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Yikes with this thread! Coach is important. Just as important as SKILLS for a mite. Wouldn’t be concerned with the level. In response to the BB comment, as a bandits parent, I’ve seen great individual player progress with a lot of bandits mite major kids who also love the sport. Going to practice and skills is where development happens. Doesn’t matter if a team has had a losing year. Go with your gut and where your kid will develop best and love hockey!
Don’t worry about the level. Have your kid play where he/she is most comfortable. That means with the coach, kids on the team, and the parents. Just make sure your kid is having fun. You would rather have your kid be at top of the roster on a tier 1 team than the bottom of the roster on an elite team. It will be better for you and your kid for the long term.
This is good advice. To go from a good situation with coaches and teammates to one where the level is higher but the coach turns into a douche and or the teammates don’t click will make for a painful season of regret.
Try to be open minded, you could be biased if you only had limited interaction with a coach and how he runs practices and games. In the end, go with your gut feeling and make the best out of whatever you may experience. Your 7/8 year old is already ahead of most kids of the same age, so as long as he is being pushed and have fun, it doesn't really matter much if he goes to elite or T1. He will eventually be playing at his level.
Forget a team till peewee. Skills all of squirts.
Not sure why this is even a question. You can’t be concerned with “level” at mite and squirt. Find the program that is offering the better coach and go with them.