Academy Team Overview
TOP Hockey offers formal competitive teams for players born between 2009-2014 and development-focused pre-Academy programs for 2015 birthyears. All Academy teams are filled by tryouts or applications only. All teams feature 2-3 practices per week, a local game schedule, and tournament/festival games.
TOP Hockey is currently offering Academy teams for players born between 2009-2015.
We structure our practices so that players are placed into small groups rotating through stations focusing on individual skills, technical instruction, and game-based learning. We believe our small group format is essential for kids to get individual feedback, quality coaching, and high-level engagement. We believe that the values learned from team sports (discipline, accountability, and leadership), are ones that will transcend well beyond sport, and we aim to build those values from day one. We will push your kids to get better by creating a fun, engaging, and disciplined environment conducive to learning, and will always have your child's best interests at heart.
Practices & Games
Pre-Academy U8 teams play an in-house game schedule designed to optimize development time and create a highly efficient schedule.
U9 and U10 Academy teams play a tournament-based schedule that provides 10-15 games per season plus 60-65 practices.
Academy teams U11 and older participate in the ORHL League as full-members, which equates to roughly 32 games per season, including regular season, tournaments, and championships.
Pre-Academy U8: local interclub games + 1-2 tournaments per season
Academy U9 team: local interclub games + 1-2 tournaments per season
Academy U10 team: local exhibition games + 2-3 tournaments per season
Academy U11 team: ORHL League Members Academy
U12 team: ORHL League Members
Academy U14 team: ORHL League Members
September to December:
January to March:
If you are interested in applying or trying out for one of our TOP Hockey Academy Teams please click the link below to email Program Manager Ian Mackenzie.
The application period for the 2022-2023 hockey season is now closed. Please visit us again in March 2023 for an update on the 2023-2024 hockey season.
If you've been involved with our programs over the past five years, it's likely you've seen Coach Ian hanging around the rink, field, or gym. One of the founding partners of TOP Sports, Ian is one of the most experienced and respected youth hockey coaches around. A native of Toronto, Ian was a very successful multi-sport athlete in high school, playing golf, basketball, volleyball, lacrosse, and hockey, some at the provincial level, and found equal success in all sports. Upon graduation from high school Ian attended Wilfrid Laurier University to study Business and Communications, and briefly played junior hockey in Waterloo before shifting his focus to coaching.
After graduating from Laurier and spending time living abroad, Ian began running his own hockey school and worked with a number of major minor hockey clubs in Toronto. When TOP was founded in 2017, Ian was instrumental in developing the hockey program to what it is now, and is a huge part of creating #TheOtherPath. Ian currently holds certificates from the National Coaching Certification Program and Hockey Canada, and will be pursuing his NCCP Advanced Coaching Diploma later this year. In addition to his role as the Program Manager of TOP Hockey, Ian also oversees parts of our Summer Camps, Collingwood Programs, and Coach Development Programs.
If you'd like to reach out and chat about our hockey programs, Ian can be found via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
U14 Academy Team (2009/2010)
U12 Academy Team (2011)
U11 Academy Team (2012)
U10 Academy Team (2013)
U9 Pre-Academy Team (2014)
NEW U8 Pre-Academy Program (2015)
Home Rinks: Upper Canada College, RINX, Forest Hill, Hockey Factory
The 'Four-Corners' development model is a staple at all TOP Hockey practices, providing players at all ages with a highly-structured and efficient practice plan resulting more touches of the puck, more repetitions per drill, and a more engaging practice experience. Players will be placed in small groups and rotate through all stations during the practice time, usually spending between 10-12 minutes per station. We believe in spending a lot of time on the fundamentals of core skills; skating, shooting, passing, and competition, ensuring all players have a strong base of skills before introducing more advanced concepts.
Game-Based Learning Environment
It's no secret that kids like to play games, whether it's on the playground, in the backyard, or on the ice. In fact, games-based learning has been shown to be one of the most effective ways that kids learn. By using games to teach hockey, we can teach kids to execute skills based on their environment, which is called the 'practice-to-game transfer'. Skills cannot be solely learned in isolation, but must be reinforced by making decisions, and ultimately by making mistakes. For any situation that occurs in the game of hockey, we are able to use small-area games to replicate it, provide kids with more reps of that situation, and provide instant feedback and teaching. At all practices we incorporate at least one small-area game station, which can take the form of activity-based games (ie. freeze tag), skill-based games (ie. shark & minnows w/ pucks), and role-based situational games (ie. transition 2 v 2).
Station-Based Practices By The Numbers
Sources: USA Hockey, Hockey Canada
The 'Four-Corners' model is a staple in most European countries, and has been adapted for TOP Hockey
During the season we assign a different character trait to represent each month. During the month we take every opportunity to reinforce what the theme means and how to develop it, taking the time to teach players more than hockey.
The Player of the Practice award is given out every practice to the player on each team who best displays the character theme of that month. We use hockey as vehicle to build character, and will take every opportunity to reward players who display these themes.
For Pre-Academy U8 teams, every few weekends means gameday! Teams will be divided into smaller groups and play half-ice 4 on 4 or 3 on 3 for the entire practice, focusing on competition, hard work, and teamwork.
"Practice does not make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect"
- Vince Lombardi
"It is not enough to be busy... The question is: what are we busy about?"
- Henry David Thoreau
"Forget about winning and losing - put your focus on learning and developing, it's a much better long-term strategy."
- Nicolas Gregoriades
"A good Coach can change a GAME. A great Coach can change a LIFE."
- John Wooden
"I played everything. I played lacrosse, hockey, soccer, track and field. I was a big believer that you played hockey in the winter and when the season was over you hung up the skates and you played something else." - Wayne Gretzky
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TOP Academy is the competitive arm of TOP Sports.