Agree with this. At this age (U12 and under) there *should* be significant emphasis on developing individual skills. But all too often that becomes an afterthought as "systems" are prioritized in the name of ranking high by the time the first snowflake falls. Moreover between hockey and schoolwork, there's little time for outside skill development during the season. So summer is the time to build those skating, stickhandling, shooting skills-- whether you do it in a driveway or at an expensive camp. Dynamic looks great. Also have heard good things about Paul Vincent.
They should be doing skills everytime they are on the ice and if the Coach is just practicing the kids "skating in their lanes" or where to stand on the power play then you are wasting your kids development over the winter. If your playing for a team with this mentality at U12 you need to jump ship because he is not helping your kid.
We realized at U12/PeeWee that if you really want your kid to develop, you'd better be working on skills outside of the team. There won't be proper emphasis on edgework and fundamentals in team practices. The ratio is just too high for the kids to get the individual attention on weaknesses they need. You're just ingraining bad habits doing lap after lap around cones.
And, there's nowhere to jump ship to. The overemphasis on winning has taken hold everywhere, especially on the elite teams. The coaches and program directors don't care about developing your kid. If they have to replace him next year, they will.
Not true. There are very good elite teams out there that run skill-based practices at the expense of systems. The key is finding one and staying, not leaving to chase rankings.