Confessions Of A Junior Hockey Coach – When Opportunity Knocks


Today I write because yesterday I see the dumbest of things a player and his parents can do.  I see it so often today it is unbelievable to me to understand.

Parent, if you are unemployed and you are offered a job, do you turn the job down?  If you have never worked in that field but want to work in that field do you risk saying no to the opportunity to get the foot in the door?

No.  You take the job and you go to work.  You get your foot in the door and keep climbing the social ladder.  Of course you always look for the better opportunity down the road after you establish yourself at the new job.  But you master the new job first.

Why then are parents telling their players to say no when they are offered an opportunity at the next level.  Some player going from Midget to Tier III or Junior B, some player going from Midget or Tier III to Junior A in Canada or the NAHL.

I have been hearing people say no to offers to play at a level they have never played at because they think something better may come later.  This is the dumbest thing I have ever seen.  Period.

If you think the offer to play for that team will be there when the other offer does not come, you better think again.  You will likely be playing beneath your ability next season and you will look to blame everyone else for your stupid choices.

Unless you are the player who has a lot of team chasing after him, or you have been drafted into various league, you better start using your head to think instead of you ego to judge.

As an example I hear the player yesterday say; “I was offered a deal with XXXXXX in the OJHL, but I am going to the BCHL.”

This came from a US born player who was Tier III player last year.  Yes, that’s right, this idiot turn down OJHL card before even going to camp in BCHL.  Do you think the OJHL card will be there waiting for him next month?  No way.

Recently I also hear; “I don’t want to go to Canada, I want to play NAHL.”  This came from player with no Junior A or NAHL experience.  I am sorry to say young man, that what you want and what you deserve or what is best for you are different things.  If you knew what you were doing when making decision, you wouldn’t have made all the wrong decision in the past.

If you a player looking for NCAA some day, you play Junior A Canada, USHL or NAHL.  Sometime Junior B or Tier III player get in as well.  It is common sense on who get NCAA recruited though.  It is not the third or fourth line player at any level.  It is the big fish.  It do not matter what the league is, the big fish get the scouting attention.

Put yourself in the position to be the big fish.  When opportunity knocks, open the god damn door, don’t close it and walk away.  When you try to go back to open it later, it will likely be locked.