skip navigation

Making Roster Selection More Transparent

By Aaron Wilbur, The Coaches Site, 10/01/21, 9:00AM EDT


How to make the process easier for everyone

Tryouts and evaluations can be stressful for everyone involved. For players, there is pressure to perform well in a short amount of time in your first time back on the ice after the summer. Coaches need to evaluate a large number of players at the same while parents are hoping for a positive experience for their children. Is there any way to make this easier for everyone?

For years, the status quo in minor hockey was to post a list outside the dressing room with the names of those who made the team. Often, there was no feedback given or reasoning behind the final decisions. Now with advanced evaluation tools. Associations are steering away from that and are able to provide more background behind the process. While everyone may not be happy with the final choices, parents can feel like coaches are doing their part to be fairer and more accurate. 

“Now you’ve turned that from being the black box of ‘you didn’t make it’ to something where there’s strong characteristics here and a lot of positives,” said TeamGenius CEO Chris Knutson. “Now you’ve created a constructive conversation where that becomes the foundation of development for that player that season.”

Tools like TeamGenius make tryouts and roster selection more transparent. Associations can compile year over year notes on each player to note areas of improvement as they develop.

“If a parent and player feel like they are in the know about where they stand, that’s a great starting point. It’s better than the typical status quo of ‘you made it or you didn’t’. That automatically makes it positive, makes it feel like the coach and the organization, parent and player are all on the same team to help the player get better.”

These are just some of the best practices that keep the conversations open.

“We try to stress to keep it simple… You’re better off with fewer criteria per kid per skate and just trying to be really thoughtful about each score, not the volume or number of overall things you’re scoring on.”

Like this article?

Share with your friends on Facebook and join the largest network of hockey parents.


Aaron is the Founder and CEO of The Coaches Site, the #1 online resource for hockey coaches, and also the host of the Glass & Out podcast. He is married with two boys, believes Major League is the best sports movie of all-time, is scared of heights and is mildly obsessed with the Alabama Crimson Tide football program.

you may also like