Hello All Players and Parents! Welcome to the 2014-2015 Hockey Season!
The North Reading Youth Hockey and Skating Association Board of Directors are excited to announce the beginning of the 2014-15 Hockey season. We are confident that it will be an fun and productive year for all our players and families. We are also pleased to announce that we will essentially have the same practice times as we did last year. Like last year, these times will remain the same for most players for the entire season. Our practice ice will again be at Merrimack College, Lawrence Valley Forum and the McVann Rink in Peabody all starting next week.
We have published the practice schedules for all teams on our website for the upcoming season and have also published the Valley League game/parity schedule for September and October. Please check your player’s team schedule at www.nrsa.net for more information. You can also look up the game/parity schedule for the Valley League at their website – www.valleyhockeyleague.com. Midgets should check the Martian League website -- www.msfhshl.com for game information. (Although, it does not look like the game schedule is posted yet.)
All practices will begin next week. Please remember to be ready to take the ice at the start time of your practice. This means you should arrive 20 or more minutes prior to the start time in order to give yourself time to get ready.
Bantam practices begin Tuesday, September 2, 2015 at 8:00 pm at the Lawler Rink at Merrimack College. Midgets practices begin at Merrimack on Thursday, September 4, at 6:50 pm (this is subject to change as we are trying to secure a later start time – should this change we will send an email to all Midget players and families.) The Mites, Squirts and Peewees will also start their practices next Thursday at 4:00 pm at the Lawrence Valley Forum. Mite Development/Mini-Mites will begin their program on October 18, 2015. Mini-Mite families will be getting a more detailed email regarding the program specifics shortly. Games for most teams will being on the weekend of September 6.
Please continue to check the schedule over the next few weeks as there are sometimes slight changes to games and practices due to rescheduling. If you have any questions about anything North Reading Youth Hockey -- please feel free to email your head coach or any member of the Board of Directors. We will make every effort to respond promptly.
Thank you and have a great season.
North Reading Youth Hockey and Skating Associations Board of Directors.
There's one common thread to everything that happens in hockey. Every shot, every pass, every face-off, every save: it all happens on skates. Skating, in other words, is where hockey starts.
At the beginning of each season, young hockey players often look at different parts of the sport and focus on certain areas they want to improve upon. But when it comes to taking your game to the next level, consistently becoming a better skater is perhaps the most important part of any development path.
Chris Nagy, assistant coach at St. Mary's High School in Lynn, Mass., understands this well. Nagy believes skating to be among the most important skills for a successful hockey player. In his more than 10 years coaching, Nagy says he has seen players of all ages become better overall because they dedicated themselves to becoming better skaters.
"I've seen it a lot. Plenty of kids come along who have a great hockey head or great hands, but they struggle with their skating," Nagy says. "Improving their skating is like improving any other skill, running drills and working on muscle memory so they're not wasting motion and move well without hesitating."
Like passing or shooting, improving skating from year to year takes the same type and level of commitment—focusing on specific parts of moving up and down the ice and repeating the movements. Not everyone is going to fly around the ice like the fastest NHL players. But it's not about being the fastest skater, it’s about becoming the best skater a young man or woman can be.
According to Nagy, he's seen many instances where skating, as important as it is, is overlooked by parents.
"Sometimes they get a little too focused on stickhandling or shooting," Nagy says. “Sending kids to different camps is great, but working on each part of the game, especially skating, helps kids out the most."
Steve McKenna of South Boston agrees. His son, also named Stephen, recently made his NCAA debut at the University of Alabama-Huntsville and he believes a commitment to skating landed his son the opportunity to play college hockey.
"We were always at the rink, working on skating," McKenna recalls. "Our practices, especially when he was younger, were mostly about learning to skate and to move with the puck on your stick. It's the basis of the sport. That repetition, stopping and starting, crossing over and moving with the puck is where it all starts."
A longtime coach in South Boston, McKenna has seen several young players advance through to higher levels of the game due to a focus on skating. Conversely, he's seen just as many fail to reach their full potential because they neglected their skating skills.
"When kids are just starting out, they need to start building those skating skills," McKenna explains. "It's great to develop a great shot or pass well, but it's hard to become the player a kid can truly become if [he or she] isn't a good skater."
For any player, it's important to see improvement in every part of the game each season. But maximizing a young player's potential starts with one critical foundation: becoming a truly great skater.
To make a hockey payment by credit card or to check your balance:
1) Click on the "Edit My Account" tab on the left hand column.
2) Log into your account using your email address and password. If you don't know your password leave it blank and it will be emailed back to you.
3) The drop down box's on the payment page can be adjusted to the amount you want to pay. Update the total if you change the amount(s). Make sure the total amount shown is what you want to pay before you submit it.