Division I college teams only play a 28-game regular season schedule which allows players to keep their edge. And it works. Need proof that a limited game schedule can deliver results?
While some NHL players have played a traditional 60+ game schedule during their draft year, many players also played a limited game schedule.
Too Many Games
Would it make sense for a child to take a test on the same subject four out of five school days every week of the school year?
Of course not! When would he or she have time to actually learn and process the material?
Yet, it is that test, test, test mentality that pervades youth hockey—simply substitute games for tests. The classic model for competitive youth hockey programs revolves around a 60-80 game season that leaves little time to practice newly acquired skills in an environment that rewards more than mastery.
Certainly, players in such programs may excel – many have – but they are just as likely to suffer from burnout, injury, loss of confidence and a failure to reach their potential.
So why do youth hockey programs across the country continue to adhere to this traditional model when higher-level programs – the programs to which youth players aspire – don’t follow it?
Sure, players need games to develop – and we recognize that most kids prefer games to practice – but there is no longer room in youth hockey for a 60-80 game schedule.
At NEH, we have a better way
Northeast Elite Hockey provides ample time for players to acquire and hone their skills, balanced with a game schedule designed specifically for player development. Here’s how it works.
Each week, league players will participate in two team practices, one skill session and one weekend game. During skills and team practices, players have the chance to fine-tune their shooting, stickhandling, passing, skating, and decision-making skills under the watchful eye of talented coaches, as well as study tactics and systems.
An NEH players game schedule, including tournaments and playoffs, ranges from 26-35 games while maintaining focus on practice and skills.