Ironbound Elite understands the very significant impact COVID-19 has had on families, players, coaches, as well as in the broader communities here in the metropolitan New York area and beyond. While we are preparing for the season to start in September, we are ready to adjust if need be – we will plan for “normal” but be prepared for whatever the “new normal” may be. Even in these challenging times, we continue to work hard for our athletes and their families, and in that spirit, we are posting our hockey updates.
As everyone knows, tryouts were postponed indefinitely by the Atlantic District in March. On May 2, 2020, the Atlantic District announced the guidelines for player selection for the 2020-2021 season. Ironbound Elite will be offering player contracts on June 22. There will not be on-ice tryouts due to the contagiousness of the COVID 19 virus.
Ironbound Elite will field 5 teams for the 2020-2021 season – 19U Premier, 16U Premier, 17U Elite, 14U Major (2006), 14U Minor (2007). You can read more here. If you are a returning player or someone new who is interested in playing for an Ironbound team, please email email@example.com for more information about our program.
PLAN B, the “NEW NORMAL”
Our primary concern is the health and safety of our skaters, hockey players, coaches, staff, and all of their families. Many of the rinks are working on putting new protocols in place to ensure the cleanliness of the facility and other ideas such as lengthening team benches, turning off water coolers, and marking bleachers to allow social distancing for family members. As we learn more from our rinks we will keep everyone updated.
At Ironbound, our normal season involves a higher training to games ratio. It also involves participating in tournaments and showcases. Ironbound will follow the direction of USA hockey to determine what events and when we can attend.
Preparation for Plan B
To prepare for the “new normal” we are considering several creative training options to further each athlete’s individual development. To continue with our mission of college placement, we will employ additional strategies for college exposure, including but not limited to, more video outreach.
This is a busy time for us as we are in discussions with several universities about our current and future players. We want to extend a huge congratulations to our graduating class of 2020!!
- Minseo Yang – West Point University
- Brigitte Maikisch – Neumann University (Div 3)
- Jennifer Olnowich – Princeton University (Div 1)
- Samantha Deiches – Anna Maria College (Div 3)
- Annabel Ziskin – Hobart & William Smith Colleges (Div 3)
- Millie Sirum – College of the Holy Cross (Div 1)
- Mellisa Kelly – Worcester Polytechnic Institute
While the 2019-20 hockey season came to an unexpected early end due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there is no reason why the focus cannot begin to shift to next season. One positive of social distancing is the opportunity for players to focus on improving their fitness away from the rink. Off-ice training is just as important for hockey development as being on the ice. It allows for athletes to focus on bio-motor abilities (speed, power, strength, flexibility, conditioning) that will enhance their on-ice skills. Sam Cheema has provided an app for the players with training plans for them and we strongly encourage all players to use the plan developed for them.
Of course, off the ice your player can be working on her stickhandling and shooting skills.
We are fortunate to work with dedicated athletes on a daily basis, however with that in mind, it is important to understand what happens to athletes over a sustained period of time where they are not competing. It is not appropriate to assume that players will be at the same level where they left off but it is important to note that everyone is in the same boat.
While coming back to the rink players may want to be on the ice every day, doing as much as they can in the hours that we have; we have to understand that athletic development happens over months, years and decades.
Our athletes’ safety is paramount to us. Just as you wouldn’t go from 0 – 100 in a car without damaging the engine, athletes must ease back into hockey conditions to avoid injury. When the government eventually puts guidelines in place, Ironbound Elite will implement an on-ice training model where our athletes will be required to be on the ice a certain number of hours, before they participate in a high-level game or showcase. We believe that this is in the best interest of each athlete to mitigate injury prevention.
With everything going on in the world right now, we all may have more time on our hands. Our program relies heavily on volunteers for scorekeepers, managers, locker room monitors, managers so now would be a great time to learn more about the USA hockey regulations and take your Safesport training.
Cheers! from Ironbound Elite to you and your family for all the adjustments you have made to your daily lives to keep our community safe.