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Confessions Of A Junior Hockey Coach – Chasing All The Team Camp Invitations Is Not A Real Plan For Success

It is this time of year, every year without fail that the bank accounts of parents and players get drained because of all the individual team camps they are “invited” to.  The “open” camps and the “pre draft” camps team like to run all summer long.

So I ask you, what is the team camp invitation worth?  How much you willing to pay to try out for one individual team?  Because in the end you spending a lot of money trying out for one single team.

Let us look at the “betting odds” of making the team from the “pre draft” or “open” camp.  Based on the number of camp I have watched over the last four year while working here, I keep every roster.  I track every player drafted from these camp.

All season long I track the AAA player, the prep player, and many High School player.  One thing every one of the best player have in common…..Not one of them attend individual team camp unless it is the main camp.  They go to combines and showcases, and then to final team main camps.

The average number I have of player making team through the “pre draft” or “open” team camp is 3 out of 100.  That is three out of 100 on average.  Some camp are zero percent chance, some team have so many different camp the odd is 3 out of 500 player.

Why?  Combines and showcase make it so you are trying out for many team who scout these event.  Main camp is for the serious team prospect.  Does it not make sense to spend the same amount of time and money playing in front of many teams as it cost to play in front of one team?

The trick to finding the right Combine or Showcase is simple.  Look at the alumni list.  Where do the player end up playing.  The scout list mean nothing if the alumni player is not making it to high level of hockey.  The player alumni list tell you all you need to know.

It is no different than a team alumni list.  If you go to the team that have no promotion, chance is you will have no promotion on that team.

Do the math.  If team have three camp with 100 player in each camp that is 300 player.  Plus they have the returning player, the drafted player and the tendered or already signed player you not aware of.  If you defenseman and team only looking for 2 defense, then you fighting with nearly 40 other player in the open camp alone for one of two open position.  This not include the draft or already signed player you not even aware of.

So why do so many of you go from camp to camp to camp every summer chasing the same scenario?  Is nothing learned from last year?

Stop listening to the other parent on what camp is good.  They do not know.  What work for one player do not work for all player.  Stop listening to the rumor that someone heard this team was looking for this or that.  It is just rumor.  Stop wasting time and money chasing the rumor, you are better off chasing ghost.

Stop thinking it good idea to travel with you friend to try out together if you both play same position.  When one make the team and the other do not, it is the long trip home.  Why would you put youself in this position?  If you looking for a new job to support you family will you tell the next door neighbor about the job when he is unemployed too and risk him getting the job before you?

It is time for parent to start thinking.  Start planning.  Stop reacting to what you “think” is legitimate team interest.  When in reality what you have is legitimate camp attendee interest.  It is the time for you parent and player to wake up.  When you continue to do what you always do and you not get the results you want then it is time for you to change what you do.


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