TOP Sports believes in taking a long term approach to the development of youth athletes. We believe that multi-sport play, over time, is essential to the creation of a well rounded and successful athlete. As kids mature and grow, we think the most versatile athletes become the best players in each individual sport.
At TOP, we strongly disagree with the current trend of early specialization in youth sports, where one sport dominates the allocation of time, effort and family resources. Early specialization, among other things, robs kids of the joys of experimenting and learning new sports. It also hinders longer term development by increasing the pressure and prospects of burnout at an early age. Instead of being places to grow, thrive and have fun, youth sports have essentially become "professionalized" where winning and rank among peers is prioritized. Early specialization is forcing young athletes to proverbially put “all their eggs in one basket”, and we believe this is a disservice to our children.
“When you look at what’s happening with our kids playing hockey, they are getting pushed out by the system that is currently in place. When coaches are telling nine year olds that they can't play other sports because they need to be playing or training for hockey year round, there is something wrong with that. Sport specialization is hurting our kids physically as well as mentally. The NHL and NHLPA, along with other hockey organizations, need to be leaders in putting value back into sports." – Mathieu Schneider | Special assistant to the executive director, NHLPA
Our coaches aim to build strong relationships with players, and to gain their trust and respect. We use sports as a medium for promoting positive values. It is our belief that the true value in sport comes from the larger life lessons that participants are able to take away. Teaching the value of humility, discipline, respect, hard work, perseverance and leadership are primary goals of our youth programs. Sports such as hockey and lacrosse have the power to teach more than skating, running, stick-handling, cradling and shooting; sports can be used as a platform to help players succeed, both on and off the ice.
Please refer to the Research section of website to read literature that supports our opinions.