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Confessions Of A Junior Hockey Coach – When Opportunity Knocks

It is that time of the year that player and parents are wrapping up the tryout camps and summer showcase schedule.  The scout have been active, the coach has been recruiting and many play have been signing and committing to the programs at many level.

So when I see the player who is recruited by the junior and sometime the college program, look at the program like they deserve better I have to ask myself why?

This weekend I see several example of player looking down on a program as if he deserve better when he really do not.

I watch as the NCAA D-3 coach talk to a player about his program and the player is not enthused or excited because he think he is D-1 player.  I hear him when he walks away from coach, and coach hear him too say to his father “I don’t want to play there, I will wait for something better.”

This player is not a D-1 player and will not be.  What happen when no D-1 offer comes?  What happen if no other D-3 offer come?  Can he look in the mirror then and say he screwed up?  Probably not.

I see another player recruited by a very good Tier III team.  Player says he wants to play NAHL when he is not NAHL ready and probably wont be an NAHL player.  Tier III coach is honest and say he is probably second line player for him, and then parent says “we want top line minutes”.

I recently see player recruited by OHL team say he want top minutes when he was not even a draft pick.  He is third or fourth line role player at best this season.  He turns down coach to play last year of midget instead of taking advantage of the opportunity to get an extra year of university paid for.  This play might be a second line player in a year or two and is not on the NHL radar.  His parents work on a farm and do not have a lot of money to pay for university, so was this the good decision?

Seeing yourself clear is critical to recognizing the opportunity.

If you are the best player on the ice all the time everywhere you play, you can be more picky.  If you are not, then you can not be picky, it is that simple.

Parent need to start being realistic.  If your player is not the top player every season, it is not the teams fault.  He is simply not the top player, not everyone can be.

Player need to stop listening to parent say you should be at higher level.  Parent in almost every case can not be objective in player assessment.

When opportunity knock, it is usually a pretty good idea to open the door, especially at this time of year.


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