Our goal for the 13U program is to place athletes into an environment where they can find success. The 13U level is where we see the highest range of athletes, from athletes who are entering the sport for the first time to athletes who already have played for a couple of years. The goal for 13U athletes is to ensure that they have a fun season and develop their skills during that time. In our experience athletes grow and develop the most playing alongside other athletes who are of similar skill and level. Because of the wide range of skill level, athletes who have prior experience or where the coaches feel are ready to play against older athletes will be given the option to practice and play with our 14U teams. The remainder of the athletes will train with the 13U coaches in the development program.
Our 14U teams will enter competition earlier than the 13U teams. The majority of events are 13U/14U combined and most 13U teams in the province are ‘selected’, whereas our club attempts to provide opportunities for all our athletes to play. Tournaments early on can be quite challenging for newer or less experienced athletes so adequate time needs to be given to athletes to pick up a solid grasp of the fundamentals of the game as well as time to learn and understand the flow and movement within the game prior to entering competition.
Being placed on the development teams has no bearing or weight for future years and does not mean that athletes will be ‘left behind’ in the development. Having the opportunity to learn the fundamentals properly at a slightly slower pace will be much more beneficial than being placed in an environment that is too fast or advanced for athletes. Careful consideration is given to each athlete prior to having them move up to play at the older age group.