USA Hockey Magazine

September 2019

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21 SEPTEMBER 2019 USAHOCKEYMAGAZINE.COM When Ken Martel hit the road to sell the benefits of USA Hockey's revolutionary long-term athlete development program, he would kick off his presentation with a video clip of John F. Kennedy's 1962 pledge to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade. While such an example was viewed by some as hyperbole, Martel's point is that changing the hockey culture in the United States was no less ambitious, or challenging. "President Kennedy said four months into his presidency that we are going to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade, and the technology to do that hadn't even been invented yet," said Martel, who is the technical director of the ADM. "We looked at what we were doing as a massive endeavor because we were trying to affect the entire culture of our sport, to make changes across the entire nation. And the scale is something that the organization had never done before." It seems like a bit of a stretch to compare the two, but changing the culture of hockey, a culture that placed too much emphasis on com- petition at too early an age with not enough time and energy spent on age-appropriate training for kids, was like shooting for the moon. With the backing of the National Hockey League, USA Hockey set out to change the way Americans view the game, and ultimately all of youth sports. Rooted in sports science and based on the principles of long-term athlete development, the ADM is a bottom-to-top approach to creating better athletes while instilling in them a passion to play the game long after their competitive days are over. The end result has been a more skilled and passionate group of hockey players at all age levels, and ultimately more players com- peting at the highest levels of the game. Over the course of the last decade, a monumental step has been taken toward changing the hockey culture that many believe has only scratched the surface of the true potential of American hockey talent. t may just be a happy coincidence that the 10-year anniversary of the American Development Model falls at the same time that we celebrate the half century milestone of Neil A r m st r o n g b e c o m i n g t h e fi r st person to walk on the moon. DEVELOPMENT DEVELOPMENT A DECADE OF Revolutionary Program Continues To Change The Face Of Hockey In America In its first 10 years in existence, the American Development Model has cleared a number of hurdles on its way to becoming the norm when it comes to developing the next generation of hockey players.

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