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OK, so we are all seeing these poorly organized money grubbing spring tourneys pop back up claiming to be a pathway to prep for your bender. I feel compelled to inform younger parents that although there are many paths to prep, being seen at a spring tourney is the longest of long shots.
The following is the best way to get your bender playing prep hockey.
STEP 1. Let your kid play a season of Catholic or MIAA Varsity hockey.
If he is truly Prep material he will be a rotation player as a freshman. You will then have ample opportunity to record a season's worth of in-game footage against older players, and your bender will have a bonafide Varsity coach as a reference if needed. If your kid isn't good enough to play varsity as a freshman then he isn't good enough for Prep hockey as of yet. When you enroll into prep you can repeat 9th and get 4 more years of HS hockey under his belt. It's a win-win.
STEP 2. Apply to Multiple Prep schools.
Take the interview process SERIOUSLY. Interviews hold a lot of weight in the acceptance process. Once you apply and interview, sit back and wait to see who accepts him.
STEP 3. Once accepted, have your bender call/email Varsity Prep coaches at those schools he was accepted into. (no need for mom or dad to do this, little Johnny needs to start selling himself). Reach out to other Varsity sports coaches that also interest your bender at said schools (i.e, Baseball, Lax, Soccer, Golf, etc). A well rounded athlete is a better indicator of Prep Sports success than a a hockey lifer from the age of 4. Those hockey only players are usually doomed to fail.
STEP 4. Visit the school. If your bender is in-demand they will roll out the red carpet and the head coach, other coaching staff, or existing players will be present in the process of recruiting your kid.
or.... play in a spring "Prep" Showcase and your kid will be found.
Pretty much. Spot on.
That original post could not be more accurate. The only kids who that process doesn't apply to would be probably the top 5 current 8th graders in the Northeast who have been in puberty for a year or two and are among the top 07 Elites in New England, if not the country. Even they will probably start the year next year as a 3rd or 4th liner on a top Prep team as a true freshman. For most other kids, even solid EHF Elite and E9 kids you are better off waiting a year or two before heading to prep with a good path being the one described in the initial posting.
Why would anyone want to go to prep for any sport right now. Hockey wasn’t played this year and won’t again next year. Read the room folks.
Repeat after me, PREP SCHOOL IS FOR BOOK WORMS AND TIN FOIL LIBERAL RETARDS.
I have to respectfully dissagree with a lot of the "plan" mentioned above.
1. Realize that coaches will meet with you, talk to you and generally will do what it takes to get you to apply. Generating applications is the name of the game. Very rare is the coach that will tell you, dont bother or the team is picked etc.
2. Do your homework as a parent understand as much as you can about the schools that are closed shops, the hockey factorys, the academic powerhouses etc. Avon Old Farms and Cushing have great teams but they bring in PG's each year, very hard if you were not on their radar to begin with.
3. Understand that JV is not a pathway to varsity. In almost every case, this is the spot where the full pay kids and "benders" are. There are very few that will make the move from one to the other. The main reason being the lack of development and inconsistency of game play. You don't go to prep school to become a good hockey player, you go in offering something they can use. Most teams run 2 lines at best 80% of the game, sprinkle in the other guys.
4. Don't let you ego dictate where your kid goes. If its about financial aid, some really nice schools with some d-bag coaches will be able to offer a lot of money, but there may not be any interest on the hockey side. Make sure you talk with the coach and try your best to get an idea of your sons potential, in his eyes.
5. Use the internet and do some digging on their rosters. If you are seeing players each year from the same program, chances are you are going to see a couple more each year. All of these guys have full time jobs and are lazy. They like having trusted people bringing them good players.
6. Understand the leagues. If you are thinking of a 4 year experience, I would look at the ISL (Groton, Middlesex, St. Mark's, Milton, St. George's, St. Paul's). Smaller schools that have high academic standards but due to the schools not offering a PG year it tends to be a smaller league (better off for younger, developing guys). Some really smart coaches in that league as well.
7. Finally, be patient and dont waste your money. Advisors are a rip off. They answer your call (sometimes) and will say they are connected etc. In the end, they can not get your kid in to any school. They can tell you to apply but they do not have some magic power that can get your kid into any school. The truth is that these coaches are busy teaching and the every day operations of their school, if they are following up with you, its a good sign but also may just be ensuring you have applied. They want to be prepared if their first choices go elsewhere come decision day. In the end, wasting a bunch of time and money trying to get them to commit to your kid or promise something etc is all wasted. They have limited power and limited time. Again, if you are coming to them, you already know where you stand. Guys will go elsewhere and they may pass on you, only to come back later.
Prep is a great place for your kid to round themselves out and become a stronger student athlete. It is not a place to become better at thier sport. Practices can be mediocre, players are catered to based just as much on connections as they are on talent so games are a mixed bag. I know its everywhre, all of this is assuming you are not spending near as much for your kid to play AAA and attend a regular highschool.