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How do you know when a high school, prep, or full season coach is really developing a player? Honestly.
HS and Prep seasons are so short development isn't their focus. The other poster was right, their focus is on winning (or, not losing, depending on how competitive the program is). They - rightly - expect he is working on his own development. Sure, some coaches spend more time on fundamentaccccccls than others, but not many.
Full season coaches do focus more on development. Their goal is to move your kid up through their program so you write more checks, or on to a college commitment so others will. It's a fundamental difference in philosophies.
You should be able to see the differences in your kid's game over the course of a season. Is he making or catching passes that earlier in the year he wasn't doing consistently? How's he look skating? How's his shot - is he pickeing corners, or at least getting it onto the goalie? Is he playing with confidence?
And whoever you're working with in the off season should be able to pretty clearly see it. If he can't, and you can't, then it isn't happening.
Question I have regardong high school is if they don’t develop during the season, and most good half season teams don’t even practice, or at most once a week with mostly games, isn’t it natural that development deteriorates through their high school experience, even at the prep level? Maybe it doesn’t deteriorate but maybe just doesn’t happen as much as it possibly could?
I’ll answer it for my kid. To get as good as he can. Wants to try and play college, but it’s not the end all be all for him. He just like to play at the highest level possible and didn’t like the HS goon hockey for the 1 year he played so went another route. Has more fun when being pushed. I hate the travel but he enjoys it so why not.
Underclassmen preps are usually better. By the time their senior year comes around, if still lingering around the prep school, FS kids are usually caught up to them. Just my observation.
Great discussion without anyone telling a parent they are wrong for whatever choice they make. For our family it came down to this, only prep's interested in my son going into his freshman year were weaker schools and the financial aid offers weren't enough to convince us paying thousands extra was going to pay dividends. Our thoughts would probably be different if a strong academic ISL school or two was talking to us. Together, we looked at a few FS options but nothing seemed like a great fit. My son really drove the decision which was, play on a decent 1/2 season team, tryout for the HS team and work his butt off in offseason and see what opens up in a few years (repeat Jr year perhaps). He really enjoyed playing again with friends, fans in the stands, etc. Based upon his experience last season, he fully understands that 90% of his development is now based upon what he does in the off season. If it works out for him, great, if not, there are worse things than playing four years of a varsity sport for your local HS.
We know plenty of families making different choices, they aren't right or wrong, just not right for my son and our family. We all are simply doing what we believe is best for our kids development as both a player and person. I just hope parents understand that like youth level, more programs are putting FS teams together which will ultimately water down FS. (Although I imagine those kids playing U16 Futures will still get more development than HS.)
Similar situation to above guy but we went FS. Expensive and a big commitment, but, and a big but...much better development in our situation. They skate a lot, lots of off-ice workouts, coach runs it like a college team, and seeing the development in my son. He played in a tournament with his high school buddies over the summer and there is quite a difference between him and kids that were better than him a year and a half ago. Stride, speed, skill and brains. Seems like some older HS kids flatline or simply lose the desire. So far my son’s decision is a good one.
Find the right coach and a program that is committed to your kid (practicing 4 days a week) to really get the ice they need and you getting your money’s worth.
Love this guy.
So your story doesn’t add up. He’s 12 and is in high school and eating lunch with upperclassman?
Sorry your kid plays for a crappy town HS program
Your kid loves his high school, is doing really well there, and is playing hockey. Job well done.