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The 'Chip and Go Newsletter' is an accessible way to learn more about the game of hockey and connect with your SJHA community. This is a one-stop-shop for all your SJHA news and information. Our 36th edition features the results of SJHA's mid-season survey, the Ice Hockey Systems Parent Survival Guide, All Hockey's Winter Clinic, and much more! So, give it a quick Chip and Go! Happy Thanksgiving SJHA hockey family!

Happy Thanksgiving!

From the bottom of our hearts here at SJHA, we are so incredibly grateful for all of our players, parents, coaches, managers, volunteers, and members. Thank you all for your dedication to our community and your love of the game of hockey. When we wear the SJHA Red, White, and Blue we are all in this together. We love you! Enjoy the holiday. 

Seattle Junior News & Updates

-Hockey Director Marty Rubin is meeting for 30 minutes with every Head Coach in the association in the month of November to check progress on goal setting, discuss needs for the rest of the season, and go over feedback about the Coaching Development program. 
-Our 16U Lady A's are headed to San Jose, CA today to face some tough NorCal competition. Good luck ladies!
-We had over 80 new hockey players join us for the Winter Try Hockey For Free event. Thank you to all the Junior Coaches and volunteers who really made this a special day for so many new hockey players. 
-Looking for a new puppy? A friend of SJHA's has asked the association to help find proper, loving homes for two little puppies. Born in early June, they are female Cattle Dog, Terrier, Labrador mixes. They are vaccinated, dewormed, and perfectly healthy. Please contact to bring one into your home! 

Optimize Your Development Workshop

On Tuesday, December 20th from 3:30-5:00pm Hockey Director Marty Rubin will dive into all the habits, routines, techniques, and mindsets that are imperative to optimizing every young hockey player’s development. From basic nutrition to sleep hygiene to visualization and off-ice preparation, this player-centered workshop is a value add for anyone who wants to take their game to the next level. This is a free event for any and all SJHA players/goalies. Please RSVP here. Let's get better at getting better!

All Hockey Winter Clinic

All Hockey is back with a four-day (eight session) skating clinic! With Washington’s premier skating coach Erik Hanson and SJHA Hockey Director Marty Rubin, this will be a dynamic learning experience for players 2004-2014 who truly want to develop their power, edges, balance, agility, and speed. Each player will receive a total of eight hours of professional on-ice instruction as well as three hours of professional off-ice instruction in the form of yoga sessions geared toward strength, coordination, mobility, balance, and overall conditioning. Two-a-day skates from 12/19-12/22 at Olympic View Arena. The clinic will cost $350. For more details and signup information, click here.

SJHA Mid-Season Survey Results

SJHA is working hard to understand the diverse experiences of families and players across the association. We received more than enough responses to provide us with reliable data. Like every year, our goal is to make any minor adjustments which can improve the current season. Additionally, the information you provided will help us strengthen the start of the next season. We truly appreciate the time so many families took to complete our survey, thank you. 

We want to report a few important takeaways from the data we collected:

1.    86% of SJHA players are coming home from hockey feeling joyful. Our coaches are building positive relationships with their players and their impact is obvious. Keep it up coaches! We are proud of this number, but we are still missing 14% of our players and it is very important to us to reach every single player. We will address this data in upcoming coach development meetings.

2.    45% of SJHA families value skill development above all else. The changes we made this off season have led to 86% of our membership saying we are currently meeting or exceeding their expectations for skill development. Hockey leadership along with SJHA’s Coaching Developers are observing dozens of practices each month to understand just what is needed to bolster even more skill development this season. We will continue to educate about skill development until we reach 100% satisfaction.

3.    58% our association definitely will come back to our association next season. In a time when families have more hockey options than ever before in Seattle, we are encouraged that so many families want to continue growing within our community. We are confident that the transformational experiences we provide for our players will increase that number as the season progresses. The value of a home-grown hockey association has never been more obvious to us. We are grateful that so many in our hockey community see it too.

4.    157 members (over 30% of our membership) took the time to answer this survey and provide their feedback. It is imperative to enrich our engagement with parents about skill development, pathways for their players, effective communication, and community involvement. We hope the hard questions we asked in this survey are evidence of our commitment to listening to you, engaging with you, and growing with you.

The raw results of the survey are attached below. We will survey again to track our progress after the holiday break.

Admiral Academy- Learn Something New Today!

Are you a hockey parent that gets stressed about the youth hockey experience? Does it feel like information-overload looking for guidance in navigating your kid's youth hockey journey? Are you trying to put your kid in the best position to achieve their goals, but you're not quite sure how to do that in this ever-changing world of youth hockey? You're not alone. And we're here to help! SJHA has purchased an incredible package from our favorite online resource for all things youth hockey called the Ice Hockey Systems Parent Survival Guide.

This is an easy-to-use, simple, to-the-point Survival Guide to help parents navigate the youth hockey journey with their kids. With text and video lessons, the Survival Guide covers the following topics: Choosing a Team, The Car Ride Home, Life Skills Built in Hockey, Playing, Multiple Sports vs Specialization, Parent Culture, Parent/Coach Communication, Off Ice Insight, Breaking Down the Costs of Hockey, What's Your Why?, Advisors 101, Junior Hockey – Explained, Pathway to College Hockey. Hours of content, absolutely free!

To access, head on over to and use the following login:

username: sjha_parent
password: parent_access21

For more information from the leaders of the Hockey Think Tank, subscribe to their podcast today.

The Rope

The Rope is a new segment on the Chip and Go Newsletter inspired by SJHA's slogan, "Pulling the Rope, Together." We will dedicate this space for highlighting community members and spreading community values. In this edition of The Rope we'll introduce SJHA's Tier I Girl's program, the Lady Admirals. 

The Lady A's are a strong sub-culture within SJHA's community. They face stiff competition agains the best Girl's programs in the country in the National Girls Hockey League. Just as well each team plays against co-ed competition to continuously work on their skills and team concepts. Our 12U Lady A's play in PNAHA's Bronze division, our 14U Lady A's play in PNAHA's Tier II B division, and our 16U (Tier I) and 19U (Tier II) teams play in the MHL 18UC division on top of playing in the Pacific Girls Hockey League as well. Lady A's are tough hockey players and inspiring young women. They dedicate themselves to their development and reap the benefits of their hard work each and every season. 

Many of our Lady A's can be found Junior Coaching at the PAC Challenge, Try Hockey For Free, and Beginner hockey sessions because giving back to the hockey community is a core tenant of their program's values. We thank the Lady A's for being so impactful for all the young girls in our program who look up to them. 

Ladies, you are an integral part of SJHA. Thank you for being you! Next edition we will introduce our Youth Tier I program, the Northwest Stars. 

Coaches' Corner- Skill of the Week!

This week's Coaches' Corner is dedicated to practicing MULTI-TASKING. Hockey's high intensity naturally forces players to be making dozens if not hundreds of decisions every shift. Often, we do not have time to process each decision one after the other. Therefore, we must practice solving multiple problems or attending to multiple decisions at the same time.

Quickly, though, let's define what we mean by 'decision.' Yes, decisions are sometimes where to shoot the puck, whether to pinch at the point versus backing up to take the odd-man rush, or marking the offensive player who is the biggest scoring threat. Those are mental, high impact decisions. There are also physical, little decisions that we need to make a faster rate several more times each shift such as rolling over our top hand to protect the puck, opening our hips to see more of the defensive zone, pivoting backwards or angling forwards, the list goes on. We are often making these smaller more physical decisions while also processing the bigger, more mental decisions and they affect one another. So, we need to take small steps each practice to train ourselves to multi-task our physical and mental processing for game effectiveness. 

What does this look like? It is actually not as complicated or as niche as the explanation above makes it sound. The theory goes like this: if we practice making multiple decisions at the same time or attending to multiple responsibilities at the same time, then we will be able to use this type of processing as a skill in game situations with multiple problems to solve to think and act with more clarity and deftness. 

How do we practice multi-tasking? Check out the video below. The Colorado Avalanche take a little time to play King of the Ring in the center circle. Every player has a puck and must stay inside the circle. While protecting their own puck, they will also need to strategically knock their opponents' pucks out of the circle so that only one player (holding his own puck) remains. Notice the puck protection posture of the players. They are low, their hands are away from the body to make deft moves with the puck, and they try to keep their body between their opponents and the puck. But, if no one tries to swipe others' pucks, no one will win! So, players place their own puck in a safe place and then take quick jabs at one anothers' pucks to play a little offense while minding their defense as well. Try this game with your players at your next practice! You can extend or shrink the ring depending on the skill level, age, and number of players at your practice. 

Other ideas to practice multi-tasking are as easy as asking players to scan the ice with their eyes and chin while they perform basic individual skills movements such as stickhandling, escaping with a puck, or moving their feet to the net for a shot. You can also challenge your players to name their favorite colors, candies, bands, or hockey players as they complete basic tasks like catching and receiving passes from their teammates or playing a game of team keepaway. One final idea for team multi-tasking is borrowed from Top Gun's Dogfight Football: 5v5 cross ice set up with two pucks. Each team must play offensive and defense at the same time! 

Check out the video below and reach out to if you are interested in discussing practicing multi-tasking.  

Winter Beginner Hockey- Spread the Word!

Boys and girls ages 4+, start your hockey journey December 3rd. Register today at Make new friends, make new memories! #hockeyisforeveryone #Family #community #DangleSnipeCelly ❤️



The 'Chip and Go Newsletter' is an accessible way to learn more about the game of hockey and connect with your SJHA community. This is a one-stop-shop for all your SJHA news and information. Our 36th edition features well wishes to all of our traveling teams, a lesson on back-checking, a fascinating podcast about resilience, and much more! So, give it a quick Chip and Go!

Winter Try Hockey For Free!

No experience, no problem! TRY HOCKEY FOR FREE at Olympic View Arena on November 5th, 8:30am. Join our hockey family and start your journey on the ice with the BEST! Follow this link to register today. Send to all your friends, family, neighbors, and classmates to keep SJHA strong!

Seattle Junior News & Updates

-Good luck to all the SJHA teams traveling this week! 10U Rep heads to Spokane for the first 10U Super Weekend, 12UA1 is braving the trip to Anchorage, AK for the infamous Termination Dust Tourney, 16U/19U Lady Admirals head to a Pacific Girls Hockey League Challenge in Stockton, CA, and our 14U, 15O, 16U, and 18U Northwest Stars are representing our Tier I program in Blaine, MN.
-This weekend the first cohort of the SJHA Junior Coaching Development Program will graduate. This group of 15 dedicated players will use their new knowledge and skills to become reliable helpers for SJHA practices as well as impactful mentors for younger SJHA players. Congratulations Junior Coaches!
-The 12U Lady As finish strong in Omaha, NE defeating the Omaha Lady Lancers 6-3, securing 3rd place overall at the NGHL Futures West Fall Classic. Great job ladies, way to represent PNW girls hockey!
-Hockey Director Marty Rubin has been making the rounds with parent groups throughout the association to present the SJHA Back to Hockey Presentation. Next up is 8U Mite and 10U Rep. Lady A's stay tuned for your opportunity at the end of the month. 

Let's Share!

Let's Share is a new addition to the Chip and Go Newsletter. We will ask a question to players, coaches, or parents and share our community's answers in the next edition. Last week we asked a simple question: what do you eat and drink before hockey to make you feel energized? Here were some of our answers: 

  • Roasted veggies like broccoli!- 14U
  • Grilled chicken- 18U
  • Lots of water, if I am between games coconut water- 12U 
  • Almonds or cashews- 10U
  • Apples, pears, or oranges, basically any juicy fruit- 16U 

This week we are asking a simple question: what do you learn from watching NHL hockey? 

Click this link to share!

Admiral Academy- Learn Something New Today!

The Way of Champions Podcast is an excellent resource to learn from the most creative minds and successful programs in youth sports. Episode #291 features a conversation with Steve Magness who is "a world-renowned expert on performance, well-being, and sustainable success. His most recent work is Do Hard Things: Why We Get Resilience Wrong and the Surprising Science of Real Toughness." The discussion centers our fundamental misunderstanding of the term "resilience" and how we consistently act out of accordance with the ways we can actually encourage more resilience in our young athletes. Incredibly applicable to the game of hockey, Magnes and the hosts define successful coaching models that empower resilience for players; they stigmatize using physical activity as punishment; and, they discuss ways we can build confidence for our kids. Check out the audio below and reach out to if you are interested in discussing the application of Magnes's work in our hockey community. 

#291 Steve Magness, Author and Former Elite Runner, on His New Book Do Hard Things: How We Get Resilience Wrong and the Science of Real Toughness

Hockey 1, Hockey 2, and Late Start to Hockey begin on December 3rd. Send along to your friends, family, neighbors, and classmates!

The Rope

The Rope is a new segment on the Chip and Go Newsletter inspired by SJHA's slogan, "Pulling the Rope, Together." We will dedicate this space for highlighting community members and spreading community values. The second ever Rope will be introducing SJHA's Beginner Director, Jerry Weir: 

 Our Beginner Director and 12UA2 Head Coach, Jerry Weir, is a 27 year veteran coach and one of the area's most influential proponents of youth hockey. Coach Jerry's focus on skating with Hockey 1, Hockey 2, and Late Start is imperative to the success of our Beginners when they move up to Rec or even Rep hockey. And our program is growing! This year alone, SJHA saw an over 25% increase in Beginner Hockey registrations from the last three years combined. Ask anyone at SJHA, chances are that Coach Jerry taught them how to stop, swizzle, crossover, backward c-cut, or shoot in stride. Seattle Junior's commitment to being a community-focused hockey association is epitomized by Jerry's leadership in the Beginner Hockey program. Now is the time to get involved in our growing hockey community. Our next Try Hockey For Free event is on Saturday, November 5th from 8:30am-9:30am at OVA please spread the word to your neighbors, family, friends, and classmates. Remember to stop Coach Jerry in the lobby to introduce yourself or just catch up. You will certainly receive a warm hello and an engaging conversation. 

Coaches' Corner- Skill of the Week!

This week's Coaches' Corner is dedicated to SMART BACK-CHECKING. Also called tracking, the all-important southbound sprint creates pressure on an opponent's rush from behind to take away passing lanes and force poor decisions. Coaches often point attention to a back-checking player's work ethic and not their Hockey IQ. However, working harder and not smarter will not necessarily yield the results we want from our back-checks.

Here are a few items to keep in mind in order to back-check smarter:

1. When we back-check, we need to be tracking from the middle of the ice. If we are too far outside the dots, we are unable to take away important passing lanes in the defensive zone's dangerous areas. Do not worry about the puck carrier unless you are tracking a player on a breakaway; let your strong side gapping defender worry about the puck carrier. Instead, take away options in the middle of the ice such as a player driving the net or the third man high off of a rush. 

2. Move your feet right away! Do not wait for someone else to do your job for you. 

3. Use an active stick to truly close down passing lanes and take away rebound opportunities. Just because you are in the lane does not mean the puck carrier is not going to try to sneak a pass through your stick. Lift sticks and check sticks, but please keep your feet moving because you never know just how quickly plays can happen. 

4. Communicate who you are going to cover with your teammates. Defenders are always looking for more vocal support so that they can confidently tighten their gaps off rushes. 

5. Pay attention to the transition! When you effectively track and break up a rush, there will be an opportunity to transition the turnover into an offensive chance. Put yourself in a position to either pick up a loose puck to headman and advance the play or, if your teammate retrieves the puck, use the same footwork and effort to get up the ice again to push the other team's defensive posture back toward their end. 

6. Do not fly by the net! If the play does not result in a turnover, find a player to cover and be between them and the net. Players who refuse to give up on plays find more success than their peers. 

Also remember, we do not always back-check to steal pucks; forcing shots from the outside of the dots is a win from the backside and may cause turnovers that can lead to offensive opportunities.  

Speed the video below to 4:04. Trevor Zegras back-checks through the middle from the top of the offensive circles. He tracks through the middle, never stops moving his feet, uses an active stick to block a dangerous pass through the slot, and jumps to convert the turnover into a headman pass. What looked like a juicy scoring opportunity for Seattle turned into a goal for Anaheim because Zegras back-checked smarter not harder. 

Check out the video below (again, at 4:04) and reach out to if you are interested in discussing back-checking.