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A post in the River Rats taking over NESV thread got me thinking...
They were talking about how good the U14 Rats are, so someone asked who does their skills. And the answer is nobody. They're a first year team and they barely even practice. They're just a stacked team that did a great job recruiting.
Is this really the truth behind all youth teams? The best teams are the ones with the big names, because they draw the best talent.
Seems kind of obvious now that I say it out loud but I still read lots of people on this board say coach X can't be that good because he hasn't won anything, or program Y's skills must suck because they don't have any teams in 1st place. And all that's crap.
Moral of the story? I guess it's that the grass isn't always greener. If you like your coach and think he's doing a good job... Stick with him. The 03 Terriers elite are a good example of a team that didn't have the brand recognition of the Eagles or Kings. They didn't draw the most talented kids and they started out on the lower end of their division, but Grier is an excellent coach and they kept the team largely intact over the years and while they didn't win nearly as much as some of these other programs, those kids really developed and that team became very good.
I'm sure there has been some good development, but the 03 Terriers did get an influx of some very, very talented kids along the way.
I've always thought the kids make the program more than the program makes the kids. They all offer just about the same thing, there's no magic dust being sprinkled at any of these rinks. The best teams are where the talent settles, for whatever reason...coach, recruiting, rink location, luck.
Well said! I never understood the need at the U10level and under to cut half a team and go out and search for the newest “little Stud”... what U10 is already formed into the perfect player with all the needed skills? Why not keep teams together and grow and develop them over time? I know you guys are using club hockey teams in your example, but look at some of the teams and kids out of Nantucket and MV... so not a deep pool of players to chose from, you get who you get, but those kids stay and play together over the years and some players have been recruited by prep such as St George’s and others.... why? Because they stay together and play together and grow their skills as a team!
my son's team could be better. above 500 now, but could be more like 850 if they had more talent. i could care less about that. he gets a lot of ice time and the coach is making him better. team works well together and they have a good locker room. for him, it works. he could also look at other options, but why? makes no sense. he likes it. most parents are the ones that move the kid from team to team vs. the players choice. sad.
Coaching is key. my kids team is about 500. Parents all get along, kids are developing. No drama. You would think people would be trying their hardest to get their kid on the team.
Great post and good replies.
As a coach, if your priority really is development, then you want to be a .500 team. You want to play games that are really challenging but also have those games that build confidence. You want most of your schedule to push the kids. If a team is so stacked they're winning by 7 goals every game those kids are not really being allowed to fail- and failure is where growth and development happen.
Find a good coach and stick with him! I can't tell you how many parents ruined their kids reputations by hopping from program to program trying to pick up 3 more wins on the season or "get in" with a certain crowd. Kids will develop more with the same coach over 3 or 4 years than with 3 or 4 different coaches. That same coach knows what your kid can and can't do and if he's good, will keep introducing things that challenge him, and keep ramping up the skills from year to year.