Tryout season is upon us. This can be a stressful time for young players. It doesn’t have to be. Take these 10 tips to ensure tryouts are both fun and successful for all parties involved.

10.  Get a good night’s sleep.

Might be easier said than done, but make the effort to go to bed at a reasonable hour. Get your homework done early and find a routine that works. A well-rested hockey player is more likely to perform at his/her best.


9.  Eat healthy and stay hydrated.

Two double cheeseburgers, one diet coke and a large fry will not give you a quicker first step, harder shot or keener hockey sense. Allow your body to perform at its best with a nutritious, well-balanced diet. Read the Liquid Truth article in this week’s newsletter for more information and tips on how to stay hydrated.


8.  Be prepared.

Don’t add any unnecessary anxiety to the week. Double-check the tryout times and locations. Make sure all the equipment is packed and primed. Set up the transportation arrangements. Have a backup plan.


7.  Be a good listener

On and off the ice, coaches will be talking. They’ll be giving directions, explaining situations and drills, telling you what to do – and what not to do. Pay attention. Coachability is not just a good quality to display during tryouts. It’s a useful tool that will apply to life overall.


6.  Ask questions.

Don’t understand a drill? Confused about the day’s schedule? Ask somebody. There’s nothing wrong with asking questions. In fact, coaches would much rather you ask a question and get clarification on a drill instead of just guessing and getting it wrong. It shows that you care and you want to get it right.


5.  Don’t goof off.

Coaches keep an eye out for disruptive players. You know the ones: Shooting pucks around recklessly, talking while the coaches are explaining a drill, playing pranks on the ice and just being a distraction to the overall group. Act like a nuisance and you’ll make the coaches’ job easy. Nobody wants to deal with that for an entire season.


4.  The coaches want the best players.

They don’t enjoy cutting anyone. The selection process reflects on them, and they want to get it right. It’s not all politics. Sure, there are some instances where poor decisions are made. In general, trust the coaches’ decisions and take it in stride. When in doubt, have a respectful discussion with the coaches.


3.  Leave it on the ice.

Get out there, work hard and put forth your best effort. You’re your session is over, be done with it. Don’t dissect every little detail or dwell on a missed scoring opportunity. Your mind needs to recoup and recover, too. Overthinking is not going to help. What’s done is done. The sun will come up tomorrow.


2.  It’s not the end of the world.

If you don’t make the team you are striving for, don’t freak out. Hopefully there are still teams and programs that will fit you or your child’s skill level, giving them a chance to improve their skills and enjoy the game in a suitable environment with likeminded players. 



This is the greatest game on earth. Hockey gives us a chance to develop skills, make lifelong friends, learn the power of teamwork – and have fun! Why would you play if you’re not having fun?