Hockey CanadaBC HockeyHockey AlbertaHockey SaskHockey ManitobaHockey Northwestern OntarioOntario Hockey FederationHockey Easern OntarioQuebec Hockey NetworkHockey New BrunswickHockey PEIHockey Nova ScotiaHockey NLHockey North

Hockey Canada - Long-Term Development Outline

Physical Literacy and Hockey Basics through a Broad Range of Sports





Discovery Male & Female 0-4 years Community

Acquire fundamental movement skills (running, gliding, jumping, kicking, catching) that lay the foundation for more complex movements; prepare children for a physically active lifestyle. Hockey Canada encourages children to begin skating at an early age through Discovery Hockey programs.

FUNdamentals 1 Male & Female 5-6 years Community/Local

Development of physical literacy. Fundamental movement skills should be mastered and motor development emphasized; participation in many sports/activities is encouraged. Basic hockey skills of skating and puck control are introduced through the U7. FUN competitions introduced in a team environment.

FUNdamentals 2 Male & Female 7-8 years Local

Continue to develop motor skills and coordination. Practices should be held twice a week during the season. Ongoing participation in compatible sports is strongly encouraged. U9 Skills Program is designed to promote the continued development of physical literacy, fitness, and the basic skills required to play hockey.

Learn to Play Male & Female 9-10 years Local/Provincial

Develop fine motor skills, on an individual technical skill basis, that lead to utilizing these skills in individual and team tactics later on. Prior to the beginning of the growth spurt, players have the best opportunity to learn and begin to master fine motor skills that can be used in combination with other skills. Players should be able to begin to transfer skills and concepts from practices to games.

Learn to Train Male
11-12 years
10-11 years

Most significant period for development. Accelerated adaptation to motor coordination; group interaction, team building and social activities emphasized; reasonable balance of practices and games will foster the ongoing development and mastery of essential skills in hockey.


Train to Train Male
12-16 years
11-15 years

Build an aerobic base, develop speed and strength and further develop and consolidate sport specific technical skills with an increased emphasis on hockey and a reduction in the number of other sports played. Introduce and develop individual and group tactics; emphasize team-building, group interaction and social activities.

Train to Compete Male
16-17 years
16-18 years

Position specific technical and tactical preparation; emphasis on fitness preparation and the development of position specific technical and tactical skills under competitive conditions; develop aerobic capacity, power, self-awareness and independence. International competitive experience may be added at the end of this stage.

Train to Win Male
18-20 years
16-18 years

Physical, technical, tactical (including decision-making skills), mental, personal and lifestyle capacities are fully established; emphasis in training shifts to the maximization of performance. High performance sport specialist support is optimized, as is fitness and medical monitoring.

Excel Male
21+ years
22+ years

All systems, including physical preparation, testing or monitoring and others which are supportive in nature, are fully maximized and refined to ensure excellence at the highest competitive levels (i.e., the Olympic Games and World Championships). Competition and training at the highest level with a focus on maintaining or improving technical, tactical, physical, and ancillary capacities.