Beginner Skating | Watertown Youth Hockey Association

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Watertown Youth Hockey 8U Beginner Program Outline 2019-2020

These programs are primarily available for children with birth years of 2011 or younger, but older children are welcome.


The goal of the Watertown Youth Hockey 8U program is to introduce boys and girls to the game of ice hockey.  To not only promote skill development of our players, but to encourage, support, and motivate players to gain confidence, creativity, sportsmanship, teamwork, both on and off the ice. We will be using USA Hockey’s ADM guidelines as a tool for development.  The program is divided into 3 separate programs based on age & skill level.

  • Learn to Skate (Intro to Hockey) 
  • Learn to Play (Junior Redwings) 

Learn to Skate (Intro to Hockey)

The Intro to Hockey program is for beginning skaters ages 4 and up with an interest in playing the sport of hockey.  Here we will focus on the fundamentals of skating, stick handling, passing and shooting, with an emphasis on skating.  With many that have never been on skates before, the intent is to get players used to the feel of standing and moving on ice.  We will be using station-based activities by placing players in small groups to get maximum involvement. We will progress late in the first session and into in the second to incorporating the use of a hockey stick for those that are ready as determined by the coaching staff.  The goal by the end of the program, is that players are able to skate with proper form both forwards and backwards, are able to stop with at least “snow plow”, are able to turn from forwards to backwards and vice versa, to start to build confidence in use of skate edges, can properly hold and use their stick, with an introduction to passing and shooting. After completion, the players should be ready for Junior Redwings. 

The first session will run from approximately October through December.  The second session will run from approximately January to March.  Helmet, skates, and gloves minimum are required.  Second session - full equipment required if ready for stick use.


Learn to Play (Junior Redwings)

The next step in the program is Junior Redwings for ages 5 and up, that have completed the Intro to Hockey but are not ready for Travel play.  Here the players will continue to develop individual skills and become more proficient skaters, stickhandlers, passers, and shooters.  We will be using USA Hockey’s ADM program as our guide.  The intent is to provide station based activities (usually grouped by age) that will work on more skating techniques, stickhandling, passing, shooting, and the start of team play with the use of mini in-house Cross-ice games. We will schedule a few friendly games with other programs towards end of the session to add some fun with other kids that are learning the game as well.  There will be 3 ice times per week.  The first 2 practices will focus on skill development through the station based activities.  The 3rd practice will involve some skating drills and then break up into teams and play Cross-ice games. This will allow the kids to have fun and put the skills they are learning to use.  By the end of the year, the goal is for the players to have improved on skills and are ready to start playing in a team setting and continue to advance their development at the next level.  Players should have the ability to skate properly forwards, backwards, transition forward to backwards, use edges in turning and stopping, be able to pass, receive passes, and shoot the puck.

Season runs from approximately September through February. Full-equipment required. Jersey included 

USA Hockey registration required - $40 (birth year 2012 and younger is free)

Hamden Sports Center will also provide equipment discounts for our Learn to Skate and Learn to Play programs.  Mention your registration with Watertown Youth Hockey to receive a discount. Hamden Sports Center is at 2858 Whitney Ave, Hamden, CT  203.248.9898

For more information our Beginner Skating Program, please  .