We’ve all heard the saying that good things come to those who wait, right? There are some risks in doing so, especially when it comes to your hockey career. Many times waiting for that better offer leads to disappointment, and that first offer might not be around when you decide there wasn’t anything better out there. Note that things are a bit different this year with this pandemic contagion zombie apocalypse happening, but this is my opinion.
Let me ask you this: Are you being approached by those higher level teams? If you are, great. Take the offer. No brainer, right? If you aren’t, you should be thinking long and hard about your strategy, and waiting around isn’t it. Yes, the saying is that if you’re good enough, they’ll find you, but there are a LOT of hockey players out there, and if you haven’t already been approached, it doesn’t mean there isn’t a place for you. It doesn’t even necessarily mean you aren’t good enough. It means maybe the right person didn’t see you play, and it means you have to do a little work to find your place.
Waiting around seems pretty passive. Do you want to be recognized for your patience, or do you want to play junior hockey? Most of the coaches I know want guys on their team who hustle, and waiting around for the phone to ring just doesn’t scream hustle to me. Coaches want guys with tenacity, who are willing to go after what they want, and who will do the work required. They want guys who make plays, or shoot even if the angle isn’t perfect, not guys who wait for the perfect circumstance. Hockey isn’t passive.
Also, if I’m a tier 3 coach offering a player a spot after he’s cut from a tier 2 team, and he turns me down, do you really think I’m going to wait for him to come around in August? No way! If I’ve got a roster to fill, I’m filling it with or without him, and if my program is one of the better ones, chances are pretty good that come July or August, I don’t have a need anymore. I’m all set. Even if I wasn’t set, would I really want a player who turned me down, especially if I’ve run into him at multiple tier 2 camps? Not likely. I’d be questioning his attitude--does he think he’s better than everyone else? I don’t need that kind of cancer on my team. I am looking for guys who want to play for me.
You can’t wait for things to happen because that’s how it worked for your buddy. You aren’t your buddy, and every player’s path is different. If you get an offer, take it. If you haven’t gotten one yet, get to work. If the offer isn’t the one you hoped for, make the best of the situation and make sure you do what you need to do so that next season, you get multiple offers. You’ve got to be undeniable. You need to work so hard they regret not snagging you up so they could say they had a part in your awesomeness. Nothing is given in junior hockey. Waiting around for some miracle to happen is not how guys make it to the next level.
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