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Youth Development

Youth Development at Ion

We call it the Ion Road, the path to developing a player from Learn to Skate thru Tier I Hockey under one roof!  Developing long-term athletes who love hockey is our core mission.  We use an organized process in lockstep with the principles outlined in USA Hockey’s American Development Model (“ADM”).  Our overall development program involves three major components:

Learn to Skate

Try Hockey Events

Future Caps Learn to Play 

ION MITES /Loudoun Castles (House Hockey)

Loudoun Knights Tier II Travel Hockey

Washington Little Caps Tier I Travel Hockey

These three program elements overlap so there are no barriers to entering the sport.  As soon as a new player finds the ice and falls in love with the game, we have a path to get their hockey journey started.

The ADM is a nationwide blueprint designed specifically to help kids reach their full potential.  By following the ADM, our programs will deliver more efficient skill development, will produce more skilled players, and we will see an increase in player retention- all while helping our players develop a life-long love of the game.  Click on the links to the left to learn more about the ADM.

All development program players must be USA Hockey registered and have full equipment.  Players who graduate from our Learn to Skate Program are ready to enroll in the Washington Capitals Future Caps Learn to Play Program where they receive all the gear they need along with 8 weeks of introductory instruction into the sport of Ice Hockey.

From Learn to Play, we offer the ION MITES House Program for our 6U & 8U players or the Loudoun Castles Capital Corridor Hockey League Teams where players continue to play in a competitive environment and develop their skills

Our goal is for our players to graduate from our development teams to the Loudoun Knights and the Washington Little Capitals, before moving on to wherever they want to go after that.  As long as they leave the rink smiling, and with a passion for the game in their hearts, our job is done!

Click the links above to explore the Youth Development Programs beginning this fall!



USA Hockey Parent Handbook


Interested in Coaching?

Click this link to register your interest in coaching youth programs at Ion.

USA Hockey ADM Training Stages

Click here for an overview of USA Hockey's American Development Model. See what some of the brightest minds in the game are advocating for training your son or daughter.

USA Hockey's American Development Model

Why do we play cross-ice hockey?