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Confessions Of A Junior Hockey Coach – Advice For Picking The Right Team And The Right Coach

It is now down to the crunch time as some would say.  The tryout camps are ending for many high level teams, and now player are wondering where to go when things don’t work out for them at higher level.

There are the few very simple yet very important thing to look for when searching for your team in this situation.

First, it does not matter how many championship a team win when you are looking to move up.  It means nothing to the scout if the team win a championship.  The only thing matters is your performance.

Second, it do not matter how many fans any team get to a game.  Fans do not move you to the next level.

Third, it do not matter where your coach played when he was the player.  Just because he may have been NHL player do not make him a good coach.  More often than not the coach who did not make NHL is the better junior coach.  What was successful for him will not likely be successful for you.

Four, the opportunity to play is more important than the level of team you make.  Riding the bench or sitting in the stand do not make you a better player and do not help you advance.

Five, look for the organization that want you.  Not one that might want you, but the one that recruit you actively.  They will work hardest to develop you and move you up.

Six, look for the team that has the philosophy of moving player up no matter if it costs them wins.

Seven, look for the team or the coach that has the history of moving players up and developing players.

Eight, ask these questions and do not be afraid.  If the coach or team is offended, you don’t want to play for them anyway.

Nine, do not listen to hype.  Too many teams and leagues use hype to cloud over the facts.

Ten, do not listen to other players or coaches who comment negatively on other teams or leagues.  The only people who do that are people who are afraid of those teams and leagues.

Eleven, do not get advice from message boards when looking at any team or league.  If you trust your future to nameless faceless stranger you are the biggest fool of all.

Twelve, seek advice from a neutral party before signing with any team.  Do not ask your parents, do not ask your team mates, or friends.  If you do not have an agent or adviser, call a coach in a higher level league and ask him his thought on the team.  If its Tier II call USHL or Major Junior, if its Tier III or Junior B, call Tier II or higher.  Don’t call someone in an equal level league.

This is your future, and making the right choice based on solid, meaningful information is the only way you will have success.  Chances are if you are still looking for a team you have not used those simple pieces of advice before.  You know what they say about people who continue to do the same things expecting to achieve different results?


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