Compete Level

Posted by Michelle Anderson on

So there was recently a comment about some team’s camp that had 14 teams of kids competing for spots. How can anyone look at that many kids?  It must be a money grab!

Let’s assume 20 kids per team, at 14 teams that’s 280 kids.  Yep.  That’s a lot of kids.  My son has attended events with 20 teams.  That’s 400 kids at 20 per team.  How do you get noticed at an event like that?  You do it with your compete level.  Scoring goals is nice and all, and putting up a few assists or maybe making some nice hits might get you noticed, but the difference maker is compete level.  

I can’t even tell you how many kids I see who go out there shift after shift, and it’s like backchecking doesn’t even exist.  Other team gets the puck, and they just hang out in the neutral zone waiting for some other player from their team to give them the puck or they skate off to the hash marks and park themselves there.  Scouts see that and say, “Next!”  Puck possession is key so you need to be thinking about that offensively AND defensively.  That means you need to hustle back down like you’re on a breakaway and get that puck back!  Defense creates offense, and coaches don’t want a player who only plays half the game.

Or a couple of guys are battling for the puck against the boards, and there’s number 12 just skating around like nothing is happening.  If you don’t come away with that puck, you best make sure the other guy doesn’t!  Number 12 just got crossed off the list. (No offense to any number 12s out there)

Another thing I see a lot is a guy gets the lead with the puck so the guy chasing him just gives up and skates away or skates to the bench.  What?  Are you kidding me?  Go get that puck!  Crossed off the list!

Or instead of blocking a shot, I have seen guys actually get out of the way.  Um, whose team are you on? I get it.  Pucks hurt.  I stopped letting my kid shoot on me when he was 7, and we aren’t even going to talk about him putting a puck through a window that cost me $450 to replace, but come on, man.  You’re wearing pads your parents spent the big bucks on, and you’re trying to earn a spot here.

I hope I don’t need to keep going, but that’s how they do it.  They take the roster sheets they’re given, and they start watching games and crossing guys off the list to narrow down the list of guys they are interested in.  With that many kids at those big events, you might get one look by one scout so that’s partly why they tell you that you need to compete every shift.  One, they want guys who do that, and two, you don’t know which shift it will be when someone notices you.  You want it to be a shift where you are competing the entire shift.  Of course, there are multiple scouts at these events, too, so one scout might be watching one shift, and it might be another one watching you on the next one.  You need to compete every shift, every practice, every game.

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