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
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
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.
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