Hockey tryouts begin for most minor hockey associations in the lower mainland next week. Players everywhere are stressing about their performance. Well, it’s important to look at tryouts as an opportunity rather than a test. But that’s easier said than done. Ultimately, in order to crack the squad, you need to perform.
One problem players have is they wait until it’s too late to get into tryout mode. The good news is that a couple late-summer adjustments are all it takes to be prepared.
Here are the five most important steps to take before tryouts starts.
Since it’s still summer once most tryouts start, it’s important for players to start waking up before the crack of noon so they can get their bodies into a natural sleep-wake cycle. Trying to go to bed ultra-early the night before tryouts despite being on a routine of going to bed late won’t work. By the way, I’d love to see a study that measures who loses more sleep during tryouts, players or their parents.
Part of regulating your energy during the tryout process is the fuel you inject into your body. Consuming high levels of carbohydrates in the morning like multi-gran breads and natural fruits will store glucose in your muscles and give you energy to burn. Combine that by growing and repairing your muscles with protein both before and after practices and scrimmages.
It’s important to skate regularly right up until tryouts to keep the rust away. For instance, if a player has issues receiving passes on their backhand all summer, then spending extra time focusing on that specific skill will give them added confidence once the evaluators are watching. This applies to more general skills as well, like skating or shooting. Take those weaknesses and cut them down to a manageable level.
What are you good at? What’s your best quality on the ice? Why would a coach want you on his team? After you work on cutting down mistakes, spend even more time rehearsing your strengths. It’s better to focus on what you can do rather than what you can’t. Your strengths are what will get you noticed by coaches and evaluators. Good skater? Get a little bit faster. Accurate shot? Work on picking the corners on the ice by yourself before the crowd gathers.
We don’t normally pump our own tires here on the blog (our work speaks for itself), but the new hockey training centre was designed for precisely these instances. Sure, many players will join private lessons and group sessions, but there’s no replacement for the sense of responsibility that comes from grabbing your gear and shooting pucks by yourself for a half hour.
The small goalie ice has multiple nets, the hockey training centre has room to work on tight turns or stopping, and there’s always the old rinks.
In short, there’s no excuse not to get out on the ice before tryouts begin. Combining your on-ice focus with proper off-ice habits will give you an extra step once tryouts officially kick off.
Will you be ready?