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Resources for Parents

Each season, more than 600 boys and girls play hockey with Hockey West Island.

Children can join as of the age of 4, where they will play in the U7 (Under 7) division. Our other divisions include U9 to U18 and U21 (Junior). Hockey West Island has Single Letter as well as competitive Double Letter teams from U11 to U18.

All coaches and managers at HWI are volunteers and give hundreds of hours each season both on and off the ice. In order for each season to be fun and successful for all, parents and families need to be involved, offer positive encouragement, and support the coaching staff and players. Sportsmanship starts in the stands and we ask that parents lead by example.

Get involved. It is very important to attend the start of the year team meeting with coaches. 

  • To the best of your ability, ensure that your child respects his/her teammates, coaches, team officials, referees, opponents, opposing coaches, opposing team officials and other participants in HWI games, practices, and other association activities.
  • To the best of your ability, ensure that your child conducts himself/herself in a manner that minimizes the risk of injury, both physical and psychological, to himself/herself and others which includes not making any derogatory comments as to another individual’s race, ethnic origin, colour, religion, gender and/or sexual orientation.
  • Refrain from criticism of coaches, team officials, referees, teammates, opponents, opposing coaches, opposing team officials and other participants in HWI games and other association activities and, when you feel that criticism is warranted, you shall offer it in a manner that is fully respectful, through proper channels and away from the hockey rink.
  • Refrain from discussing the weaknesses of other team players and/or coaching staff with your child.
  • Keep interactions with parents on the other team as healthy and positive as possible. Parents on the ‘other’ team are not the enemy. Neither are the players on the other team.
  • Every effort should be made to NOT coach from the stands. Hearing different directions coming from the stands is distracting and confusing for both players and coaching staff. The stands are for enjoying watching your child play, and the companionship of other parents. If you want to coach, please consider obtaining your coaching certification and volunteering for a role on a team. 
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Age Divisions for Single Letter Programs

The age and skill level of the players defines the seasonal plan. Hockey Canada skill-development programs are based on progressive steps and follow the appropriate allocation of time defined in the skill-development pyramid.

U7 (Ages 4-5-6)
Timbits U7 Age Division (formerly called Pre-Novice)

For kids aged 4-5-6

The MAHG-Initiation Hockey Timbits Program stands for Méthode d’apprentissage du hockey sur glace. This program designed by Hockey Quebec has been offered in all regions of Quebec since 1976.

Players wear full hockey equipment and practices are 50-minutes long. Players are on the ice 1 to 2 times per week (Saturdays and/or Sundays). Timbits game jerseys and socks are provided.

Goals for the Timbits U7 age division are:

  • Provide a positive environment for learning the FUNdamental skills of hockey
  • Stimulate interest and desire to continue playing the game of hockey
  • Develop basic skating skills and hockey stick/puck skills 
  • Increase opportunities for players to touch and handle the puck
  • Develop self-esteem through a sense of achievement
  • Teach the basic rules of hockey
  • Have FUN!

The MAHG program encourages an environment in which children can learn the FUNdamentals of hockey in a safe, fun atmosphere that doesn’t focus on winning. The MAHG program provides an opportunity for players to meet new friends while gaining a firsthand experience in the game of hockey. The volunteer coaches who partake in the Timbits program are encouraged to gain coaching knowledge through coach clinics.

CLICK HERE for the complete Timbits Hockey Canada M7 Program and cross-ice game information.

U9 (Ages 7-8)
U9 (formerly Novice)

For kids aged 7-8
U9 builds on the basic hockey skills players learned in U7, but players do NOT have to have taken U7 to join the association. Everyone is welcome! U9 makes sure that the game is a safe and positive experience, introducing, reviewing, or refining basic skills. Players learn and practice:

  • Puck handling
  • Shooting and passing
  • Basic hockey rules
  • Basic hockey strategy
  • Building friendships and learning teamwork skills

In U9 players are classed in groups 1-4 and play against other Minor Hockey Associations in our league (Central Hockey League (CHL)) which includes Lakeshore Hockey, Pierrefonds Hockey, Dollard Hockey, Association Hockey Mineur Ile Perrot, and Association Hockey Mineur Hockey Vaudreuil-Dorion. Practices may be held Friday early evenings, and Saturdays and Sundays as early as 7am. The schedule changes weekly.

CLICK HERE for complete U9 and half-ice game information.

➡️ Playing with peers of the same level fosters an environment where the chances of success are balanced, reinforcing confidence and exploring social dynamics.
➡️ This approach ensures that the child remains engaged, motivated and happy in their sporting journey, where the exploration of skills and social relationships co-exist in an enriching way.
➡️ In a training session or lesson, grouping players according to skill level also makes the coach’s job much easier, since he or she can more easily adapt the level of difficulty of exercises according to the players’ skills.

U11 to U18 (Ages 9 to 17)
U11 (formerly Atom) for kids ages 9-10
U13 (formerly PeeWee) for kids ages 11-12
U15 (formerly Bantam) for kids ages 13-14
U18 (formerly Midget) for kids ages 15-16-17

U11 and U13 programs can have Classes A-B-C. U15 and higher usually only have A&B Classes.

Teams in Divisions U11, U13, U15, and U18 play against other Minor Hockey Associations (MHA) in the CHL.

U21 (Ages 18-20)
U21 (Junior)

U21 includes players from the age of 18 up to 21 within the calendar year, with a maximum of 4 players of 21 years old permitted per team. HWI only participates in the A-B Classes given that the AA Class is a Provincial league structure. U21 teams play in the Lac St-Louis regional league vs. other Minor Hockey Associations (MHAs) of the Lac St-Louis territory.

Evaluations

Evaluations take place at the beginning of the season to ensure that players are grouped according to their ability and to ensure that the player is placed in the best possible position for success.

Parents can often feel unproductive during tryouts and assessments, which can lead to anxiety, frustration, and other negative reactions. During the evaluation process, it is crucial that coaches and evaluators are given the opportunity to go through their process and that players are removed from any negativity as much as possible. The role of parents during the evaluation process is to be positive and supportive of the player. This materializes by having good habits, having a good routine before the sessions, and helping the player to understand and decode what is happening when he decompresses or prepares. Examples include enforcing good sleep and rest patterns, providing appropriate nutrition to replenish energy and promote recovery, and helping to manage and reduce the player’s stress and frustration which can lead to decreased performance and increased fatigue. All players want to reach the highest levels and parents often want to support them in this effort. The best way to do this is to reinforce a growth mindset, to be the best you can be at any level, and to keep learning how to improve.

Players, parents and coaches who can make the most of their situation, no matter what, will ultimately have the most fun, learn the most, and have the best experience possible. Ultimately, the enjoyment of the sport and the skills a player can build on and off the ice are the most important outcomes of this process. If the parent can support and amplify these concepts, the player will experience the optimal benefit no matter where they are rated or what team level they are selected for.

Communications

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Hockey West Island uses the TeamSnap sports management service for clubs and leagues. TeamSnap is used to sort players during evaluations, for team and association communications, and for full team practice and game schedules. Members will need a (free) TeamSnap account if you do not already have one. Sign up online and/or download the app on your device. 

What equipment is needed?

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