With tryouts on the horizon, there are a host of emotions going through the minds of our young hockey players throughout the state.
Did I do enough in the offseason? What if I have a bad day? What if I get sick? What if the coach doesn’t like me?
As parents, we often wonder the same things. We want what is best for our child, but sometimes making the AA or the A team isn’t always best.
And making the B team isn’t always bad.
Let’s face it, most, if not all of us hockey parents, hope our kid is the best player on the ice. The problem is too many of us actually think that he or she is.
We have to remind ourselves that playing hockey isn’t about status, it’s about having a good experience, learning, and building relationships.
And that is why too much stock shouldn’t be put into making the top team. In fact, sometimes making the top team can be counterproductive.
Imagine a kid who is rated by evaluators as the eighth or ninth best forward or sixth best defenseman in an association. Would that kid be better suited playing on the AA team and not seeing a shift on the power play or penalty kill and be potentially relegated to the bench during close games in the third period?
Or would he be better off playing on the first line for the B team, getting more touches, being a leader, running the power play and killing penalties?
The latter is far more productive in terms of that player’s development and personal experience. This player is much more likely to stick with hockey through Bantams and high school.
So making the top team isn’t always the best-case scenario for every hockey player. When tryouts begin, what matters is that a player does his best. And if he ends up on the B team, so be it. That shouldn’t affect his status at home or anywhere else. And it could improve his long-term development on the ice and off.
When all is said and done, no matter what team he is on, he is still just a kid who loves to play the game.