Willowbrook Ice Arena has a stepped approach to Youth Hockey. First, we instill proper skating techniques in our Learn to Skate program where all novice skaters will learn the foundational footwork critical to the success of a hockey player. Once skaters pass Learn to Skate Basic 3, they may enter Intro to Hockey. Here players will learn how to move with a hockey stick and begin puck and stick-handling drills while building their skating proficiency. Once familiar with moving with a stick and puck players may join the In-House Development 3v3 Team. Participants learn concepts behind playing the game of hockey as they increase their skills as a skater and stick handler. Hockey Director approval is required.
Evaluations: If your child has not attended our Learn to Skate program, please call 630-581-5044 to determine which class is best for your child.
Learn to Skate
Players with no or limited skating experience will be placed in the Learn to Skate program. The focus of this program is to build a confident skater with proper foundational techniques necessary to be a talented hockey player. Learn to Skate participants will not use hockey sticks on the ice. The focus is 100% on learning to skate and proper use of edges. Hockey equipment is optional, but a helmet is recommended
Intro to Hockey
Intro to Hockey participants must be able to competently perform Basic 3 level skills (forward stroking correct use of the blade, 6 consecutive half swizzle pumps, moving forward to backward two-foot turns on a circle, beginning balanced backward one-foot glides, backward snowplow stop, forward slalom). The focus of Intro to Hockey will be instilling mechanics that promote proper handling of a hockey stick and puck, and the building of skating skills that aid the player in changing direction on the ice. To graduate from this program and advance into the In-House development program, the player will need to have sound foundational skating skills, proper stick mechanics and puck control.
Required Equipment - Hockey Skates, Helmet, Shin Guards, Shoulder Pads, Elbow Pads and a Hockey Stick
In House Development Team 3v3
This program will accept players aged 5-12 that have mastered skills consistent with those taught in our Intro to Hockey program. Players must have strong basic skating skills and demonstrate the foundational mechanics of controlling a hockey stick. Players will meet twice a week. On Wednesdays they will receive twenty minutes of skating instruction needed to increase their speed and agility on the ice followed by fifty minutes of advanced stick/puck/skating drills. On Sundays players will use a 3v3 format to learn the rules and strategies of the game of hockey. The objective of this program is to graduate the players to club hockey and a lifetime of love for the game. Approval from the Hockey Director is required to register.
Required Equipment – Hockey Skates, Helmet, Shoulder Pads, Shin Guards, Elbow Pads, Hockey Pants, Hockey Stick
Refund Policy: Should a client decide after completion of ONE class they would like to drop from the session, a pro-rated refund will be granted. A $20 processing fee will be charged. After two classes have been attended, NO refunds will be given. After the third class of the session is offered, NO refunds will be given for any reason.
Hockey Director: Tommy Carideo joined our staff this Fall. He brings a passion for teaching hockey and an extensive playing and coaching background.
Coach Tommy grew up in the Boston area. In 1991 he competed in the International PeeWee Tournament in Quebec City held at the Colisee de Quebec. He played 4 years of HS hockey at Malden Catholic and 4 years of college hockey at Amherst College, winning an ECAC East Championship in 1996.
Tommy is a Level 4 certified USA Hockey coach and attended the National USA Hockey Directors Conference in Columbus, Ohio in 2015. His coaching experience includes being the Head Coach of 6 NIHL Chicago Jets teams, an assistant coach on 4 Jets teams, and an assistant coach for a NWHL Chicago Stallions team. His teams have competed at the bronze, silver, and gold level in the NIHL. He also directed the LTS and ADM programs at the Jets. He specializes in teaching the fundamentals that lead to a more competitive experience and a life long passion for the sport. Most of his players still play hockey.Tommy lives in Clarendon Hills with his wife Jenna and their five children.