Tryouts, Maximizing Your Opportunity, News (Huron-Perth Lakers AAA Minor Hockey Association)

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Tryouts, Maximizing Your Opportunity
Submitted By Goetz on Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Everyone knows that coaches love highly skilled athletes. Razor shots, soft hands and skating like the wind are attributes that every coach would love their players to have, but we also know that it takes much more than those qualities to make an effective hockey player and form a successful team. Having an understanding of what coaches look for helps the aspiring Laker maximize his chances of securing a position at the conclusion of tryouts. 

There are several different factors that coaches look for outside of basic skills in athletes during their evaluations, I don't assume that all coaches would have the same preference of order, but I am confident that exhibiting the positive aspect of these qualities will help you in your quest to attain a spot this April.

Attitude: This  would be my #1 non skill quality that I look for in athletes. Positiveness toward the challenges they face in the environment. Positiveness toward their teammates and coaches. A willingness to be part of and supportive of the program. Respectful in their approach to authority figures, competitors and fans. A homogenous team will succeed where many more talented but fragmented teams will falter. Look no further than this years Ottawa Senators which drastically underperformed as athletes scrambled to not accept ownership of their shortcomings.

Competitiveness: Hockey is a game of battles, coaches will look for that little extra effort or second or third effort that exhibits a players competitiveness. Being first in the corner or sacrificing the body for the play tells us that winning is paramount to you and your approach to the sport.

Fearlessness: Does the player avoid the corners or slow up and let the competitor get their first? Is the forward willing to take the hit on the boards to advance the play? Fear is easily identified by a coach and not highly sought after. We don't expect our player to put themselves in harms way but it is a contact sport and you have to be willing to play an aggressive game.

Intelligence: Are you creative? Does the player engage all  five men? Does the player attract the defense then move the puck to maximize his lines opportunities or does he act individually with too much focus on individual stats. Math is very important in sports, constantly assessing the numbers determines your approach and enhances your chance of success.

Leadership: Does the athlete make the players around him better? Do the teammates look up to and respect the player? Is the player liked by his teammates or is he arrogant and aloof? 

Work Ethic: Does the player complain verbally or with body language about working hard or does he relish it and challenge his teammates with his effort?

Coachability: Does the player pay attention at the white board and absorb and execute the drills? Does the athlete take the direction they are given and implement it in their game?  Coaches want to work with players that want to learn from them, and really don't want to work with players that already know it all.

Punctual: Is the player on time and ready and dressed to go at start time? When the whistle blows does he shoot an extra puck or does he high tail it into the scrum?

These are just a few things that coaches will be evaluating during the tryouts and hopefully you will give some thought to your approach. Effort, attitude and aggressiveness are a great way to start.
 I would wish the best of luck to you all in the upcoming tryouts, however I hope you don't leave it up to luck, consider making your own luck by giving it all you've got.



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