With tryouts kicking off later today, it's important that we
all calibrate our expectations of the tryout process.
The text below was shared by Newmarket Minor Hockey (and
other associations) to help clear the fog around tryout season and get everyone
on the same page.
Good luck in tryouts !
WHAT EVERY PARENT/PLAYER SHOULD KNOW ABOUT TRYOUTS
- The majority of the tryout process is completed before on-ice tryouts begin. This shouldn't be some dirty secret. It is not a negative. It makes sense. If you are a coach and you are going to rely solely on a few 1 hour sessions to decide who is on your team, then you are a poor coach. Most coaches will/should have a number of “for sure” kids in mind and 3 or 4 kids in mind for each remaining spot before on-ice tryouts begin. How? Because...
- Tryouts officially started before coach was announced. Next year's coaches should be out watching games all over the place; they should be taking and placing phone calls; they should be responding to and sending emails; they should be talking with current and incoming coaches to establish depth charts, etc. Next year's coaches should be highly visible around the rinks.
- Coaches may not pick who YOU think are the best players. That is because coaches have to build TEAMS and that involves a mix of left and right shots; offensive and defensive kids; fast kids and grinders; creative/flashy players and steady/dependable players. They also may have to keep body checking in mind, work ethic, which way a kid is trending and coachability. Finally, Rep teams generally have between 110 and 180 events over the course of a 7-8 month season with team chemistry being an important component for success, so if you don't think parent behaviour/attitude and player behaviour/attitude have a role in selections then you are mistaken. Don't be the reason your kid doesn't make a team. If you suspect that you may be a crazy hockey parent, please read this and calm down and just enjoy.
- Picking teams is not an exact science - coaches will make mistakes. They are not doing it on purpose - they want to win. But maybe they see some potential in a kid vs. a kid who may have plateaued. Maybe they think they can improve the decision making of a kid who can skate and shoot like lightning. Maybe it doesn't work out. It doesn't mean the coach is incompetent and should be publicly or anonymously insulted. He/she was taking a chance to improve the team and it didn't work out. Oh well, get over it.
So, with all of this in mind, what should you do to maximize your chances of achieving your goals?
- If you are a player - work hard in games and practices - do the little things - be a great teammate who is easy to coach. You never know who is watching.
- If you are a parent - be realistic. If your child is in HL or AE/MD, the chances of them making AA right away are very low. Encourage your child to work hard and support whatever team they land on. Also, behave yourself - everyone is watching.
- If your child is returning/coming from another association - understand that they will usually have to be clearly, noticeably better than incumbents in order to make the team. That is not “not fair” that is just human nature. So, you may have to play one level down for a year before you get back to the level you were playing.
VP Operations // OMHA Delegate // Bradford Minor Hockey