Tryout Planning Starts Now
I know it is only November 1st, and this season has barely started but it’s never too early to begin your journey to Junior Hockey. The biggest mistake players make at all ages in trying to get to the next level is when they decide to worry about tryouts or making the team.
A lot of people tend to wait until Rep Tryouts before the season or when Junior camp invitations arrive in the mail. It doesn’t matter if you are in Pee Wee, Midget or Junior A, you cannot wait until the late spring or summer to make your choices nor can you rely entirely on coaches coming directly to you.
Another pitfall is that players tend to settle once they have received a tryout that seems like a reasonable opportunity. There is nothing wrong with being confident in your abilities and skills but contrary to what you might think, confidence isn’t enough to ensure that a job is all sewn up. Final roster decisions are not made based upon skill alone, in fact financial, positional needs, politics and many other considerations all go into final personnel choices. You cannot leave yourself only one ‘sure-thing’ situation, because there definitely is no such thing!
So I’d argue that there is no reason to wait until the offseason to begin active self-promotion. You can in fact tryout with as many teams as you want during the season and I encourage you to do just that! If you are in Pee Wee and plan on playing Bantam Rep next year, start by calling the bantam B coach to let you skate with them at a practice when they might be short-handed or that isn’t directly before a game day. That extra experience and exposure will definitely help in making the top team next year.
Yes, it’s just that easy. Call the coach, give him the short version of whom you are and that you are planning on trying out for them next season and that if it is possible, you would like the opportunity for them to take a look at you now or before the season is over at a team practice. It might require you missing a team event but plan ahead and look for days when your own team is on a break or better yet, plan it around a weekday holiday. Teams always want to look at talent for the future and they typically have limited budgets and time constraints to get out and scout as much as they would like to on their own.
So be proactive, call the team, and get it done!
Think about it this way, would you rather be seen as the only guy ‘trying’ out at that skate or as #123 on their list of the 10 prospect teams playing at their evaluation camp? Where do you think you have a better chance getting noticed?