The U16 age group has an important place within the development of young players, as they enter the ‘train to develop’ stage. Children are very capable of implementation of feedback and the foundation of all basic skill is cemented. Players will need to keep polishing basic techniques and need to be challenged with more complex techniques and decision making to further their development. In 2021 WHA will offer a holistic development program leading in to U16 Tournaments and Festivals in the July holidays.
Talent and early ability at this age are no guarantees for future success. Taking late bloomers and the relative age effect into account, WHA aims to provide more players at this age an opportunity for holistic development. Although the U16 Development Program has a more inclusive nature, players will still need to show commitment and the appropriate attitude to be part of the program. Players will need to demonstrate the physical and technical abilities that are required to keep up with the desired level of the program.
All players participating in the U16 Development Program and showing the right character will be given the opportunity to participate at either a tournament or festival. Participation in these tournaments or festivals is not exclusively for Development Program participants.
Players in the ‘train to develop’ stage need to learn to train more deliberate and need to start making the translation from training to games. To help make that translation, practice games, tournaments and festivals become significant tools that allow to deliberately prioritize participation, development and growth.
In order to register for 2021 WHA U16 Programs, players need to be born in 2005 or 2006.