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3 young hockey players on an outdoor rink.

Is Your Daughter Ready for Tryouts?

07/25/2014, 5:00am PDT
By Kelvin Cech

4 elements to consider before tryouts start next month...


The female hockey community at the North Shore Winter Club is a dedicated bunch.

This spring, the girls enjoyed a hybrid 3on3 league. Facing a shortage of numbers, players were mixed up each game to keep scores close and the competition level up. While it may have been a tad confusing at the start, the payoff was well worth it. The girls left the rink each game out of breath with rosy cheeks and a smile on their face.

It’s this ingenuity that keeps the female hockey population strong. The challenges faced by the boys’ teams are different from the female side. 

  • It can be difficult to find ice because of lower numbers
  • The level of dedication varies greatly within teams
  • Players are often asked to learn multiple positions

With that being said, there is one consistent element of our game that both girls and boys encounter.

The Pressure of Tryouts

Competing against your peers during tryouts is stressful. For many girls it will be the first time they’re asked to perform when it matters. Being placed on an appropriate team is important, but it’s more important to learn the lessons involved with tryouts. 

One of these lessons is crucial: preparation. It’s never too early to learn how and why to prepare. Preparing properly in order to do your best is a life-lesson that can be difficult to learn. Fortunately, as a parent, you can use tryouts to illustrate your point.

Here are 3 areas to focus on to help your daughter prepare for tryouts.

Individual Skills

Ask your daughter these two questions about her game:

  1. What are you best at?
  2. What do you want to improve?

Posing these questions now, well before tryouts roll around, will encourage self-reflection in your daughter. Understanding strengths helps hockey players “show off” when it counts. Being aware of weaknesses gives players something to strive for in the few weeks leading up to tryouts.

Before tryouts begin, look for camps that focus on improving weaknesses while simultaneously building confidence through individual strengths. 

Stations & Small Area Games

The female game is dominated by 1on1 situations. As there is less contact than in the boys’ game, there is more room for individual skills in close-quarter competitions. If your daughter is younger, help her prepare for tryouts by explaining the purpose of winning battles. 

Try this conversation with your daughter:

“Alright Jackie, both players want the puck, you and your opponent. She’s trying to win and so are you, right? Well, if you want to steal the puck and score a goal, which is one of the best feelings ever, then skating faster than her will help you do that.”

(The atom peewee battle camp is great for these skills)

Using Your Skills in a Competitive Environment

Finishing a proposal. 

Executing a presentation. 

Writing a blog post about tennis serves. On a deadline.

These are all examples of situations where the skills we’ve learned as adults are put to the test. Situations where we open ourselves up to scrutiny and judgment. It’s not always comfortable, but we’re often better off for the experience afterward.

For young hockey players, tryouts are one of the first tests they’ll face that don’t involve math or science. And just like a test a child takes while sitting in a desk, practicing the skills necessary to succeed beforehand gives them a greater chance of performing to the best of their abilities.

It’s vital we communicate the realities of tryouts, both physical and mental, to our young female hockey players. 

We can definitely sign them up for camps, lessons and skating classes to prepare them with the physical tools necessary to make the team, but understanding and accepting the pressure to perform will go further in the long run. 

Female (Exclusive*) Hockey Camps
 
Aug 18 - 22
4:00pm - 5:00pm: On-Ice (Novice/Atom/Peewee) 
Register Now ->

Aug 25 - 29
4:00pm - 5:00pm: On-Ice (Novice/Atom/Peewee) 
Register Now ->

August 9th & 10th (Saturday & Sunday)
Future Stars Camp with Megan Agosta
Register Now ->

* All other NSWC summer hockey camps are co-ed available.

photo credit: meehanf via photopin cc

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