What if my son doesn’t make the AAA tryout?

So your son or daughter wants to tryout for a Spring/Summer AAA hockey team; but maybe they (or even you the parent) have doubts about their chances…

Honestly; don’t worry about it. The more important issue is did they have a positive experience & perhaps learn a thing or two.

When my oldest boy first started asking about trying out for a team I was hesitant; I knew he was moving well on the ice but not sure if he fit into the elite levels here in the Edmonton region.

I had a rather candid talk with him and explained my thoughts. I told him that if he succeeded in making the team was not the point, but rather the bigger issue was to take in what your were experiencing and develop from it.

This was his first time at a AAA tryout; we arrived early and had time to sit & talk. “You are about to go out onto the ice with some of the best players of your age in the region with professional coaches.” I said. “Try your best & have fun, pay close attention to what you are being told and how the others are moving and positioning themselves, think of this as a workout not a tryout.”

In reality it is just a workout, sometimes you have good ones and sometimes bad ones. To me it is a great way to spend $20-$40 dollars for an in-depth training session. I know that many of these tryouts are fundraisers for teams; the first one my oldest son was part of saw 54 players and 9 goalies on the ice!

Keeping in mind though it was a full afternoon (two sessions at 2 hours each) for a modest tryout fee… not only did my son get bang for his buck with quality ice time, he was training and competing with others who were just as determined as he was to play well.

I think this helped him a lot, there was no parental pressure from us other than to pay attention and gleam what he could.

He didn’t make the team that day nor did he make the team on the other two tryouts he went to. That season was his first foray into the world of AAA hockey and he needed to further hone his skills.

Suffice to say that he did make a team the following year and still has the mindset to approach every training session and indeed every game as a chance to improve and see how other skilled players are moving.

There are plenty of opportunities to tryout for teams; the real challenge is to help your child learn from the experience to develop their skill set for regular season. Tryouts are a fantastic way for your child to gauge how they fair compared to the rest of the talent in their age group; If your child doesn’t make a team their first couple of tryouts it is not a big deal. Keep it in context and ask your child what they think they need to work on and as a parent encourage them to persevere and keep striving for excellence.

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