Wednesday, April 22, 2009

"Month of Lies"

Someone once described tryouts as the "Month of Lies". People will say anything when it comes to tryouts. I usually can't wait for it to be over. It's stressful for everyone - players, parents and coaches. Players want to play with their friends. What will the dressing room be like? Will these coaches be fair or will they have their favourites. Some people get what we call the "letter syndrome". All that is important is that they make a "AA" or "A" team. What they often find is the calibre of these teams can be poor and are they can be very uncompetitive. Each year we have players from higher levels come down to play because they just want to enjoy hockey again . I've seen parents take their daughters from one tryout to another to the point where they can't really skate very well because they are exhausted. It's no fun for coaches either. They hate having to tell players that haven't made the team. You hope that you make good decisions based on skill and team chemistry but how can you really evaluate someone properly based on drills done over an hour with 25 or more players on the ice. I've seen players who can do these drills very well but have no hockey sense. While others are not that flashy during the drills but turn out to be higher energy players during games. We try to get out to see other teams in our organization where you might draw players from so that you can have some idea what the players who may come to tryouts look like in games. When it's all finally over - the lies, the tears, the dealmaking, you can go back to playing hockey and having fun.