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Youth Hockey
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U14 Full or sit on varsity?

My son will be a U14 next year. Will make his Varsity team but very unlikely to play. What's better for development? Practicing varsity or playing for his U14 team, which is EHF elite.

Re: U14 Full or sit on varsity?

EHF Elite in the second half is garbage. I watched the Kings play the other day and they had 8 kids on the bench, 1 of them was wearing Express gear and he looked like a giraffe on skates. If that kid is setting the bar you're better off sitting on a bench.

Re: U14 Full or sit on varsity?

Anon
EHF Elite in the second half is garbage. I watched the Kings play the other day and they had 8 kids on the bench, 1 of them was wearing Express gear and he looked like a giraffe on skates. If that kid is setting the bar you're better off sitting on a bench.
Not our experience. Depends on the team, I guess.

Nobody develops sitting.

Re: U14 Full or sit on varsity?

True, they don't develop on the bench during 20 games, however, the 40+ practices vs kids that are bigger faster and stronger is where they develop. Don't get hung up on game time ice. Kids develop at practice at this age. They push themselves to compete vs the older players.

Re: U14 Full or sit on varsity?

However
True, they don't develop on the bench during 20 games, however, the 40+ practices vs kids that are bigger faster and stronger is where they develop. Don't get hung up on game time ice. Kids develop at practice at this age. They push themselves to compete vs the older players.
Practice is at 80% at best. Nobody develops sitting. At this age you need to play in games. More so than in youth hockey.

Re: U14 Full or sit on varsity?

Good luck with that. Those 5-10 touches in a game vs 100-200 touches every practice. I'll take my chances.

Re: U14 Full or sit on varsity?

Play split season, then look for an alternate spot somewhere after Thanksgiving. There will be openings that allow him a chance to play games with kids his own age while practicing with his school team. Good luck, that's what I'll be trying for with my kid in the same situation.

Re: U14 Full or sit on varsity?

Anon
Play split season, then look for an alternate spot somewhere after Thanksgiving. There will be openings that allow him a chance to play games with kids his own age while practicing with his school team. Good luck, that's what I'll be trying for with my kid in the same situation.
Sounds like an MIAA violation in the works.

Re: U14 Full or sit on varsity?

However
Good luck with that. Those 5-10 touches in a game vs 100-200 touches every practice. I'll take my chances.
At U14 and above puberty completely changs the game. The development you get in games has nothing to do with puck touches. It's playing at speed, playing with intensity, recognizing space on the ice, grinding in the corners, knowing what play to make when, developing hockey IQ. Oh, and hitting and getting hit. Over and over.

And, at these ages you'd better be doing skills outside of the team. Plenty of edging and puck touches then.

Oh, wait, we're talking public HS hockey. Never mind, development is optional.

Re: U14 Full or sit on varsity?

3rd time around for me and almost done. Everyone is different with varying objectives however if you want a better player, and more importantly if the kid wants to improve play on a FS team that augments league play in 2nd half with quality tournaments. My experience was as follows for frosh year.

Boy 1: club for 1/2 season then rode pine. 4th liner who stood to the side watching practice most of the time. Ended up riding pine soph as well as he didn’t nearly get the puck touches we thought. Ok Jr year, not so hot Sr year as new talent that came in was good. Lots of bad habits.

Boy 2: club for full season then came in as a contributing 3rd liner as soph. 2nd liner jr year and Capt sr year. Best decision was the frosh year due to actual play and confidence.

Boy 3: soph this year. Played u14 FS and decided to go right to u16 FS vs play HS where he would have been a 3rd liner at best. Huge development year this year with the 3+ practices and 65+ games against very good talent, mostly within his same age and size. Was noticed by a prep and they asked him to repeat and come in as a soph, but same boat as he would have been as a frosh in public. Opting for 1 more year of u16 and repeat as a Jr. Prep coach ok with that and actually thinks better for development and thinks him being go to player in u16 for another season puts him in a position for more FA next year coming in as contributing 2nd liner.wants a commitment now. Great to have options, barring a major injury of course.

So this is just my experience but given the maturity of full season teams right now compared to when my oldest was playing, it’s a no-brainer. If you are in public high school and you expect your player to get better, they won’t. Coaching in public’s is hit or miss and not all include underclassmen in practices. Plus, coaching, talent and intensity at a good u16 program better than public HS varsity. Everyone is different but this is my experience.

Re: U14 Full or sit on varsity?

puck touches in public HS hockey? that's a stretch. kids can't make or receive passes? :ice_hockey_stick_and_puck:

:ice_hockey_stick_and_puck: :ice_hockey_stick_and_puck: :ice_hockey_stick_and_puck:

Re: U14 Full or sit on varsity?

Anon
3rd time around for me and almost done. Everyone is different with varying objectives however if you want a better player, and more importantly if the kid wants to improve play on a FS team that augments league play in 2nd half with quality tournaments. My experience was as follows for frosh year.

Boy 1: club for 1/2 season then rode pine. 4th liner who stood to the side watching practice most of the time. Ended up riding pine soph as well as he didn’t nearly get the puck touches we thought. Ok Jr year, not so hot Sr year as new talent that came in was good. Lots of bad habits.

Boy 2: club for full season then came in as a contributing 3rd liner as soph. 2nd liner jr year and Capt sr year. Best decision was the frosh year due to actual play and confidence.

Boy 3: soph this year. Played u14 FS and decided to go right to u16 FS vs play HS where he would have been a 3rd liner at best. Huge development year this year with the 3+ practices and 65+ games against very good talent, mostly within his same age and size. Was noticed by a prep and they asked him to repeat and come in as a soph, but same boat as he would have been as a frosh in public. Opting for 1 more year of u16 and repeat as a Jr. Prep coach ok with that and actually thinks better for development and thinks him being go to player in u16 for another season puts him in a position for more FA next year coming in as contributing 2nd liner.wants a commitment now. Great to have options, barring a major injury of course.

So this is just my experience but given the maturity of full season teams right now compared to when my oldest was playing, it’s a no-brainer. If you are in public high school and you expect your player to get better, they won’t. Coaching in public’s is hit or miss and not all include underclassmen in practices. Plus, coaching, talent and intensity at a good u16 program better than public HS varsity. Everyone is different but this is my experience.
Great post. Thanks for sharing that.

Re: U14 Full or sit on varsity?

Seriously. Go watch the state tourney games this week. This is the best of the best. You do the math.

Re: U14 Full or sit on varsity?

Play full no questions asked. You son will develop more playing FS.

Re: U14 Full or sit on varsity?

play split like previous poster and be an alternate for full. No miaa violation as long as he doesn't skip a practice or game for HS team.

Re: U14 Full or sit on varsity?

anon
play split like previous poster and be an alternate for full. No miaa violation as long as he doesn't skip a practice or game for HS team.
So, when does he play/practice for the club team? He'd end up playing 5 games the entire 2nd half.

Re: U14 Full or sit on varsity?

Go wherever he will play and develop. Sitting on the bench will not make him a better hockey player.

Re: U14 Full or sit on varsity?

Varsity hockey practices are 90% special teams play and is usually First line goes 4 times, second line goes twice, 3rd and 4th line go once. FS hockey is a little better, but if your son is not a top 6 or top 4, the same thing happens.
As for game ice, even the 3rd/4th line kids on a FS team will see shifts, but don't think for 1 minute that it will be rolling lines. Good luck.

Re: U14 Full or sit on varsity?

U14 teams don’t have 4 lines. Most teams will roll lines except in special team situations. Go where the kid will actually play, with kids who can actually play.

Re: U14 Full or sit on varsity?

Anon
U14 teams don’t have 4 lines. Most teams will roll lines except in special team situations. Go where the kid will actually play, with kids who can actually play.
^^^ Believes everyone should get a trophy for playing hard.

Re: U14 Full or sit on varsity?

Anon
Anon
U14 teams don’t have 4 lines. Most teams will roll lines except in special team situations. Go where the kid will actually play, with kids who can actually play.
^^^ Believes everyone should get a trophy for playing hard.
I don't see where you are getting that from that post at all.

Re: U14 Full or sit on varsity?

But then don't you run the risk of upsetting the Varsity HC who then see's you as someone who isn't "with the program" if you choose to play FS rather then sit on his bench and practice under him to learn the finer points of the game and have your kid "pay his dues."

Re: U14 Full or sit on varsity?

Anon
But then don't you run the risk of upsetting the Varsity HC who then see's you as someone who isn't "with the program" if you choose to play FS rather then sit on his bench and practice under him to learn the finer points of the game and have your kid "pay his dues."
Yes, that's a risk. But, do you really want your kid playing for a coach that still hazes underclassmen? Why would any GOOD coach not want a player to develop as much as possible before he is ready to assume a meaningful role?

If that's the coach's attitude, then you just continue to play full season.

Re: U14 Full or sit on varsity?

Anon
Anon
But then don\'t you run the risk of upsetting the Varsity HC who then see\'s you as someone who isn\'t \"with the program\" if you choose to play FS rather then sit on his bench and practice under him to learn the finer points of the game and have your kid \"pay his dues.\"
Yes, that's a risk. But, do you really want your kid playing for a coach that still hazes underclassmen? Why would any GOOD coach not want a player to develop as much as possible before he is ready to assume a meaningful role?

If that's the coach's attitude, then you just continue to play full season.
Or Prep, or CC.

Shame these kinds of coaches still exist. It's one of the things killing the MIAA.

But, if your kid can play, he will be welcomed with open arms.

Re: U14 Full or sit on varsity?

Anon
Anon
Anon
U14 teams don’t have 4 lines. Most teams will roll lines except in special team situations. Go where the kid will actually play, with kids who can actually play.
^^^ Believes everyone should get a trophy for playing hard.
I don't see where you are getting that from that post at all.
Not the OP, but I think what he is getting at is most of the better U14 teams have 4 lines and don't roll lines. National Bound teams manage the bench much like a high school team. At least that was the experience for my two boys.