Confessions Of A Junior Hockey Coach – The Truth About Team Tryout Camps


So now I apologize for the absence as I take care of the family business over sea’s.  Back to the hockey, and the over flowing camp invitations for the team “pre draft” and “open” and “prospect” camps.

Okay, so you are receiving the tryout invitation in the email right?  Oh yes it sounds so great to be invited to the try out for the team right?  Well, if you think you are the special invite you need to think again.

Player get these email and think it is bragging rights.  Such and such team was interested in me, or so and so invited me to camp.  Of course they were interested in you.

Every player in the world receive this kind of invite.  It is the gimmick, or the trick to make you feel like you have accomplished something.  When in truth it is the open camp that anyone can attend if they pay the money.

Player and parent it is time to pull your head out of the backside.  It is time to start making the smart choices.

How many time do you get the email from the team that is a thousand mile away from you?  How many time do you think they actually scout you from so far away?

Unless you play in the very high level league already, chance is that they did not scout you.  And if you already play in the high level league and they did scout you, did they not see you enough to evaluate you?  If they did not, then why even contact you to attend these camp?

A lot of team now take their camp to area’s they do not play in.  Now this is somewhat different.  It is almost an admission that they did not scout the region, but that they want to see player from the region.  Nothing wrong with that at all.

If you attend these camp though and are invited back, how many more time are you going to have to pay?  Do you have to attend two camp to get to main camp?  Do you have to attend one camp and then play on the teams they are taking to summer showcases before main camp invite?

If you are player from California and team is in New York, how many time do they expect you to make cross country trip?  If you from Toronto and team is in Vancouver, how many time are you expect to make that trip?  If team is thinking about you honestly, they will not have you make that trip too often.

The question to ask is where did they see you play and when.  If they have not, then who referred your name to them.  The referral from the adviser, agent or coach is the only referral that matter.  But if there is no solid referral and no scouting this is just a phone call.

Remember, team have to make money from camp.  They have to make money from camp.  Every camp is intend to pay bills, and still see player.  When you hear “fundraiser” camp used, every camp is a fundraiser camp unless they do not charge you.  Camp is expensive to run, and scouting is expensive to run all season long.

Think about the average scout spend $250 to $400 per day when scouting with hotel, gas and food depending on length of trip and city visited.  For three day trip to Chicago for my boss he spend $200 per night hotel, $50 per day parking, $250 in gas, and $150 in food.  That is almost $1000 for 3 day and 2 night trip.  Imagine the expense if you fly to the event?

The big truth is that if you need to attend a team pre draft camp, the team do not know who you are and you not making the team anyway.  Why try out for one team at one camp when you can go to the showcase and tryout for many team at one camp?  Stop being the mindless follower to the propaganda.

Be smart in your camp decision this year.  Don’t think that the email you receive make you some special player.  Ask the right questions and make the right decisions.