With tryouts fast approaching and the pressure to showcase your hockey abilities, you or your child will be primarily and consistently judged on 3 basic criteria: Focus, Effort and Attitude. Without Focus, you do not have Effort and without Attitude you do not have Focus. Therefore, to have momentum during your tryouts you must have consistency in all three of these areas otherwise you will come to a crashing halt!
The top priority for any athlete when practicing or performing is the ability to remove distractions and focus on the task at hand. The three common distractions often faced by young athletes are teammates, additional coaches (ones other than those used by teams or associations) and paren
ts. There will be a lot of opinions given throughout the tryout process where there won’t be a lot of clarity on what team coaches will be looking for when it comes to evaluating players. This will cause an internal dilemma regarding who’s advice you or your child must comply with. This will typically result in discrepancies between what coaches, parents and fellow teammates expect of you or your child. To simplify we have listed a few questions to show how typical team coaches will be evaluating focus.
- When explaining drills do you pay attention, or do you look away? And when the coach is speaking, are you talking and/or disrupting others?
- How is your attention to detail? When the whistle blows, are you shooting pucks or stick-handling instead of going to the board for the next drill?
- Do you cheat on drills or do you stop and try to do it correctly?
- Are you constantly late, taping your stick 5 mins before going on the ice? Or are you someone that is organized?
- Are you making sure you are prepared to hit the ice to give it your best effort?
The biggest aspect that coaches will be evaluating on you or your child, is physical conditioning. This is of course that you or your child have passed the quick checklist of basic hockey skills, such as skating, shooting, passing and stick-handling for players and shuffling, t-pushing, butterfly slides and power-pushes for goalies. The real test here is how an athlete handles adversity in difficult situations and what their makeup is when they are tired. Here are few questions that coaches will be using to evaluate your effort level.
- What is your physical endurance and stamina? Do you get tired easily, and are you always last when doing skating drills?
- Do you show signs of being first to the puck or are you afraid to take a hit if you are a player, and for goalies do you flinch on an incoming shot?
- How do you handle mistakes? Do you give up or do you try to fight to back check, block a shot or take a hit to make a pass? For a goalie, will you try to dive to make a save?
- Are you making sure you are pushing your will power and attitude?
The last piece of the puzzle is trying to figure out you or your child’s willingness to succeed, competitiveness and overall leadership. This is probably the toughest area to put a value on, as each player provides unique abilities that coaches decide who will be the best candidates for the final roster. This is no different than doing a job interview. To simplify, here are few questions to assess your Attitude!
- Are you more concerned about yourself or are you willing to be a team player? How do you interact with others? Can you show compassion or are you impatient?
- Do you take responsibility for your actions or do you blame others? Are you constantly voicing your ideas and opinions?
- Are you willing to try new concepts and ideas? Can you adapt to rapidly changing environments? Can you take risks or are you afraid to make mistakes?
These are just some simple things to consider but taking from experience, everyone gravitates to visual cues of physical performance instead of judging each players’ Focus, Effort and Attitude. These are the true tangibles that all industries consider.
Best of luck during your hockey tryouts and we wish you all but success as you try to obtain your goal for the start of the season!