Author Topic: AAA Obsession with Travel  (Read 32978 times)

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Reply #10:
 September 18, 2023, 12:53:04 PM
This is just to compare AA vs AAA. One thing AA parents don't understand is how much you pay for AA compared to AAA. My kid played 10UAA as a 2012 last season at a BB rink and now plays PW 2012 AAA at non-BB rink. Let's compare costs:

                                   BB AA (2022-23)             AAA (2023-24)
Tuition-                         $3495                            $5100
Uniforms-                      $430                             $800
Power Skate (20wks)      $40 x20=$800               $0
Semi-Privat clinics (20)   $50x 20= $1000             $0
April-June practice          $600                              $0
Summer Camp               $500                              $0
travel/hotel/food (4 trips)$2800                            $3000 (4 trips estimated)
Skate Sharpening            $416($8 each)               $0 (AAA teams are free)
Total                               $10,041                        $8900

I save $1,141 playing AAA at non-BB rink. People at lower levels never total up the non-team money they spend. We get 4 hours ice a week (including a power skate and skills), 2 day a week free practice April 2023 -End of season in 2024, free skate sharpening, 4 day/ 6hr/day summer camp, free to join other teams practices if we miss our practice, professional off ice trainer & 1 hour video teaching a week. AA we got 2 practices a week, 1 x/week skill (when ice time was available, we got 8 skills all year), had to travel 2 x's for showcases & 2 times for tournaments, no free skate sharpening (adds up), no summer camp, no professional trainer & no video.

AAA is way worth it when you total up what you spend compared to what is included. Also, my AAA travel is not bad, especially compared to AHF that now has teams in Division in Maryland, CT, & NY! My kid was good enough to make a AAA team, yours is not so you are jealous.

Also to the person that wrote teams that win 8 games should just play AA I agree if the team is getting blown out by 10 goals a game. But there are some new AAA teams that may win only 8 games but are very competitive (losing by 1-3 goals a game) that deserve to play AAA. These teams just need time to jell as a team as most established AAA teams have 7-8 player cores that have played together since mites. Since being at AAA for 7 games I can already see the difference between AA & AAA. Top AA teams might compete against lower level AAA teams but to top 80% of AAA teams will destroy top AA teams. The speed of play, passing, skating ability, skill level and most importantly goalie play are just superior. If a AAA kid lacks a little skill, guaranteed they are one of the best skaters on the ice. If a kid is just an ok skater, guaranteed they are top 3 most skilled on ice.
                                                                                       
My buddy and his son came to games this weekend because his AA team was off. The kid did not make the AAA team and wanted to see what it was like. The father and son could not believe how fast and physical a 2012 AAA game is compared to his AA team (which is a top 11UAA Pure team in AHF). After the game when his son was with my son, my buddy remarked he was happy his son (top player on his team) did not make the AAA team. He said he would not be able to keep up and his confidence would suffer. He never got it until he actually watched a AAA game, but now he does. AAA just has better players which = better play. With this said, puberty is the great equalizer!



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Reply #11:
 September 18, 2023, 01:06:32 PM
Who is to say who is dominating at AA. Most parents don't understand the game and only go off scoring to see domination. A AAA forward need to play both ends, skate hard 100% of the time, pass the puck, know when to dump it and go off on line change, and do what the coach asks. A AAA defensemen needs to play d first, be a great skater backwards, pass the puck up ice accurately, skate it up when needed and play very smart. Both positions need to do this at high speed with little time to react. AA is just slower and more individual play. Domination does mean scoring goals, it means controlling play and doing the correct thing almost all the time. I coached AA last year and now watch my kid play AAA. The players are better, more disciplined and play as team. The top AA kids still played individual style 50% of the time, would try to go end to end and coasted on ice 25% of shift. That does not happen at AAA. AAA is superior. AA parents just do not understand. Look at Ice Line 11UAA vs 2012 AAA teams AAA team would destroy AA team 99% of the time. AA team has about 4 players with AAA physical ability, but AA mental ability. I am not saying they are dumb, I am saying they won't play hard 100% of the time, play too individual at times, have difficult parents and sorry to say, not very coachable. You may think this is harsh, but these kids are getting older and need to learn if you want to play at a higher level, coachability and hard work are not options, they are required. Parents need to realize this too!
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Reply #12:
 September 18, 2023, 01:25:24 PM
Yes, AAA is a good deal when your kid wants all the stuff and will benefit from it.

I dont think you can use all those figures as a full comparison

Most AA parents/players dont want/need: powerskating, private clinics, spring practice (they want to play other sports), summer camp. Free shapening is an awesome perk, where is that at?

They need the extra skating, but you know what I mean.

Whatever happened to a competitive level of hockey where the kids arent fully committed yet.

Do rinks need to lower AA costs so parents dont see the price thing you have there? Maybe my kid isnt quite AAA, but I have the time and money for him to play for that team and train.

I guess my point is, how can we save AA hockey and lower? Or will AAA just degrade it by default?

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Reply #13:
 September 21, 2023, 01:11:01 PM
My kid plays AAA and plays other sports. He is 12U and you need to find a AAA team that will allow for soccer in the fall and basketball in winter. We miss a couple games and practices in Fall for each team and same in winter. Most of the time things align. Every kid playing hockey needs power skating even if they are just having fun. Hockey is more fun if you can skate better, even if skating is not up to AAA level. Free sharpening is at almost every AAA rink. Also, there used to be good A level competition below Bantam, but that is out the window now that AA took over. Rec/light travel is gone after Squirt too. You have to wait to get to 15+ before A level is good again. The pay to play business side took over and that train ain't going back to the station.

I do not like when people hate on AAA. Most teams are great, pressure can be high if coaches allow it and kids have a blast. Competition is way higher for most AAA teams, lower teams are like top AA teams. AAA get's a bad rap, but since AA pricing is going thru the roof since BB took over, AAA is not that bad. If your kid is borderline AAA/AA and you can afford it, find a low AAA team to get all the perks, but make sure it is not a BB rink. Their costs are much higher!
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Reply #14:
 September 21, 2023, 02:33:28 PM
This is just to compare AA vs AAA. One thing AA parents don't understand is how much you pay for AA compared to AAA. My kid played 10UAA as a 2012 last season at a BB rink and now plays PW 2012 AAA at non-BB rink. Let's compare costs:

                                   BB AA (2022-23)             AAA (2023-24)
Tuition-                         $3495                            $5100
Uniforms-                      $430                             $800
Power Skate (20wks)      $40 x20=$800               $0
Semi-Privat clinics (20)   $50x 20= $1000             $0
April-June practice          $600                              $0
Summer Camp               $500                              $0
travel/hotel/food (4 trips)$2800                            $3000 (4 trips estimated)
Skate Sharpening            $416($8 each)               $0 (AAA teams are free)
Total                               $10,041                        $8900

I save $1,141 playing AAA at non-BB rink. People at lower levels never total up the non-team money they spend. We get 4 hours ice a week (including a power skate and skills), 2 day a week free practice April 2023 -End of season in 2024, free skate sharpening, 4 day/ 6hr/day summer camp, free to join other teams practices if we miss our practice, professional off ice trainer & 1 hour video teaching a week. AA we got 2 practices a week, 1 x/week skill (when ice time was available, we got 8 skills all year), had to travel 2 x's for showcases & 2 times for tournaments, no free skate sharpening (adds up), no summer camp, no professional trainer & no video.

AAA is way worth it when you total up what you spend compared to what is included. Also, my AAA travel is not bad, especially compared to AHF that now has teams in Division in Maryland, CT, & NY! My kid was good enough to make a AAA team, yours is not so you are jealous.

Also to the person that wrote teams that win 8 games should just play AA I agree if the team is getting blown out by 10 goals a game. But there are some new AAA teams that may win only 8 games but are very competitive (losing by 1-3 goals a game) that deserve to play AAA. These teams just need time to jell as a team as most established AAA teams have 7-8 player cores that have played together since mites. Since being at AAA for 7 games I can already see the difference between AA & AAA. Top AA teams might compete against lower level AAA teams but to top 80% of AAA teams will destroy top AA teams. The speed of play, passing, skating ability, skill level and most importantly goalie play are just superior. If a AAA kid lacks a little skill, guaranteed they are one of the best skaters on the ice. If a kid is just an ok skater, guaranteed they are top 3 most skilled on ice.
                                                                                       
My buddy and his son came to games this weekend because his AA team was off. The kid did not make the AAA team and wanted to see what it was like. The father and son could not believe how fast and physical a 2012 AAA game is compared to his AA team (which is a top 11UAA Pure team in AHF). After the game when his son was with my son, my buddy remarked he was happy his son (top player on his team) did not make the AAA team. He said he would not be able to keep up and his confidence would suffer. He never got it until he actually watched a AAA game, but now he does. AAA just has better players which = better play. With this said, puberty is the great equalizer!





These figures do not quite matchup especially when comparing AAA. I know families that are in AAA and are at 30k a season based off of just traveling/hotel/tournament fees, etc. And I'm not making that figure up, I have been told on numerous occasions. Some AAA teams have already traveled to Detroit, Cananda, Nashville, etc. before the season even officially started. And having a younger kid, sometimes the year round practices numerous times a week, out of season tournaments/travel, and not trying other sports sometimes can exhaust a kid or the parents and actually backfire to where later down the line, they don't enjoy the sport anymore. Or they can just get tired of the kids they are with constantly throughout the year ha! That I have seen as well. What once was a great team that gets along turns into a team that fights, doesn't have friendships and comraderie, etc. But that is kinda beside the point of this I guess.

And for BB/AHF rinks, "summer camp" is included in tuition for AA.

Anyway, I believe the discrepencies for some parents is the fact that some of the AAA teams around here are pay to play. Some of the organizations are becoming watered down which will give AAA a bad name for just that. The parents aren't doing it for their childs well being, they are doing it because THEY want to say their kid plays AAA. A parent forces their kid in that situation, pays the money, and most kids won't tell a parent they don't want to play for that team because they don't want to dissappoint their parent.

But, depending on the organization your AAA kid plays for after playing for AA, you may have gotten a good deal with final price of a hockey season. But not all AAA teams are like that.

In the end, everyone should just agree to disagree because AAA parents will continue to put AA on blast and say they are nothing in regards to their AAA team, and AA parents will continue to say AAA is a joke, especially at this age.  But like you said, and ended the post, puberty is a great equalizer. A lot of teams are going to change come Bantam and above, and some kids are going to drop out due to that OR the exhaustion of a constant sport year round.

Only the strong shall survive.
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Reply #15:
 September 21, 2023, 05:30:29 PM
Summer camp is included in tuition for BB but it is not a 6 hr/day 4 day camp. Also last year multiple BB rinks did not get their camp or their skills sessions because BB said they did not have the ice time. Also my BB rink was supposed to give us 3 tournaments and we only go 2. BB sucks. I agree some AAA teams are crazy and travel all over, but not all teams are like this. It is left up to the individual teams to decide on the non-league travel. I will say this about AA compared to AAA.  About 2 or 3 top AA teams are really low to mid AAA teams, but most AA teams are really like A teams. Bottom AAA teams are like AA, but most AAA teams will kill AA. Most AA parents do not understand the pace of play, the team work, skill and skating at AAA. Some former AAA kids now play AAA, but most are AA because they got cut. Those kids know what AAA is. Also AAA coaches do not tolerate crazy parents and kids that won't listen. It is a higher standard and really for the serious player where hockey is their primary sport. I know tons of AAA kids that paly multiple sports, but hockey is their main sport. I also disagree about parents wanting kids to play AAA. I have 2 kids now and 1 college age kid that played AAA. Every year we gave them the choice if they wanted to continue at AAA, go down to lower level or even continue with hockey period. Every family on our AAA team is the same. I could care less if my kid plays AAA, AA, A or even hockey at all. I just want them to be happy. You are right that some parents do force their kids to play and the kid is afraid to say no. If any one is that parent, stop immediately and listen to your kid!

By the way 75% of kids that play sports quit by age 13/14. Why? Because it is no longer fun. My kids may quit and do something else. Or they may keep playing and play in college. I only care about my kid being happy.  Puberty will thin out the ranks and the great player at 10 or 12 is most likely playing another sport at 13!
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Reply #16:
 September 22, 2023, 09:28:08 AM
Summer camp is included in tuition for BB but it is not a 6 hr/day 4 day camp. Also last year multiple BB rinks did not get their camp or their skills sessions because BB said they did not have the ice time. Also my BB rink was supposed to give us 3 tournaments and we only go 2. BB sucks. I agree some AAA teams are crazy and travel all over, but not all teams are like this. It is left up to the individual teams to decide on the non-league travel. I will say this about AA compared to AAA.  About 2 or 3 top AA teams are really low to mid AAA teams, but most AA teams are really like A teams. Bottom AAA teams are like AA, but most AAA teams will kill AA. Most AA parents do not understand the pace of play, the team work, skill and skating at AAA. Some former AAA kids now play AAA, but most are AA because they got cut. Those kids know what AAA is. Also AAA coaches do not tolerate crazy parents and kids that won't listen. It is a higher standard and really for the serious player where hockey is their primary sport. I know tons of AAA kids that paly multiple sports, but hockey is their main sport. I also disagree about parents wanting kids to play AAA. I have 2 kids now and 1 college age kid that played AAA. Every year we gave them the choice if they wanted to continue at AAA, go down to lower level or even continue with hockey period. Every family on our AAA team is the same. I could care less if my kid plays AAA, AA, A or even hockey at all. I just want them to be happy. You are right that some parents do force their kids to play and the kid is afraid to say no. If any one is that parent, stop immediately and listen to your kid!

By the way 75% of kids that play sports quit by age 13/14. Why? Because it is no longer fun. My kids may quit and do something else. Or they may keep playing and play in college. I only care about my kid being happy.  Puberty will thin out the ranks and the great player at 10 or 12 is most likely playing another sport at 13!

Sir or Ma'am, this is the best response to my quote from your original post. Thank you for not completely disregarding what I brought up and focusing on YOUR choices and YOUR KIDS choices. This is probably the best back and forth I've experienced on this forum.

Thank you again. And good luck to your child this hockey season!
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