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High School & Prep Hockey
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Re: I have no idea what I'm doing

Not much to go on, someone already asked what your son wants, that\\\'s most important. If this is about college, I believe that there are more lax scholarships than hockey ones.

Admission deadlines vary a bit from school to school but you are a bit behind if you are looking for next year.

If his grades aren\\\'t great, get him a tutor. A good athlete is important, a good athlete and good student will open more doors.

Have him take the SSAT\\\'s as almost all schools are going to want it. Much like SAT\\\'s, consider a tutor before he takes the test.

If he has good grades and solid SSAT score, you\\\'ve made the coaches life much easier.

Next put together a highlight reel, obviously mostly positive but it\\\'s not a bad idea to have a screw up or two in there. Email the coaches to let them know you are interested along with a link to his film. The film shouldn\\\'t be more than a few minutes long. If you can find an example of a mistake and then a similar play later where he does it right, you want this on the film, shows him learning.

Do some showcase tournaments. If you are looking at prep\\\'s in New England most of them attend all the area ones like HNIB, PrepShowcase, etc. Many coaches will make themselves available to talk to perspective players\\\\parents during the event.

Google the coaches name of the schools your player is interested in and see if he works any hockey camps during the summer. If he does, sign up for the camp. This is a great chance for the coach to get to see your kid\\\'s work ethic, attitude, interaction, etc. It can backfire if your kid isn\\\'t hard working or a jerk to the other players.

Last and certainly not least, if you are looking at \\\"name\\\" schools like Phillips or Groton, it\\\'s not a bad idea to make sure you look through your kids social media accounts and scrub it for anything a school may not like. As one coach told my son, \\\"You get tagged in a picture at a keg party, I\\\'m moving on. I don\\\'t need any headaches\\\".

This is good advice. Here are a couple of other small things to think about:

1) People tend to throw out the general "play prep" advice around here frequently. It's good advice, but keep in mind that the schools are very, very different. You'll want to take some time and find a place where your kid will be comfortable, especially if he might board. Schools not only have widely varying academic requirements/philosophies/admission standards, but the vibe and culture of the schools can be really different. There's probably a handful of different schools where your kid might really thrive, but there are also undoubtedly more where he wouldn't, so it's key to figure out which is which. It's time confusing and frustrating, but doing that front-end work will save you some serious heartburn down the road.

2) If your kid is good enough -- and be honest with yourself about that, and realize that you may be a terrible judge of your own kid's talent/upside -- you'll want to find a place where he will actually play as a freshman, even if that means repeating a year (which most, but not all, hockey players do). All other things being =, if you can find a school that fits academically, culturally, financially, etc., and your son has a realistic chance of playing meaningful minutes on a not-terrible team as a freshman, that's your sweet spot. Those slots are pretty rare, and the number of kids who can fill those slots rarer, but that's a great place to land if you can. If his grades and test scores are decent, you might look at the ISL schools because they don't allow PGs, which allows some of the teams to take a chance on a younger/smaller kid, because he won't be playing against 19 year old PGs quite as often. Ending up on a j.v. team, where he plays 15 games against wildly inconsistent opposition, is, at least in my view, a waste. You're probably better off playing FS club and trying find a prep home a year later.

Last thought -- unless your kid is good enough to make a professional career out of hockey, consider using his hockey talent to get him into a prep school that he probably wouldn't otherwise attend, then use his attendance there to get him into a college that he might not otherwise attend. Leveraging the hockey to get a great education at least gives him a nice fallback if injury or an athletic ceiling limits his continued development.

Re: I have no idea what I'm doing

This is may been the best thread on the dboard ever. Real advice and good information. Thank you!