Novice Programming



During this period players continue to develop motor skills and coordination. Practices sessions should be held twice a week during the season. Ongoing participation in compatible sports is strongly encouraged. The Novice Skills Program is designed to promote the continued development of physical literacy, fitness, and the basic skills required to play hockey.

Ensure that the skills the player acquires during the FUNdamentals stage will benefit them when they engage in recreational activities, enhancing their quality of life and health. Hockey Canada recommends in the initial stages of FUNdamentals that players spend 75% of their time on the introduction and development of technical skills as well as begin to focus on team tactics.

For Coaches

  • Utilize the Hockey Canada Network Application, the Hockey Canada Skills Manuals, and Skills of Gold DVDʼs as a standard base of technical and tactical skill development and seasonal planning and focus on motor coordination skills in players. Develop these skills through drills that incorporate agility, balance and change of direction

  • Work toward a ratio of 2 training sessions for every game. Over the course of a 26-week minor hockey season this would mean 25-35 games and 50-70 practices and encourage unstructured play in practice to allow the players to develop skills through experimentation.

  • Continue to play players in multiple positions to develop all the skills of the game

  • A high number of repetitions is combined with a below maximum intensity level.

  • The success rate is at least 70% when practicing skills.

  • Players are exposed to numerous repetitive demonstrations. Coach must create a precise mental image of the technical action that must be duplicated. The participant must imitate the correct movement as precisely as possible

  • The decision-making process according to standard situations is introduced at this age and technical or tactical learning take place at the beginning of the session, after the warm up. There can be no learning if the player is tired.

  • NCCP training in the Community Stream. This stream focuses on skill development

For Parents

  • Encourage your child to participate in a wide variety of physical activities.

  • Strength training should be done solely with the players own body weight

  • Other sports that build on fundamental movement skills applicable to hockey:

  • Gymnastics

  • Run, Jump, Throw programs

  • Soccer

  • Skating

For Minor Hockey Associations

  • Continue to share ice between teams to maximize the usage of the ice, especially during prime time

  • Encourage coaches to continue their education through the Hockey Canada Specialty Clinics, Instructional Stream Clinics, and other continuing education offerings

  • Structure competition based on the differences in development and abilities.

  • Provide coaches with the latest and most up to date resources to assist with seasonal planning and skill teaching.