When you say your player "can barely keep up" with other players at the squirt minor level, do you mean the naturally stronger kids who go to the outside, skate end to end and score? If so, that's hockey at the mite and squirt level and it's about to come to an end. Just because they're naturally faster skaters at this age doesn't equate to them being better hockey players later. The ADM model is designed to give kids more puck touches and work in tighter spaces. That's how hockey skills are developed at this age and your bender's game will benefit more in this model than by seeing who can go end to end in a straight line the fastest.
You have to be able to skate to play the game. Speed is vital all the way through and into the NHL. Anyone claiming the game isn't about speed is practicing wishful thinking about their unathletic child's chances. In my experience, if your kid is slow, he'll always be slow, and that will be a major impediment to advancing in today's game. Have him try goalie if he can't keep up.
Great coach. They all should be getting skating lessens through-out their hockey careers. Too many kids don't want to put in the work.
I’ll take “technical skating over speed any day...”...HA!! Sounds like the dad of a “stay at home” defenseman that gets burned by speed all day long and can’t contribute on offense because he can’t keep up with the rush or get by anybody. I’ll assume you’re of the “The game will change when they start hitting...” crew, too? As if the more athletic kids aren’t also the kids who’ll end up being superior when the game is more physical. Look, at the end of the day you can train all you want but your kids innate athleticism (or lack thereof in this guy’s case) doesn’t cut it, his ceiling is limited. I’ve been around the game a long time. I’ve seen kids work their way up, and guess what? 10 years later the fast kids are still faster, the weak kids are still weak, the kids with good hands still have good hands, the true competitors still compete...I have yet to see a slow unathletic kid with weak competitiveness turn it around because he “grows ino it”. Chances are that whatever relationship your kid has to his peers now will be true when he’s 16, too.