Is your coach looking out for your kids’ best interest?
Whether your coach is at the bantam A level, Junior B or the OHL, he has his own agenda for being there. Even if he is altruistic and wants what is best for your son, does he have the contacts, coaching skills, knowledge base of the next level and beyond to effectively promote your child? If the answer is no to any of the previous concerns, you need the right information to do so yourself. It is professional from Bantam A onwards and you have to treat yourself as a professional and more importantly treat the process as a professional one.
Ask yourself what is your coaches’ main goal? If he is a just a nice guy with some experience who wants to help teach your son what he knows, then you need to ask what is he deficient at? Presumably, he doesn’t have excellent contacts at the next level, be it the BCHL, OHL or the NCAA. How can he adequately promote your son’s interests?
If it is at the PIJHL, BCHL or WHL level what are his motivations? Remember, first of all, he needs to win, because winning equals ticket sales which equals money. His goal is to move up to the next level and a winning team is the best way to do that. If that means holding your son back an extra year even if he is ready to move on, he will possibly do so in order to field the best team possible. Is that being cynical? No, just being realistic because I’ve seen it happen time and again all over the world. I’ve seen BCHL coaches tell NCAA scouts that certain players aren’t ‘quite’ ready yet, because they’d rather have a contender next year then have a rebuilding year. They don’t have to sabotage your son, but they can hint that maybe, possibly, one more year would be best for him to fully develop, why would a scout not take him at this word.
And admittedly, while there are many BCHL teams that have good records in their players getting scholarships, there are just as many that do NOT. And even the teams and coaches that do have great track records, are they promoting your kids to all of the 58 NCAA Division 1 teams or do they tend to work with the same coaches & teams time and again. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but you need to know what’s what so you can ensure your son is getting maximum exposure. Not every team is the best fit for every player.