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Author Topic: What do coaches look for?  (Read 2432 times)

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What do coaches look for?
Topic: August 01, 2018, 09:36:08 AM
Hi,

I've chosen to remain anonymous because there are some who I know visit this site and I don't know how they'll react after reading. This isn't meant to be disparaging by any means but because of today's differing opinions some might find it to be. I wasn't an English major in college so please excuse any grammatical errors.

Our youth hockey organization recently had our annual summer club meeting to discuss planning and player/parent rules for the 2018 season. The usual questions were raised as well as the normal instruction regarding inclusion across all teams rosters. For the coaches and managers we all know this is nothing new, the same directive, "everybody plays, nobody's different no matter what his or her skill set may or may not be".

Is this true though?

I've been coaching in different capacities for over 20 years at various levels pee wee to collegiate, and over those years everywhere I've coached, played or stood by and watched my own children as a fan, inclusion has always been the number one topic of discussion. To me, I can't understand why this always creates such heated debate. There are actually coaches at mite through bantam levels who contest how their roster will be played based on who they consider their better players. Keep in mind most of the coaches are dads of players at these levels. Such excuses as Johnny doesn't know how to play, or Jane can't skate with these boys are some of the standard responses. Unfortunately organizations under Tier 1 don't have the luxury of having non parent coaches so for the most part the dads don't seem to get it, it's all about learning not blowing away the competition at every opportunity. I started as the "dad" coach and that is primarily where we start before moving into the role as basically a second job after our kids have finished playing and are grown up. I can't comprehend how today in 2018 we're still discussing this, it should be a given that all kids play the same amount of shifts no matter how well they do or don't play. They all have to learn. My own personal opinion is that if a parent thinks their player is that much better than his or her teammates, move them to a higher level where they think they should be. The key word here is "think" because so very very very many parents who I've crossed paths with over the years always tend to think their kid is the next NHL star.

Ok my ramble is over, that's where I stand. The president of the club thought it would be interesting to do a secret ballot to poll all of the coaches and asked the following question.

As a coach what would you rather have, a team full of role players and 2 or 3 uncoachable phenoms who will always put your team in a position to contend. Or would you rather have an entire team of players with no phenoms and varying skill set but always leave everything on the ice?

I was amazed at the almost unanimous response given by the group. What is your opinion?

Thank you for listening to my ramble
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Reply #1:
 August 01, 2018, 10:20:54 AM
Ok, I agree with the first part which I'm assuming is an opinion piece about youth players getting playing time. As for the second part, why not just make a poll? I'm pretty sure most would be in agreement they'd want a team full of players who know how to play and leave everything out on the ice every game.
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Reply #2:
 August 01, 2018, 10:45:01 AM
I think the rinks make a tiered system for a reason, in-house, light travel, tier 2 and tier 1. Players are supposed to be categorized across each of the tiers based on their skill. Isn't that the whole reason for all of the systems and levels? My opinion is that if I'm paying for my kids to play in-house that is the kind of hockey I expect them to play, in a mixed environment of players who are neither good enough to play travel hockey or just don't want to. If I'm paying for my kids to play tier 2 or 1 I'd expect they would be placed approriate to their ability. If they're B players that's where they belong, if they're A, AA or AAA players then that's where they belong. All three don't belong together. If there are players who obviously don't have the same skill to be at the level then somebody missed the boat and yes I'll be pretty angry to see that kid or kids playing the same amount of minutes the rest of the players are. It's not fair to the rest who are where they belong and it's not fair to the parents who are paying. There are so many teams around now it's almost like competitive pro sports, they're all jockeying to fill teams no matter what kind of players they're picking for each level. It's more important to the teams because they want their money.
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Reply #3:
 August 01, 2018, 12:12:01 PM
To Youth Hockey Info -

That is my personal opinion, something I wanted to see if anybody else felt that way. I would've made a poll if I knew how but I don't.
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Reply #4:
 August 01, 2018, 12:46:02 PM
My take is this. Every kid should have the same opportunity but lets not play dumb and act as if every team at every level in every league doesn't their special player or players. They all do and every coach treats them significantly better than the rest of the players. I've been coaching long enough to know there is no such thing as every player getting equal time at competitive levels, anybody who says there is is a liar. In a perfect world you have an entire team of players who are possessed into playing as if every shift is their last but that's just a pipe dream. Every hockey team is made up of at least 2 or 3 players centered around everybody else that's why we play 3 or 4 lines and certain players play special teams and end of games in critical situation. Any coach who says otherwise is a bull**** artist.
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Reply #5:
 August 01, 2018, 01:47:49 PM
Every kid deserves the chance to play, but they should be playing at a level that is appropriate for them.  This hopefully ensures that they are getting the development they need.  It also ensures that the team is hopefully evenly matched with their opponents.  While the kids are playing for fun, nobody likes to lose.  Having kids playing at the wrong level is a disservice to the kids, and potentially impacts how much they enjoy the sport.
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Reply #6:
 August 01, 2018, 02:56:10 PM
Unless the club is overloaded with players most clubs take any player that is capable with a semblance of hockey skill and throw them in to fill up rosters. LIke it was mentioned above there are so many teams today that the number of players skills are spread thin. And those players who get thrown in won't play nearly as much as the better players in front of them. There's more imbalance across youth hockey than there is balance. Too many clubs too little kids.
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Reply #7:
 August 01, 2018, 03:13:08 PM
Doesn’t matter whether it hockey, baseball, lacrosse, football, basketball, soccer or any other team sport - you are never going to have even playing time for everyone.  The better players are always going to get more playing time, especially if the game is close.  That’s just the reality of competitive sports, not just youth, but at every level.  To expect otherwise is naive.  That being said, teams should not be overloading their teams, but some do on purpose, and some don’t have a choice given the available players.
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Reply #8:
 August 01, 2018, 04:08:19 PM
If the objective of the OP is to get an honest opinion, here it is. I'm coaching because first and foremost I want my players to learn and be able to use what they learn and experience not only on the ice but off it as well. Second I want to win and so do my players and the families of the players who bestow the honor upon me to provide said coaching to their kids. I think every coach dreams of having a team where every player listens to them and they're all on the same page mentally playing for the same goal. Unfortunately that isn't reality just like there aren't unicorns and a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. Every team needs that one kid or several who drives the puck home and generates scoring opportunities, or shuts down the other teams scoring threat. which translates to yes there's going to be a headcase or two it's unavoidable. They're always going to get more playing time, it's not because they're the coaches favorite it's because they're flat out better. I'm not putting Joey who only plays hockey because his dad wants him to in critical situations because it's his turn. If it's for the betterment of the team and in Joeys best interest he's most likely going to sit in favor of someone better. That's life, it happens in the real world once they have to go out and make a living as an adult too. I think for most of us who live in reality that makes sense but for those of whom seem to think everybody gets a medal no matter what the case, they're just living in a dream world. I want a team with a few top notch players and a cast of players who can fill roles, I'm a realist.
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Reply #9:
 August 01, 2018, 05:49:23 PM
Not every child is the same or develops at the same speed as their peers. The fact that one would reject him or her because they aren't as good as those around them is saddening.
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