I am getting a lot of emails concerning the 2021-2022 season. People wondering what to do, who will play, will borders open, will vaccines be required, what camps to go to, and literally hundreds of other questions.
Many of these questions can’t be answered. But there are some pretty practical solutions to prepare for what will definitely be another challenging summer and 2021-2022 season.
First, be flexible. Don’t expect to play in the league or for the team you want to play for. COVID wont be done with us for a while yet, and there are still a lot of teams who don’t know if they can, or will play next season.
With Major Junior players in Tier III this season, you better be ready to take advantage of the opportunities that present themselves.
Yes. There are Major Junior players playing in the USPHL premier this season, and if Tier III is a viable option for them to be on the ice, it better be a viable option for you. If you are not an NHL draft pick, put your ego away and be happy to play.
Second. Train like never before. Get in the gym. Take this time to put on that needed muscle that every coach wants. Watch your diet, and do all of the things you have always said you don’t have time or don’t want to do.
The competition for roster spots and ice time will be more fierce than ever before because teams have gone dark and many will not come back.
Third. Get some rest, and rest your mind. This pandemic has been difficult. It has been mentally challenging for everyone. Rest, and resting your mind away from the game are very important components of preparing for the future.
Fourth. Don’t look too far ahead. Focus on having a successful season where you are. Don’t look beyond the coming season. With all the NCAA rule changes on eligibility, and changes at the pro level, you must be focused on the tasks at hand.
If you keep pressuring yourself about a commitment, and you keep pressuring yourself and others about moving up, you will not have success where you are. If you can not be ready to do this, you need to rethink your career path.
Fifth. Maintain good political connections. With things changing from day to day, you may need a friend to help with things. Don’t burn bridges with a bad or selfish, self entitled attitude.
If you thought managing politics was difficult before, then you really need to open your eyes to the new reality. Politics will be critical moving forward, and you better know how to give and take politically.
A lot of these may seem like common sense thoughts. Most of them are. Its important to be reminded sometimes that common sense is usually your best sense.
I wish everyone luck and success as we move into the Spring recruiting season.
Joseph Kolodziej – Adviser