3 Things to Remember for Your Junior Tryouts
Be Uncommon...Show Your Value at Tryouts
With tryouts comes uncertainty. So many goalies are fighting and competing for the same spots. Ultimately, you need to display and prove the value you bring to the team, and understand what teams are looking for.
Without further ado, here are 3 things to keep in mind headed into your Main Camp tryout.
1. Know what teams want and what they need. Ultimately, Junior hockey teams need to win. They need to put butts in seats and are mostly run as businesses. They also need college commits or league promotion to continue attracting top talent. By the end of camp, they need to know that the goalie(s) they pick will win them games...period.
Additionally, you need to know what the teams' situation is. Do they have a returner? Two returners? An age out going to college? Knowing what a team needs can help you narrow your search and know what to expect going in.
Remember, teams need to win and they need commits...so they'll take the goalie(s) who they think will give them the best chance to do both of those.
2. Know that EVERYTHING MATTERS. This is one that oftentimes frustrates many goalies in the camp and tryout process. There are thousands of goalies trying to do the same exact thing you are.
When it comes down to it, there are 32 USHL spots and 52 NAHL spots. Everything matters when teams try to pare it down from the 8, 12, 20, or occasionally 40 goalies they have at their camp.
Import? It matters. Age? It matters. Height? It matters. Body language? It matters.
This means that you have to be careful with how you present yourself and how you play. You must give each play all you have, but also avoid taking risks that put you in bad positions.
Practice how you carry yourself both on and off the ice. Focus on your speech when you talk with coaches & players. You want to show them your value, and not only by stopping pucks, but also as a teammate and person.
3. Be a Pro. Pros prepare. Don't make any excuses for any reason. In my opinion, one of the most unattractive things about a prospect is if they make excuses about a play or a goal or with how they're performing. Own your game, from day 1 to day 4. Pros make the most of whatever hand they're dealt, giving it their fullest effort.
These tips may be direct or blunt, but you are in a hyper-competitive market. If you want to make a team, you must go in with the right mindset & give everything no matter what.
The legitimate goaltenders will read this and smile, ready to compete...the pros will prepare and separate themselves from the rest of the pack. What are you going to make of it?
I hope that your tryouts go well, and that you learn a little bit about yourself along the way regardless of the result.
Good luck! Stay frosty.