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Make him compete for food, for your approval, for basic necessities. Watch his compete level grow! Worked for us.
From what I've seen with two sons playing into peewee and bantam years is a player who doesn't have it in mites typically won't develop it.
As someone who experienced watching Bantam hockey for the first time I can say for a fact that Puberty is a big game changer. My son is tiny and has to battle against kids that may already be a full foot taller if not more. see how much your little guy wants to compete knowing he is getting smashed into the boards for the third time in a shift. kids that get bigger faster suddenly have tons of confidence. Not to mention longer strides close sthe gap onthe faster tiny kids. Smaller kids have to put that out of their head. You see the real compete level when hitting starts.
My kid is competitive about the size of his movements.
Compete level and talent are 2 very different things. I have a very talented daughter who is not quite Elite because her compete level is not consistent. Put her on the ice for drills and she stands out. During games she's good, but could be better if her competitiveness was better.
So move her down where she belongs
Wasn't talking about where my daughter belongs, just offering an opinion that there is a difference between talent and compete level. Her talent has taken her to to NEPSAC, since you brought it up. Not my choice to place her.