Q&A – How Does My Child Get Noticed on a Travel Team?
Joyce asks: How do you get around the politics of youth sports so players gets noticed and put on a travel team? I have a high school player, who has played for 11 years and has participated on travel teams in the past. Last year he tried out for our local hockey organization. He had what he thought was a great tryout. Not only did he not make any of the travel teams, but he didn’t make any of the house teams either. When he tried out for our high school team he made the varsity team in division II and ended the year among the top 5 players in his division for the state with regard to stats. This fall he wants to try out for travel again. How does he get noticed by a travel team when he doesn’t have a father who coaches any of the teams and we are not on the board of directors?
Answer: The best way to get noticed at a tryout is to have a great foundation of the broad based fundamental skills, starting with what I feel is the most important skill - skating. The best skaters are quickly identified and stand out from the other participants. It really does not matter on which team a player is selected to play to as long as they continue their development. Every player develops skills at different stages in their lives. A few areas that I concentrate on as a coach in the selection process is the player’s effort, attitude and their ability to take instruction and implement that into improving their overall skill set. As far as the politics in the process, it is important to recognize that sometimes the process is not fair, however, as we set goals that are attainable through efforts that we can control, we grow. Personally I believe that good players with a solid foundation of skills will get recognized at some point and great players are rarely overlooked.
Editor’s Note: Thank you to Jim Johnson for his helpful advice.
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