For some players, tryouts are a nerve-wracking experience. By taking the time to prepare and maintaining a good attitude, you can show the coaches what an ideal fit you make to a successful team. Here is our list of eight things coaches look for at tryouts:
The primary skill coaches look at is skating. If you can excel at starting and stopping, turning and crossovers well, the rest of the game is easy. Good skaters will consistently win races to pucks, win battles in the corner, and put themselves in the better positions. There isn’t a single hockey skill more important than skating. Puck control, passing and receiving, shooting as well as offensive and defensive tactics are the fundamentals of the game that all coaches will evaluate when selecting players for their team.
Players who can see and read the ice well will make plays, even if their skill level isn’t at the same level as others. Hockey Sense is one of the more difficult aspects of our game to teach.
If you’re in position, you’ve got a much better chance at making the proper play or decisions.
Did you come to the rink ready to go, or did your skates need to be sharpened…or did you forget your jerseys….or are you missing a piece of equipment. Those distractions before a game or tryout will be enough to drive any coach crazy. Make sure you’re ready to go when you get to the rink anytime – not just at tryouts.
This tells more about you than any skill you may demonstrate on the ice. Are you continuously pushing yourself and giving it your best effort? If you make a mistake, how do you react to it? When you make a mistake, do you give up? Grab another puck in the drill? Slam your stick on the boards/ice? When you make a mistake, brush yourself off, learn from it, and keep playing! Realize you WILL make mistakes, don’t hold yourself to the impossible standard of being perfect, or you’ll never live up to your own expectations and you’ll always be frustrated! Frustrated players seldom perform well!
Will you step up and lead a drill? Help other players out? Or will you sneak to the back of the line so that the coaches won’t notice your mistakes? Everyone is a leader, but in different ways. If you’re a talker – talk. If you’re a worker – work. If you’re enthusiastic – be enthusiastic.
Pay attention when coaches are explaining drills. There’s nothing more frustrating than a player who is fourth in line and messes the drill up after the first three executed it without problem. That’s a lack of focus!
Skate Hard to the Bench
If you’re scrimmaging, don’t slowly wander your way to the bench. Skate hard from the time you set foot on the ice until you’re back on the bench. The vast majority of players DON’T do this…so if you’re one of the few that does, coaches will notice!
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