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Published: Thursday, 9 Apr 2020  
By: Stephen Heisler,

Many players get into junior hockey with the single goal of moving up to the college game. The problem for a large portion of these young men is the ineffective use of time and resources leading up to the end of the junior career.

We were all there, eighteen to twenty years old, not a care in the world other than chasing wins, bunnies and fun. There is nothing wrong with that, but time has a way of creeping up on players when it comes to preparing for school.

"I'll get to that next week" often turns into sometime next month, chasing down paperwork, taking exams and applying to plan B schools often gets pushed to the back seat. Not every junior player is going to make it to the Frozen Four. Prospects need to face the reality of that situation and look to schools that best fit their post-hockey vocational goals. Every player should have a list of schools that are the perfect fit academically, and then make contact with each of those schools' hockey program to express the interest.

Prospects should never assume that the junior team is doing all this work for them. Be very proactive in the process.

Players also miss out on the opportunity to improve their individual game. Players need to realize that they must make a commitment to the developmental process. Individual improvement has to be a priority. Prospects are given the resources to make those strides and have to put in whatever extra work it takes to become a more intelligent, stronger and skilled player.

Prospects should enjoy the junior experience and live it up because it's a very short ride. Is the level of play the pinnacle of the career or just a step towards loftier goals? That question should be answered by each and every junior player every day.

Having a plan, and sticking to it, is very important. Having a support system that includes family, friends, and a good advisor (that's not going to sugar coat the facts) is also of the highest importance.

Enjoy the opportunity and experience of junior hockey because it is a once in a lifetime opportunity that will deliver memories that will last forever. Just don't forget to purpose of being there.

There is a next-step that you are going to want to take.

Author: Stephen Heisler from
Stephen Heisler has spent a lifetime in the game of hockey. Stephen is also working with individual teams, coaches, and players as a director with Victorious Hockey Company. Stephen, his wife Deysi, and four children reside in Orlando, Florida.

* Disclaimer: This site may contain advice, opinions and statements from various authors and information providers. Views expressed in this article reflect the personal opinion of the author, Stephen Heisler, and not necessarily the views of does not represent or endorse the accuracy or reliability of any advice, opinion, statement or other info provided in the article, or from any other member of this site.
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