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Author Topic: Should I consider Tier 1?  (Read 4164 times)

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Should I consider Tier 1?
Topic: February 19, 2021, 10:55:43 AM
My son is a 2014, and we live in SE PA. The important things to me when it comes to him
 is having fun, exercise, playing a team sport, and ultimately learning that if you work hard at something, you will get better at it.

I don't know how I can say this without sounding like I am bragging, but when people find out that my son is 6, they're typically shocked. For his age, he is very good, and people often say I should consider Tier 1. I believe our current organization's team is going to be really good next season, and I am so excited for next year. But the year after that when my son will be in his last season of Mite, the gap between him and the 2nd best player is massive(That can change I know). And that is where my concern lies.

I am concerned that the practices are going to be too easy he will get bored and gain very little benefit. I am worried that he might force the other kids on the team to play in a division they don't belong in.

I read the threads on here, and the feelings about Tier 1, especially at the 8U level, and I get worried. My son loves being on the ice, he loves tournaments and traveling. As does my wife and I. We also can afford it.

I've been told to get him in Tier 1 for the better development. I've had people tell me to just let him excel in his last season of Mite to build up his confidence. Which he has yet to experience since he has never played against kids his own age, and I am not sure he understands how good he is. Most of his time playing hockey has been against kids 2-4 years older than him.

I struggle on where you draw the line on doing what is best for your child's development, compared to just having fun. My goal isn't to get my kid a college scholarship or in the NHL. But I want him to be the best version of himself, all while enjoying every second of it.

We were considering trying out for the Minutemen or the Jr Flyers. So any advice is appreciated.
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Reply #1:
 February 19, 2021, 01:28:24 PM
I wouldn't but thats me. It's too young and do not ask to play up if you are going to stay in tier2. The talent gap is huge across the board at that age even up to 10. Look for this guy Nick Dellaquilla on this Facebook page. I would call him an expert for kids below 10 DVHL - Delaware Valley Hockey League Discussion Group Public Group | Facebook
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Reply #2:
 February 20, 2021, 08:58:50 AM
The most important comment in your entire post is my son loves being on the ice.  Do whatever you need to do to keep that statement true.  Tier 1 may or may not be the solution at this age, or for squirts or peewees.

I have played this game my entire life and had son go from Mite to Midget 18's.  I can tell you, and I am sure others can as well, that Mite dominance is not a predictor of post high school success.

Keep him loving the game and if that means Tier II for awhile, absolutely noting wrong with it and it doesn't necessarily mean it will hurt development.  Once Bantam age, if he is still having a lot of success and loves it, I would consider the move Tier I if it hasn't happened before.

Be very careful about Tier I below PW.
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Reply #3:
 February 20, 2021, 10:10:21 AM
No! Absolutely not! Do not waste your money on Tier 1 until age 16. It’s all about puck touches right now. Believe me I’ve been involved for years and have seen kids at the same skill level take two different paths and the one who stays at the lower level always ends up playing at the same level as Tier 1 players when reaching college level at half the money spent!
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Reply #4:
 February 20, 2021, 10:10:42 AM
Honestly Tier 1 is so watered down in this area. Maybe not at the higher levels but especially at the Squirt age. Too many Tier 1 teams in the area and not enough kids to go around. My advice would be to stay at Tier II for now and invest that money you saved in private lessons instead if you are concerned about him developing. So many parents go AAA because of FOMO. Everyone is afraid of missing out. But the rosters change constantly and if your kid is good AAA will always be there.
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Reply #5:
 February 20, 2021, 10:15:58 AM
I would wait maybe until 2nd year bantam. That first year bantam is already a huge adjustment with checking being introduced into the game. And that’s a whole new animal (game)
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Reply #6:
 February 21, 2021, 06:21:33 AM
get the best coaching, if that is Tier 1 fine, if not, go to a good Tier 2 club

all about the coaching, not the letter

go play for Fingerhut or Barcless
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Reply #7:
 February 23, 2021, 03:20:01 PM
Chase the AAA mite dream, your kid will thank you later.  Probably not too late to get him on the non-check middle school team too, better competition than at elementary league.
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Reply #8:
 February 27, 2021, 09:42:14 PM
My son is a 2012 and in his last year of Mite play. We played him cross ice as an Atom and then one year of half ice. This season we moved him to a Tier 1 FULL ICE Mite team in the area thinking it would be a good way for him to start learning the full ice game and make the move to squirts easier. It turned out to be a fantastic decision. His team ONLY plays/practices full ice and as a result have dominated games against programs where kids play half ice most of the time and full ice only occasionally. I personally think the money and training (3 practices/week) was worth it despite a heavy travel schedule. Go for it if you think your son is good enough and can handle it!! 
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Reply #9:
 March 10, 2021, 02:24:50 PM
No! Absolutely not! Do not waste your money on Tier 1 until age 16. It’s all about puck touches right now. Believe me I’ve been involved for years and have seen kids at the same skill level take two different paths and the one who stays at the lower level always ends up playing at the same level as Tier 1 players when reaching college level at half the money spent!

There's no reason to rush to Tier 1, unless your son is no longer having fun at Tier 2 and wants a new challenge. I would also say if you have the means, it can't ever hurt to have your son go to a Tier 1 tryout. But yes, touching pucks and having fun is the most important thing at this age.

However, this comment I quoted is also way off. If your son is good enough and loves hockey, bantam minor is really the age you should be exploring it. The number of players who are AA midget players and end up playing any level of junior or collegiate hockey is extremely low. This should not be your focus at 7, 8, 9, 10 years old OBVIOUSLY. But when your son is in 8th-9th grade these are certainly conversations that should be had.
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