The 2020 hockey season has seen significant changes due to COVID-19. Because the U15 National tournament has been cancelled WHA have decided to revisit its rep program. The U15 age 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.
New Development Program
In 2020 WHA will replace the regular U15 season with a holistic development program starting 4 June 2020 until the end of term 3 for a squad with maximum of 60 players. The limitations on numbers can change with COVID-19 alert level requirements. 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 U15 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.
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.
Northern Region Tournament
Due to the expected financial impact the COVID-19 outbreak will have, WHA shall consider providing the U15 group with a Northern Region Tournament hosted at a venue within daily commute distance from / or within the Waikato district or more likely organize its own 7 a side tournament. This way WHA will be able to ensure lower program costs due to savings on accommodation and meals.
In order to be eligible for the WHA U15 Development Program players need to be born in 2005 or 2006. The costs for the program are $150.
If you have any questions regarding the WHA U15 Development Program, you can contact Reiner Vellinga at email@example.com