Bantam Rep Tryout Update, News, Bantam Rep (East Lambton Minor Hockey)

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Bantam Rep Tryout Update
Submitted By Jane Ruttger on Tuesday, September 10, 2019
Bantam Rep tryout update and a message to prospective AP players.  

Last week a friend of mine asked how hockey was going so far – the conversation quickly centered around how I was looking forward to the season but hated tryouts and specifically cutting players.

Hate it.

The conversation then turned to how he had really begun to dislike just about everything about the game.  Drafted into the OHL, successful completion of a full ride US scholarship and has lost his passion.  Too much hockey, too serious, bad coaching experiences and just plain burned out.  Wasn’t fun anymore. Here was someone that achieved something that 99% plus never achieve that play the game.  Thankful for what it was able to do for him, but disappointed.  Maybe even jaded.

If I can just get past the part I hate, I’m into what I enjoy.  I need to remind myself that there are only a few positions and there is only so much you can do.  Part of what makes it easier is the AP program – this is a chance to provide a win-win-win experience – AP players learn, get extra ice, the team is pushed and has better practices and I get to keep players up to speed for games and develop for the future.

I have been asked by several players and parents what they need to do to get better?  While there is no magic answer, we need to address the first truth – that is even if you do everything right and work to your maximum there is an upper level to your achievement – at some point your athletic ability will limit you.  I say limit because at this point all of us, myself included, need to understand we aren’t going to the NHL.

Does this mean we don’t try?  Absolutely not. So my best advice is as follows;

·         Appreciate your parents for the sacrifices they are making so you can play hockey.  Seriously – while I hate how I feel when I cut someone, the feeling is much worse seeing it in the eyes of someone that doesn’t get an opportunity to play.  Count yourself as a very fortunate one.

·         Listen to your coach – regardless if you (or your parents) disagree.  While it takes talent and work ethic to be considered for a selection, not listening and not playing within a team philosophy keeps many players from reaching their potential.  This is a skill that can be learned and give you an edge over others.  To quote my friend Mike, “there are many players that had the talent to play in the NHL but didn’t make it because they thought they knew better than the coach.”

·         Work at full speed during drills.  Game speed.  This sport like most sports are about time and space.   Many players can make slick moves when nobody is near – show us you can do that when someone is heading at you full speed.  I guarantee you that someone is chasing you at full speed in the games – you won’t have that speed or ability unless you practice it.

·         Work hard at practice.  Learn to push yourself.  Take that last stride instead of coasting. 

·         Work on your own.  Shoot the puck in the driveway – again, as a friend pointed out the people that he played with and against in the NHL that had a great shot practiced it a ton.  Practice skating using all your edges forwards and backwards when you get an opportunity.  I once had a player that was AP’d that needed work on their skating – a series of drills were given that could be done at public skating – the player religiously did the drills multiple times per week and surpassed many of the rep players by the end of the year.

·         Show leadership.  You do that by doing all of the above – especially when not required to and nobody is watching.  It impresses me when I go to a LL practice or game and see one of the APs giving it his all.  By you working hard at all practices you are improving your work ethic way past hockey – this is really the biggest payback.  Leadership by example is the most effective – set the example, it is up to the others if they want to follow.

·         Have fun and enjoy – it is something that many of those that have ‘made it hockey’ wished they had achieved – and this is the biggest achievement of it all - there are no limits to this - chase it!    

One more thing – wash your equipment.  Most of you stink.

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