We develop athletes!

Most of our Hockey enthusiasts will begin their development journey in our Learn to Play program. Our players learn Hockey fundamentals and have a blast doing it! 

Learn to Play consists of two parts: 

  1. LTP 1 (beginner)
  2. LTP 2 (beginner plus)

Each LTP program is based on a six-week curriculum. And while it is designed for players to complete the full 12-week program before “graduating” to House League, our “no barriers to entry” philosophy allows players to join at any time to get their development started. Over the course of a calendar year, players will have the multiple opportunities to complete LTP 1 and 2 and join the House Program even if they don’t start with LTP 1 in the Fall. Players are also free to participate in multiple LTP programs to continue developing their skills until they feel ready to play house hockey. Ion reserves the right to require players to participate in additional LTP programs if the coaching staff agrees that the player is not yet ready to safely compete in house hockey.


LTP 1 is where most players should begin their hockey journey. LTP 1 focuses on the basic elements of the game: skating, puck control, passing, shooting and fun. LTP 1 groups meet once a week for 40 minutes of instruction and skill development, followed by 20-minute small-area games.

Why do we use small area games in our development programs? The ADM emphasizes age-appropriate training as part of long-term athletic development. ADM-style practices utilize station-based drills and small area games to increase puck touches, player interactions, and decision-making all within the context of the game. The game is, after all, the best possible teacher. Players at ADM practices move more and do more in their practices. As a result, ADM-style practices deliver more efficient skill development and produce more skilled players. The ADM is a nationwide blueprint designed specifically to help kids reach their full potential.

Small area games also allow our players to train in space proportionally relevant to their size and skill level so that training is transferrable as they advance. Most of the modern game is played in small areas. Smaller players on small ice play the game with the same amount of time and space to make plays as they will when they are older players on full ice. Let’s teach them the right way from the beginning. If you’re interested in the data behind that philosophy, click below to learn from the experts at USA Hockey.

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LTP 2 continues with hockey fundamentals and also introduces concepts like movement away from the puck, stability, contact confidence, and fundamental team play. Players in our LTP program will not play specific positions. Rather, they will try all positions, including goalie if they want, to learn the game from every perspective. There is plenty of time to specialize when they get older, for now, our players should focus on learning the fundamentals of the game, and how much fun it is to just play. 

At this stage of the ADM, our objective is to develop fundamental movement skills, general athleticism, and begin to learn and acquire basic hockey skills. This is the time to lay the foundation for future acquisition of more advanced movement abilities and hockey skills. To learn more about the early stages of the ADM and long-term athlete development click below.

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Learn to Play Schedule

All programs are $250 for six 60-minutes sessions.

LTP 1 Fall

September 5 – October 10, 2020 
Ages 4-10 - Saturday 3:10pm – 4:10pm
Ages 10 and up - Saturday 4:20pm – 5:20pm

LTP 2 Fall

October 24, 2020 – December 5, 2020 
Ages 4-10 - Saturday 3:10pm – 4:10pm
Ages 10 and up - Saturday 4:20pm – 5:20pm

LTP 1 Winter

January 2, 2021 – February 6, 2021 
Ages 4-10 - Saturday 3:10pm – 4:10pm
Ages 10 and up - Saturday 4:20pm – 5:20pm

LTP 2 Winter

February 20, 2021 – March 27, 2021
Ages 4-10 - Saturday 3:10pm – 4:10pm
Ages 10 and up - Saturday 4:20pm – 5:20pm


USA Hockey Registration

All Learn to Play players must register with USA Hockey, and submit a valid USA Hockey registration number as part of the Ion registration process. USA Hockey provides insurance coverage, access to special USA Hockey events, and a subscription to USA Hockey magazine. Click below to register.

Register with USA Hockey

Required Equipment

All Learn to Play classes require players to bring their own equipment including the following items:

  • H.E.C.C. certified hockey helmet with full face mask and chin strap
  • Ice hockey gloves
  • Elbow pads
  • Shoulder pads
  • Shin guards
  • Ice hockey pants
  • Hockey skates
  • Hockey stick
  • Mouth guard
  • Neck guards (recommended)
WE OFFER STARTER PACKS at Ion!  Don’t worry, we have you covered!

Learn To Skate

There are multiple development paths in the game of hockey, and no one path is the right path for every player. Ion is proud to offer a Learn to Skate program certified by Learn to Skate USA. Players coming out of Try Hockey events are welcome to continue their development focusing solely on the most important part of the game- skating. Ion’s Learn to Skate program features 30-minute weekly group classes that include free skate rental and admission to a public skate session at Ion. Their mission is to provide a FUN and positive experience that will spark & sustain a lifelong love of skating!
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