Living Proof

California Model Club Finds Success Comes Quick With ADM

Ben Frank will be the first to admit that he wasn’t ready for what was about to come his way. Like a goalie screened behind a maze of bodies waiting for a shot from the point, he never saw it coming until it was right on him. And that was just fine with him.

Even though Frank and other members of his Wildcats program, based out of Riverside and Carlsbad, Calif., understood and supported the philosophy of the American Development Model, they were not prepared for what would happen once they fully bought into the program.

“While people in our core leadership group were all believers in the program, we didn’t expect to see results, especially on the ice, for at least a few years,” said Frank, the president of the organization.

Shortly after implementing the ADM, the Wildcats experienced “rapid development and improvements of our players resulting in a record year for the club in players moving on through the affiliate USA Hockey Select camps.” 

Success in the Wildcats Youth Hockey Club can be measured by the smiles on the faces of the players and parents who are seeing the benefits of the ADM.Success in the Wildcats Youth Hockey Club can be measured by the smiles on the faces of the players and parents who are seeing the benefits of the ADM.

The club also enjoyed success closer to home as more of its teams went deeper into their local playoffs than ever before.

Enrollment in the Wildcats’ spring program, which includes one weekly station-based clinic and a small area 3-on-3 game on the weekend, grew from 30 to 40 kids to almost 150 over the course of the year.

But perhaps most important of all, there was an overwhelming response from players and parents who were happy with their youth hockey experience as more than 90 percent of the parents said they would return to the association and would highly recommend it to their families and friends. 

Becoming a model program has also brought with it a sense of pride among those in the program as seen through the sales of Wildcat sweatshirts and jackets. 

There’s a new emphasis in the club as parents and coaches are more focused on the development of all their players rather than winning games or league championships. 

“I know personally that it has impacted and changed the course of many lives simply within our association,” Frank said. “And that includes my own family.”


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Follow USA Hockey Magazine as it chronicles the march to gold for the U.S. Men’s and Women’s Hockey Teams. USA Hockey Magazine editor Harry Thompson is in PyeongChang, South Korea to provide daily news, features and interviews from the 2018 Olympic Winter Games.

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