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D: Development Stage

At 10U, boys and girls are transitioning from the FUNdamentals stage into the Learn-to-Train stage. This signals the onset of a critical period in their long-term development: the Golden Age of Motor Skill Development.

While athletic development is not rigidly age-determined, most kids, by the time they enter 10U hockey, have enough skeletal and musculature development to take advantage of the neural development that has simultaneously occurred. This means that most kids who are in the 9- to 10-year-old range are in prime position to develop motor coordination and acquire sport-specific skills. They have the ability to lift the ceiling higher for their future overall athletic potential. This is why USA Hockey's American Development Model emphasizes practice time so much at this particular level. It’s truly the beginning of these kids' most important window for skill acquisition, a time when they can make the greatest gains and position themselves for long-term success.
For ice hockey, skating and puck control skills are the primary focus throughout the 10U age group and should be practiced consistently all season. At this age, players begin having the ability to really concentrate on individual technique.