Letter from the President

Summer 2019

Dear Members,

First, I look forward to seeing many of you at our annual street hockey festival at Merrimack College on August 3rd.  It should be a great day with food and drink, music and fun for all ages.

Second, as you can see we have our new and improved website up and running.  We expect to add more content over the summer and throughout the season.  We welcome your feedback and your input.

Finally, I wanted to give you further details on some new and exciting programs which will be offered to AHA players starting next season.

In order to keep pace with the rapidly evolving landscape of hockey development and continue to meet the needs of our players, coaches, and parents, AHA recently undertook a rigorous evaluation of our skills offerings and coaching support model. The process for updating our offerings included significant input from members, coaches, and board members, as well as “pilots” with a number of different vendors. We also reviewed offerings from both club and town programs and researched the newest methods for developing young hockey players. Our research and the feedback we received led us to the conclusion that we could better optimize the role of hockey director and increase the quality and amount of skill-specific instruction for our players and coaches.

Going forward, AHA’s Hockey Director will be merged with the role of Coaching Director. Dan Zuccaro has been hired as Hockey Director and will play a more active role in assisting coaches with practice planning and on-ice instruction, while also better communicating the AHA player development philosophy in a clear and consistent way to coaches, players and parents. The Hockey Director will also work with our skill vendors, coaches and age directors to ensure concepts taught and communicated to our coaches and players are consistently messaged and reinforced.

In addition to the newly defined Hockey Director role, for the 2019-2020 season, every AHA team will have one skills practice per month led by Pro Ambitions Hockey. This practice will replace Practice+ and will focus on shooting, passing, and stickhandling. A condensed version of Pro Ambitions’ signature curriculum “The Battle Camp” will kick-off the year with rotating skills sessions to follow.

Each team will also have one skating-specific session per month led by renowned skating instructor Erika Hammar. These sessions will be focused on edges and stride mechanics and will be held on Saturdays and Sundays and scheduled around games.

All teams will also have two dryland training sessions per month with Xcelerated Performance prior to regularly scheduled practice (other than Mites, who will have one).

Finally, AHA is also pleased to announce that we have entered into a partnership with Micro Ice Training Center in North Andover to offer our players an optional 12-week supplemental skills curriculum. AHA players will be able to register for 12 classes (one per week for 12 weeks, consisting of 8 skating sessions and 4 shooting/stick skills sessions) at a cost of $275. Registration for this AHA-only program is now available. Classes will be scheduled around regularly scheduled AHA practices and games. Class sizes will be between 8-10 players per class for Mites and Squirts and 6-8 players for Peewees and Bantams.

Our choice of skills providers not only focused on getting the best in the industry but also focused on finding partners who are aligned philosophically with AHA’s mission, values, and instructional methods. We think Dan, Pro Ambitions, Erika, Xcelerated Performance, and Micro Ice will fit in well with our organization and will help take our players to the next level. Please welcome them aboard when you see them this fall. 

I hope you enjoy the rest of your summer and see you at the rink very soon!


Matt Mclaughlin

AHA President