The oh so familiar politics of hockey! Parents buying their kids way into teams, the city they’re from determining whether they make a team, a coach having favorites… Etc. We all know these problems exist, but the real question is: how do we beat them?
I will always remember the wise words or my father. When I was younger, I got cut from a competitive team and my first instinct was to start blaming the politics. I pointed the finger saying how the coaches didn’t like me, they chose a certain player because his/her parents were rich, an the list goes on and on. When I was done, my father calmy sat me down and said to me, without hesitation: "Monika, you have to be so good that they have no choice but to take you on the team." I froze and hesitated, because he was absolutely right.
One of the easiest things to do as a gowing competitive athlete is to make excuses abd start blaming othets for your problems. But by taking responsibility for your actions, putting in the work and proving to coaches you truly want to learn is the only way you will develop as a player. Tryouts take preparation a LONG time in advance, not the week before. Don’t make it harder for yourself by blaming outside sources. You have to train, study the game and even do visualisation. Take accountability for everything you do. Camps and tryouts are a test, and to take a test you need to prepare. Control what you can control and let go of what you can’t.
So please, as a coach I am asking whichever player/parent/coach reading this to be aware of how politics can beat you if you let them. Put in the work and you will achieve the results you want.