Atom (9-10 yr)

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Atom (9-10 yr)

The LMHF has developed the Atom program with the following mission statement in mind:

“To focus on continuing to develop and expand the foundation that was set in the Initiation Program and as always, teach players how to be part of a team, work hard, have respect for others and above all, have fun as we believe that these are the fundamental characteristics and building blocks for all of our players’ future.”

The Program

The Atom program was implemented by Hockey Quebec to provide players with an opportunity to enhance their fundamental skills in a positive and learning environment. While the curriculum is flexible, the program calls for the focus to be primarily on skill development. It also calls for the sessions and lessons to be given in a teaching environment with progressions. Similar in nature to building the proper foundation in any skill, it requires patience and repetition.

 From day one, LMHF’s primary focus for the pre-season lessons has centered on “on-ice” fundamental skill development. The focus is teaching and working on ensuring that players are equipped with the tools they will require as they move on to higher levels. Think of it in these terms: you could not attempt long division if you have not mastered basic math.
The Atom program is an extension of our Initiation Program. Young players should continuously repeat good form because their bodies change and as they grow, they need to adjust and relearn the correct form. The philosophy behind the technical teaching drills used in this program is precisely that – to adjust the players’ form. Repetition of proper form is undoubtedly the ultimate target. The development of good work habits will lay the foundation for the future as it is a lot easier to fix defects in technique when players are younger.

It is also the next progression in skills development. The objective is to eventually introduce team play and tactics. However, if a player still has problems making a simple pass or being able to skull or carve, it will be difficult to execute team play and tactics. A simple sweep pass is still a challenge to many kids. C-cuts and proper strides are often overlooked by kids trying to compete to win battles. Proper technique must be taught in a non-competitive environment where kids will feel comfortable in taking the time to properly execute the techniques required. Placing them in competitive situations will only lead to them taking short-cuts and learning bad habits.

The goals for the Atom age category are:

• Intro to team tactics
• Refining of basic skills, doing it correctly and then doing it faster
• Achieving all of the above while still having fun

The PIJE program will progress to placing the kids in competitive situations only once the basic skills have been covered and for that, we thank you in advance for your patience.

The Program is based on the following concepts:

Dividing the players into smaller groups on the ice

  • An instructor can more effectively manage a small group of young players
  • Drills are run much faster and players are spending less time waiting in line
  • Players get more attention and repetition

Grouping the players by ability

  • The players in each group are at about the same skill level, bringing continuity and simplicity to the instruction

Emphasizing fun in each session

  • Players are having fun, while learning the skills

The initial sessions are geared at teaching players the basic skills of hockey and not formal evaluations on players’ competitiveness (there will be plenty of time for that in due course).

Skills Progression:

At the Atom level, players will continue to focus on the skills taught at the Pre-novice and Novice levels. The progressions will ultimately lead to the ability to execute individual tactics in a collective environment.

The Atom program recommends the following practice time allotment:

Technical Skills 50%

Individual Tactics 20%

Team Tactics 15%

Team Play 10%

Strategy 5%

  1. Stationary: mirror instructor
  2. Moving: mirror instructor
  3. Free skate / sculling
  4. Circuits / cones
  5. Individual Competition
  6. Small Sided Games

Note: The skills listed below will be taught as the player progresses through the different levels of play. Depending on the group or child, not all progressions will be covered.

Individual Hockey Skills
Skating Puck control Passing and Receiving
Glide turns
Backward stance
Gliding backwards
Edge control
Crossover pumping
Reversing direction & T-push
Backward gliding 1- Skate
Backward 1-foot stop & T-push
Backward push & glide
Pivot, backwards to forward
Pivot, forward to backwards
Tight turns
Puck handling stance
Skating with puck
Open ice carry
Starting with puck
Weaving with puck
Forehand sweep pass
Receiving pass Forehand
Backhand sweep pass
Receiving pass backhand
Skating and passing
Team Play:

Players will be introduced to the concept of teamwork and team play toward the latter stages of the PIJE program.

About Atom Next Season 

The Atom program begins in mid August with a hockey school style training program which consists of drills on individual skills and learning the basic techniques of the sport.The groups are formed based on the players’ age, previous team, caliber and rating of previous coach (if available). It is important to note that the group placement DOES NOT indicate the final placement of your child. This is only done at the end of all evaluation sessions. The groups are formed to allow the kids to learn at the same pace with players of similar caliber and age. At the end of the hockey school style sessions, players are divided into single letter and double letter camps. Single letters is the Recreation program and Double letters is the Competitive program.


For the Competitive program, an evaluation committee selects the top players to make up these teams based on their abilities. The Double letter teams are on the ice an average of 3-4 times per week and a firm commitment is required for all sessions. There are also additional fees for the double letter competitive program.

Beginning mid-October, the double letter teams begin a 24 game schedule against all other teams in the Lac St Louis region.


For the Recreation program, teams are formed and classified in A, B or C depending mainly on the caliber of the players. Beginning mid-October, the teams will then compete in the Central Hockey League which includes Lakeshore, Pierrefonds, DDO, West-Island and Ile Bizard. The Atom Single letter teams are usually on the ice an average of 1-2 times per week. This could be on weekends or weeknights and varies week to week.

Each team will play 18 games as well as receive 2 practices per month from Lakeshore. In some cases depending on the coaching staff and parents, teams may purchase additional practice times as well as participate in tournaments which will increase the frequency of their weekly activities.

As hockey is a team sport please note that players are expected to be at both practices and games. An odd absence is acceptable providing that the coach is advised but the player is expected to attend all team sessions so as not to penalize the team.

Registration for next season