At Hamden’s Learn to Play Hockey Clinic, participants will learn the fundamentals of skating and hockey necessary for developing into a hockey player, per the American Development Model (ADM) set forth by USA Hockey. Clinic sessions run one weeknight and Saturday mornings, beginning in the fall.
Boys and girls, ages 3-18 are introduced to the basic skills of skating, puck control, passing and shooting. Participants learn through practice drills and informal scrimmages that are directed by USA Hockey certified instructors who are on the ice at all times. The goal of the program is to ensure the introduction to hockey is a positive experience.
Try Learn to Play Hockey Clinic for Free
Come to any session/any lesson (arrive at least 15 minutes before ice time) and try it for free!
Equipment: skates, helmet, and gloves (a bike helmet and any protective gloves will work to try a session of Clinic) are required at a minimum to try Clinic.
The Hamden Youth Hockey Learn to Play Hockey Clinic is directed by Tiger Mann. Former Hamden High School Hockey player from 1980-1983, Tiger received district and state honors his senior year. His previous coaching experience includes HYHA Mite A, Pee Wee B and Assistant Coach HYHA Peewees winning State and New England titles. He also has vast experience in other sports as well. He has coached SCSU women’s rugby, and currently coaches both youth soccer and baseball in Cheshire.
Enrolling in Learn to Play Hockey Clinic
Click the registration link (live soon!). You can pay online when registering.
Once enrolled, we recommend full equipment for all players. Many of the local hockey shops have beginner packages of both new and used equipment. See below for a description of equipment.
We offer three separate sessions of Clinic, beginning in the fall.
Practices are generally one weeknight and one Saturday morning and last 1 hour. You can access the schedule by clicking the “Teams, Schedules & Contacts” tab above and clicking “Clinic”.
We encourage you to check the schedule often – skate times do change occasionally with ice availability—and you can sign up for text alerts.
Skates: Purchase hockey skates that fit your child today, with no more than ½” allowed for growth. Sharpen skates after approximately 10 hours of skating at most local hockey shops for a nominal fee.
Helmet with Face Mask: Helmets should fit snugly to prevent shifting and maximize protection. The chinstrap should be adjustable so it gently makes contact under the chin when fastened. It must have face cage or shield.
Hockey Gloves: Ensure proper fit with good finger and hand mobility.
Stick: Stick length should generally extend from the ice to the player’s chin (with skates on). Generally, sticks are purchased then cut to the appropriate length.
Shin pads: To ensure proper fit, make sure that the cap of the shin pad is centered on the knee cap. The flaps of the shin guard should wrap around the calf.
Elbow pads: Elbow Pads should be snug but comfortable. The elbow should fit into the cup of the pad to allow for maximum mobility. The top of the elbow pad should protect the bicep without restricting movement.
Supporter and Cup or Jill: Essential protective equipment. Not required for clinic, but recommended.
Hockey pants: Pants provide protection for the lower spine, hips and thighs (and padding for the backside for those less-confident skaters). These are not required for clinic, but are recommended.
Chest/shoulder pads: Ensure proper fit to protect chest and spine. Shoulder pads should fit snugly while the tips of the shoulder fit securely under the shoulder caps. The bicep pads should not interfere with the player’s elbow pads. This is not required for clinic, but is recommended.
Hockey socks/jersey: When moving to a travel team, these are part of the uniform you’ll purchase. At the clinic level, basic knit socks are available at most local sporting goods stores or you can wear loose athletic pants over shin pads. Jerseys will be provided.
Where to find equipment
Recommended local hockey shops are Hamden Sports Center in both Hamden and the Northford Ice Pavilion.
Dressing Your Skater
Dressing your skater will be time consuming--be sure to allow at least 15 minutes, up to 30. Put on long socks--they do not have to be thick--actually, the thinner the better. Put pads (knee pads, elbow pads) over clothing. Then, lightweight sweat pants over legs if not using hockey socks. Next, chest pads & pants if you have them. Next, jersey or light weight long sleeve shirt. Skates, helmet and gloves last!