Looking at getting my kid into a program somewhere. He currently plays at Aliso. I shouldn't really say 'plays' because they don't really teach them anything.
He's been skating since March but he's really gotten good. He works with a private skating coach once a week and skates for several hours 1-2 times a week. We signed him up to start the kids hockey program at the rink in July. The Termites program was good for him to get a taste but he got bored. Real quick. The coaches all said to move him up so we did. By that time, they were starting the fall programs for the older kids and left the Termites/Mini Mites to coach their travel teams. We were left with the volunteer dads who don't really coach. I'm glad they're there to volunteer their time but the 13 week program we signed him up for has been a bust. He went from beginning stick handling and drills to the most ridiculous stuff. They get an hour on the ice each week. Start off with drills. At first, they were decent drills. Skating and stickhandling at the same time, backwards etc. Now the coaches have departed and we're left with the dads. Their idea of drills is having the kids spend 40 minutes learning how to fall and get up. Most of these kids learned that when they first started. They have multiple drills on falling. Falling and getting back up. Falling into a barrel roll and getting back up. Falling, sliding and getting back up. My kid is bored. He's also 5 and has the attention span of a gnat but he's good. One week, they invited some older kids from J. Serra to come down and practice and their coach came out. My son was lucky enough to spend some time with that guy. He rode him a little bit and wasn't letting him mess around. The kid did great and scored a couple of goals. But he got real coaching.
Today, we took him up to TSC to meet with a coach up there. He does weekly 'clinics' and classes as well as coaches some of the Jr. Kings teams.
My son was out there for an hour with him and he told us what he thought at the end. He was playing with older kids, mostly 6-7 years old and he held his own. These kids have been doing the drills for weeks or months. My son was able to keep up with them for the most part but this was his first time really using his stick for anything other than a toy. The dad's running his current program haven't shown them how to do much of anything with their sticks. We were told his skating was on par with the rest of the kids his age but he obviously needed to work on his skills - which we know.
So my question is are their any decent programs like this in Orange County? North or South county. We're in South County so driving to TSC every week on Friday night really isn't an option. There is a Saturday/Sunday option which we are looking at. Is their anyone involved with the Beach City Lightning? I've been told they are the OC version of what we're looking at up at TSC. There is always Lakewood but they don't really have this kind of program. Its more of a learn to skate/play hockey program which he's been through.
He needs and wants more. He came off the ice today, well, we had to drag him off, and said 'mom, they didn't make me slide'. He hates the falling drills. He's five so its fun for a few minutes and then he gets bored. This coach kept him engaged and working on his drills. When he did it wrong, he actually ran through the drill WITH him until he got it right. Just want to make it clear we aren't pushing this, he wants it and needs it. The more he learns the better he is. He's a young 5 while most of the kids in his group were older (6-7). There were two kids who were a little younger than he was. Better at the drills but not so good with the skating.
I was just curious if anyone here has participated or had kids in the clinics at TSC or Lakewood (or anywhere in So Cal for that matter). What did you think? I'm not going to drive all over just to get the same junk we're getting down here. The pricing would be the same roughly but it would be added gas and mileage. I'm willing to make the drive. From what I understand, this program at TSC feeds into the Jr. Kings which would make me one happy hockey mom however, if there is something closer to home thats just as good, I'd like to check them out as well. Aliso Viejo and Lake Forest just don't have decent programs. I've seen the older kids and they just aren't as good. The kids today were younger and their skills were excellent. The kids today ranged from 5-10 roughly and were in groups by age/skill set.
I'm looking for info from anyone who knows about the kids programs in the area really.