Your Child’s Future in Hockey
…a Parent’s Guide
By Coach Steve Malley
Remember all those years ago when you and your youngster first entered the world of travel hockey. It was an entirely new world with its own rules and a serious shift in your perception of how far away things are. Well, now that you’re good at being a travel hockey parent, it’s time to ask, does your child want to progress in hockey?
After Midget, what?
Does your child want to play college hockey? If that’s an option you’re considering, then read on. Otherwise, players should also consider a future in hockey as a coach, a referee or a trainer. Former players are very welcome by all three professions.
If college hockey idea is on your horizon, then now is the time to start making plans. There are new rules to learn and new skills to develop both for yourself and your child. Let’s take a broad brush look and then look at the details.
No player will advance in hockey without challenge. Greater challenge equates to more work and, generally, to a greater cost.
What’s Most Important!
Live and play in control—on and off the ice.
Achieve your academic potential
Enhance your playing skills
Grades are THE most limiting factor for players who want to earn admission and play at the prep or college level.
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No coach comes to local games looking for hockey players. Players have to be seen to be appreciated. This is one area where the parents need to help. Remember, not even Wayne Gretzske would have gone as far as he did in hockey without the help of his father. The tools are the same if your objective is prep school, college or junior hockey. We’re going to use college hockey as an example as we work through each tool.
Men’s College Hockey Guide Athletic Guide (published annually) Tom Keegan, Flagler Beach, FL 32136 800-255-1050
Junior Hockey Guide Athletic Guide (published annually) Tom Keegan, Flagler Beach, FL 32136 800-255-1050
Prep School Hockey Guide Athletic Guide (published annually) Tom Keegan, Flagler Beach, FL 32136 800-255-1050
Women’s College Hockey Guide Athletic Guide (published annually) Tom Keegan, Flagler Beach, FL 32136 800-255-1050
Annual College Guides (published by Time, Newsweek, US News and World Report and others—available at any good book store.)
At the college level there are hundreds of teams looking for players every year. For women the number of teams has exploded. Two large organizations administer college hockey and our players need to understand that both the NCAA and the ACHA include loads of teams that play at every possible skill level.
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The NCAA is the primary college sport administering body across the nation. The classic levels: Division I, Division II, and Division III are used as the general indicators of skill level. It is important to remember that players have to learn about each school that interests them, because it is also true that the strongest Division III schools have been known to win games over higher level schools. Our players have to learn not to simply plan by the numbers.
The ACHA (American College Hockey Association) serves the growing number of colleges across the nation whose programs are not registered with the NCAA. It is critical for our players and their families to understand that the ACHA includes two (a third may be added soon) levels of registered teams across the nation. These Division I and Division II teams also vary significantly in the level of play, but the Division I teams compare very favorably with many NCAA teams. Top teams in the ACHA have won many games playing against NCAA teams. More of our players need to understand that the ACHA offers a real alternative for players of all skill levels. Many ACHA colleges are also fine academic schools:
Penn State, Delaware, University of Arizona, Duke and the University of Virginia.Your Hockey Profile
Your most important tool is your hockey profile. A sample profile format is attached. The profile is similar in concept to a resume and is your primary tool for making teams aware of who your child is.
helpful tips are:
The coaches know that good records are not kept for Bantam and Midget hockey.
Using Your Profile
You need to develop a plan that suits you. Here are some ideas:
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Family friends, people from work and even other parents associated with the team form part of your network. You’re not in this alone. Perhaps there are alumni of one of the schools on your list or even they have a child on that hockey team right now. Don’t neglect working your network.
A mentor is a special person in your network who really can and wants to help your child advance in hockey. Not everyone can find one, but it is a valuable resource. People want to help, if they can.
Coaches who recruit watch lots of games across the country. These are but a few.
to look for in a summer hockey camp
Which junior tryouts should be considered??
Play at the Highest Level
Coaches look for the following characteristics.
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Places to play serious hockey
Every serious Midget hockey player should attend at least one junior tryout to measure himself.
and answers to hockey beyond Midgets
What is my level of play today?
What level do I hope to achieve?
What skill level do I need to achieve?
Will Junior experience help me play in college?
· Yes, the higher level play should be an asset and it will help get a coach’s attention. It has been a valuable step for many top college players.
Improve Your Game
Use The Summer
Players have to make better use of the summer or off season if they plan to continue to play. Take time off—get away from the rink—strengthen and heal the body and the mind—renew the commitment to the game they love.
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After some critical time off, players need to work on several activities which include the following:
Preparation for national testing.
That is SSAT/SAT/ACT etc. In season demands make such studies difficult for most players.
Strength and Conditioning
· To improve their game and to minimize injuries.
· Plyometrics and weight training will help your chances to play serious hockey, but consult a training manual or personal trainer.
Wherever possible this work, safely planned and executed, is a must.Skills
All players know the skills they should work on.
Coaches need to encourage players to do this skill work during the off season. I regularly remind all players that skating is fundamental to the game and that every player could benefit from some time spent on skating techniques. Most coaches would agree with me that they do not teach skating at hockey practice. I’ll go further and say that some of the best skaters I’ve seen play the game took technique lessons from instructors who were often power skating specialists or figure skating coaches. Every player can benefit from skating work in the off season.
and Play in Control
Nothing stops a player’s collegiate career faster than establishing a reputation as someone who makes dumb penalties and cannot control himself on the ice.Grades
It bears repeating that grades are THE most limiting factor for players who want to earn admission and play at the prep or college level. You can bump your SAT scores up a little, but if you bomb your grades starting in the 8 th grade, it is very difficult to recover.Why should a player stay close to their high school college counselor?
· Each counselor is the player’s rep when colleges call; he/she writes your endorsement and reviews teacher recommendations!
· Consider carefully his/her help and acknowledge it!
What do prep schools have to offer?
· Lots of expensive/valuable experience on how to properly prepare student athletes for college hockey programs!
· Most offer top facilities/plenty of practice time/rinks on campus/designated locker rooms, strong coaching.
· A network with certain college coaches!
· Many players attend prep schools for one or two years only! Some accept post graduates too!
· Prep schools are not the only answer.
· They are not desirable or affordable for all families.
· They are not the only routes to college hockey.
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What GPA and SAT ranges do I need to play college hockey?
· NCAA minimums are SAT low end (800) with most programs wanting 1000 and beyond, GPA’s of 3.0 and above are often quoted and not achieved.
· College Hockey Guide includes target SAT levels for many schools.
What is the NCAA clearinghouse?
· It establishes your eligibility to play; it’s important!
· Register through your high school by early in your senior year.
What are the NCAA recruiting guidelines?
· They vary with the level (Division I, II or III)
· Don’t guess!
NCAA Initial Eligibility Clearinghouse, P.O. Box 4043, Iowa City 319-339-3003
NCAA Guide for the College Bound Student-Athlete, NCAA Publications, 6201 College Blvd., Overland Park, KS 66211 913-339-1906
How do I judge a coach’s interest?
· Mostly by listening; ask questions and carefully listen!
· How often does he call?
· Does he write?
· Does he encourage you to apply and helps you through the process?
· Does he clearly tell you where you fit in his program?What is the story on college hockey scholarships?
· Very few!
· Don’t expect one; plan on making it without any athletic scholarship help!
· If you do get one you’ll have a great surprise!
· Only division one NCAA colleges may grant scholarships.
The Hill School, Lawrenceville, Kimball Union, Taft, Northwood, and Northfield Mount Hermon and others in the USA. Upper Canada College, Stanstead College and others in Canada.
Niagara Scenics, Tri-State Bandits, Toledo Cherokees, Washington Capitals, Sioux City Musketeers, Saginaw Gears, Danville Wings, Lanconia Leafs, and Chicago Freeze.
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Delaware, Towson, Maryland, Scranton, Rider, St. Bonaventure, Tufts, Bethel, Stonehill, Wesleyan, Plymouth State, Lake Forest, SUNY Buffalo, St. Gustus Adolphus, UMass – Lowell, UMass – Boston, Lake Superior State, Nichols, Amherst, Merrimack, Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Connecticut, USNA, USAFA, Union, Providence, Vermont, Sacred Heart, Mercyhurst, Rochester, Bentley, RIT, SUNY Pottsdam, University of Buffalo, Salisbury State, on and on.
Name:_________ Date of Birth: _________
Social Security Number:_________ Sex: _________
Home Telephone:_________ E-Mail: _________
Good quality color copy
of you in uniform
without your helmet on
Name of Adviser/Counselor:_________
Academic honors and awards won:_________
A.C.T. Test Scores_________ Registered with the NCAA: _________
Present Grade:_________ Graduation Date: _________ Approximate Grade Average: ______
P.S.A.T. Test Scores:_____ Verbal: _____ Math: _____ S.A.T. Test Scores: Verbal: ___ Math: _____
Height:_________ Weight: _________ Positions: _________ Shoot/Catch: _________
Present Team:_________ League: ______ Division: ______ Coach’s Name: _________
Home Arena:_________ Address: _________ Coach’s Phone: ______________
Year Team Games Played Goals Assists Penalty Minutes
Hockey honors and awards won during career: Strongest Opponents:
Team achievements: Camps and Off Season Training:
Other sports played: Hobbies/Interests:
Other References (Coaches/Advisors/Evaluators):