If you're on Social Media you know what time it is. Youth Hockey clubs have begun the onslaught bombarding hockey groups and pages with fliers and announcements making their pitch why they are the top hockey club to play for.
It's youth hockey tryout time!
All of your regions hockey clubs jockeying for position to announce they're offering your surrounding area kids the best hockey experience, second to no other club. You know what we're talking about. These are normally small regional areas with several different clubs competing to contract the same local players. And in most cases trying to lure players away from competing clubs to come play for theirs. Because well, "we have more to offer than they do". But do they?
All of the clubs looking to fill membership to capacity hoping to suck up all of the area's talent by offering more ice time, off ice training, film review, high level goalie and skater clinics, additional secondary league play, mini-camps etc.... Is half of that really necessary for any team below AA or AAA? A and B level hockey is almost exclusively "dad" coaches. 99% of which are coaching because their kid is on the team.
In collegiate basketball they begin the tournaments and call it "March Madness". But to be honest, the only actual madness in March is youth hockey. Politics reign supreme in youth sports and it's no different in youth hockey. Many will find their kid is picked to a team they didn't want them to be picked for. Others are picked because they know coach Smith's player and want to play with him or her and automatically make the team regardless of their talent. Some coaches don't bother with in house talent and recruit openly from external resources. Is it fair how the tryouts and decision making process takes place, probably not. Outside of the rink all coaches will tell you they've already put their team together on paper well before tryouts and are looking to fill in the gaps left behind by players that moved up to the next level or left the club for another program. When you decide to come to a new club your player better be a talent which stands out above all of the other new talent or you can be guaranteed they'll be filling in gaps "if" they make the cut.
For any families new to youth hockey or who are moving from an existing club to a new club, all clubs place their existing membership before they decide where to place new membership. It's no different in any youth sports program. To think otherwise, well, you're on your own.