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Notes From A Hockey Mom: Another Camp? - Canadian Junior Hockey News

Published: Friday, 1 May 2020  
By: Michelle Anderson, Behind the Champ

Why do coaches ask you to come to yet another camp after they’ve seen you play at a showcase or combine?  Lots of parents and players think these events are simply money grabs because they didn’t walk away with a roster spot, but I think it is important to manage your expectations for these events. 

Chances are pretty good that you aren’t going to be signed directly from one of these events.  I’m sure it happens from time to time, but as a general rule, it doesn’t. Some of these events occur before the leagues allow teams to do so.  Even if they can sign players, many people think that because coaches have already seen you play, they should already know what they need to know.  The problem with that thinking is they don’t really.  They have seen you play against a bunch of other guys who are also trying to make that level.  They haven’t seen you play against guys who are already at that level.  They need to see how you compete against their veteran players.  They also need to see how you get along with them because team culture is important.  More than likely, attending one of these events is going to get you more camp invitations.

They may also have not actually seen enough of you.  There might have been 200 or more players at that event and maybe they only got to watch one period of one game of a particular player. Maybe a scout attended the event because the coach couldn’t so the coach hasn’t seen you play at all. It can be a struggle to see enough of every player at those bigger events because there are multiple games going on at once, and scouts want to see as many players as possible.   A scout or coach is trying to look at all of them and trying to make decisions on who should proceed to the next step in their process (usually another camp).  As a parent, you are watching your player, and there are probably kids at that event that you never saw. In fact, we once knew a local player was attending the same event we were, but because of the schedule, we were never able to find a time to meet up and hang out.  We never saw them at all.

Now, this isn’t to say you shouldn’t attend one of these events either.  In fact, in some cases, these events are the most bang for your buck.  If the event is being put on by a particular league, there will be staff attending from every team in the league so you’ll have a chance to be seen by every team.  They will have coaches from those leagues behind the bench so you’ll have a chance to start a relationship.  There will be other scouts from other leagues and teams as well.  That is a much cheaper option than trying out for every team individually which is logistically impossible anyway.

While these events do make money, that isn’t their sole intent.  Their intent is to provide an opportunity for coaches and scouts to see a lot of players in a short period of time, and it’s an opportunity for players to be exposed to a lot of coaches and scouts in a short period of time.  

Author: Michelle Anderson from Behind the Champ
Hello! I am a Minnesota hockey mom of 15 years with a son currently playing junior hockey. My son was 2 ½ when he saw his first hockey game, and he became obsessed with playing hockey himself. I thought, “He’s 2. It will pass.” It didn’t. I have to admit that I knew absolutely nothing about hockey when we first started this journey, but I learned quickly along the way thanks to all the other hockey parents out there. I also saw how much fun he was having so I joined a women’s league and learned how to play myself. The kids make it look a lot easier than it is, but it’s a beautiful game and tons of fun both to watch and to play, even badly in my case. I look forward to bringing you a hockey mom’s point of view to these shenanigans in the world of junior hockey.

* Disclaimer: This site may contain advice, opinions and statements from various authors and information providers. Views expressed in this article reflect the personal opinion of the author, Michelle Anderson, and not necessarily the views of does not represent or endorse the accuracy or reliability of any advice, opinion, statement or other info provided in the article, or from any other member of this site.
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