

tonyandpals

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Can you shift people to think of it as a "loss leader"? It's a feeder system into the broader program where you will make your money, it's just a longer payback. Of course not everyone will continue on but if you lower the prices and take a bigger hit in Year 1more people you get in the front door, the more that will likely join mites, the more that will stay with it to squirts, etc.

This is way more business jargon-y than I prefer so sorry for that.
Completely agree, and we think of it as a necessity, and a feeder system. IF we don't do it, we'll lose them to neighboring towns for years, maybe their whole time in youth hockey.

Last board meeting I went in with: "If our LTP program was free, do you think we'd get more kids?" A few members said no, that if you're going to play you're going to play and the cost isn't a factor. The rest were quiet. I disagree and think people see $700 (Sep-March) and they think it's a lot and cost is a barrier to some. Now I wasn't suggesting making it free, but I wanted to use the most extreme example.

I did pitch a rebate type thing over three years. $750 or whatever for LTP, Mite year one is $250 less than normal, year two $250 less and year 3 you get the last $250 back, and now you're entrenched in the system. Again, like a fart in church. With kids leaving earlier and earlier, I'm trying to think of ways to retain them those early years and build something where they want to stay.
 

tonyandpals

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Is the LTP different than your Learn to Skate?
Yes, we have a few LTS sessions that our run by our figure skating branch. But they do feed them in to our LTP program. If a kid is close, or showing interest in hockey, we move them to LTP soon and we'll have a small group in LTP that is still sort of learning to skate a bit.
 

OfTheCarmen

Cow Humper
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Jul 18, 2007
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I know for the last few years, our org has participated in the Little Bruins Academy (or something close to that). I think it crosses a small gap between LTS and LTP and includes a full set of gear for a VERY low cost when you also factor in the 4-5 1-hour ice sessions. I think the Org even benefitted monetarily in some way (not sure if the ice costs paid by the Bruins thing were perhaps more than what our rink charges). I'm not on the bookeeping side of things so I'm not sure exactly how that worked out, but helping families get over that initial financial hurdle of buying a full set of hockey gear seemed to help bring kids into the program.
 

tonyandpals

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I know for the last few years, our org has participated in the Little Bruins Academy (or something close to that). I think it crosses a small gap between LTS and LTP and includes a full set of gear for a VERY low cost when you also factor in the 4-5 1-hour ice sessions. I think the Org even benefitted monetarily in some way (not sure if the ice costs paid by the Bruins thing were perhaps more than what our rink charges). I'm not on the bookeeping side of things so I'm not sure exactly how that worked out, but helping families get over that initial financial hurdle of buying a full set of hockey gear seemed to help bring kids into the program.
It's a great program for sure. I asked to get on the list this year so we could participate and they said they would reach out in the spring. When I didn't hear back I followed up and it was too late and they had already locked in the programs participating. So we're on the list for next year. I agree, it's essentially a free program that we can feed kids right into our system from. "Hey, you liked those 4 weeks? Use that gear and keep going in our program!"
 

VORP Speed

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Apr 23, 2010
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Ours is $850 for 3 sessions per week. And this is in Fairfield County CT where everything, especially anything kid-related, is stupid expensive. You gotta get kids and parents hooked before you hit them with the crazy fees.
 

kenneycb

Hates Goose Island Beer; Loves Backdoor Play
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Dec 2, 2006
15,141
Tuukka's refugee camp
Completely agree, and we think of it as a necessity, and a feeder system. IF we don't do it, we'll lose them to neighboring towns for years, maybe their whole time in youth hockey.

Last board meeting I went in with: "If our LTP program was free, do you think we'd get more kids?" A few members said no, that if you're going to play you're going to play and the cost isn't a factor. The rest were quiet. I disagree and think people see $700 (Sep-March) and they think it's a lot and cost is a barrier to some. Now I wasn't suggesting making it free, but I wanted to use the most extreme example.

I did pitch a rebate type thing over three years. $750 or whatever for LTP, Mite year one is $250 less than normal, year two $250 less and year 3 you get the last $250 back, and now you're entrenched in the system. Again, like a fart in church. With kids leaving earlier and earlier, I'm trying to think of ways to retain them those early years and build something where they want to stay.
I have a hard time cost isn't a factor and wonder if that's some people's personal experience / biases clouding their judgment. The rebate thing is a great idea to get lock-in.

Plus you could take the $750 in float and invest it in some crypto so the program will fund itself.
 

OfTheCarmen

Cow Humper
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Jul 18, 2007
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My son needs to work on crisp, flat passing for going D to D in offense and for the occasional cross ice pass starting the breakout. I looked at some of the passing/rebounder type trainers and they're pretty darn expensive. I found some foam edging meant for synthetic ice that can adhere to most things and it works amazing.

https://www.hockeyshot.com/collections/hockey-flooring-accessories/products/edge-rebounding-foam

I put one down (didnt even adhere it) next to the garage wall and it perfectly sent a light green biscuit right back. I'm planning in putting a few around the garage walls and then putting some on some heavy wood that can moved around to create different scenarios.

I have no affiliation with the company, I'm just cheap and thought others might be interested in a cheaper option. The foam pieces are $8 and shipping seems to be a flat $20 unless you spend something crazy like $200 (though not that crazy if you're buying synthetic ice I guess).
 

tonyandpals

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I have a friend whose son (2011) could maybe fill in sometimes. He lives in Needham so probably not your full time guy. No idea how good he is.
We played against this friend today in a Peewee game! Great game, tied 3-3. We were down 3-1 going into the 3rd but fought back for the tie. Got two texts from parents about 40 minutes before the game, whose kids who played earlier and were wiped out/sick. Only had players ten players for the game to begin with, eight wasn't going to cut it. With no time to call up squirts my 2014 suited up and another sibling (2014) of a kid on the team played too. They were both going to be there watching, so why not play with their brothers? They're at the top of the 2014 group and the peewee team is playing a low AA schedule. They hung in and my little guy even went end to end before missing the net. It was so fun seeing them out there together though.
 

tonyandpals

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Just had a nice showing up in Waterville. 2-0-1 to advance to the 2/3 game. Down 1-0 early in that game and came back to win on 2-1 with the game winner coming with about a minute to go in regulation. Got beat in the finals pretty good by Providence Hockey Club in the final. But this was a team that went there last year and didn't score a goal. Big step forward this year at 3-1-1.

For the wanna be officials in this thread, you make the call on this play. What you got?
View: https://imgur.com/a/wcMQfW0
 
Feb 23, 2021
4
For someone who’s son is now a junior in high school, thanks for posting this video. Brings back some great memories of that place. Although I don’t think the Golden Eagle Lodge was sorry to see us go!
 

OfTheCarmen

Cow Humper
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Jul 18, 2007
4,372
I've got a cross check at 0:03, and then just a tripping at the end even though my fun-meter would be calling for a penalty shot.
 

tonyandpals

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He had a trip, but he was like a deer in headlights. Felt a bit bad. He came towards our bench and our HC was telling him it was a textbook penalty shot and if he could explain what he had, and why it wasn't? The guy/kid(maybe 17-18yo tops) literally just stared at him in silence as he asked the question...calmly. It was extremely odd. He finally went moved along once the HC stopped asking. But, but he never responded. It was just odd. Could have owned it a bit and simply explained, but hey. Puck don't lie...

ensuing pp (same kid)

volume warning / screaming moms

View: https://imgur.com/a/e9QEzNw
 

OfTheCarmen

Cow Humper
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Jul 18, 2007
4,372
Y'know what, I'm gonna change my answer. I went and looked up the USA Hockey rules, and by that logic it seems pretty cut and dry. I've always assumed there was some kind of verbiage around "separation" between the puck carrier and the defenders. Maybe there was back when I played, maybe that's a holdover from NHL, who knows.

Glad he ended up getting the goal anyway.