In today's game a high priority is put on a player's hockey skills. The ability to move dynamically on the ice and to play with a high level of skill has never been more important.
You cannot control how tall you are, but you can control how hard you work at developing your hockey skills.
It is important to know where your son or daughter is at in terms of their skills compared to that of a successful college hockey player. Consult the advice and evaluation of people you respect and who have experience with professional and college hockey players. Be honest with yourself and evaluate your son or daughter's hockey ability with a very objective point of view.
You should have a clear vision for the strengths and weaknesses of your child's game. What is his or her upside? What needs to be improved? Hockey players can never skate too well, stick handle too fast, or shoot too hard, so it is safe to always develop those skills.
However, knowing the specific skills that your son or daughter is already very good at will help determine how they can set themselves a part from the next player. On the flip side, knowing the skill areas that are deficient and developing a plan to improve them will allow your son or daughter to overcome any objections that coaches might have.
3 questions to ask that can help frame your skill development plan are:
The closer your child is to becoming a freshman in college, the greater the importance for getting on the ice every day. One of the biggest adjustments a player needs to make when playing college hockey is the grind of being on the ice every day with high intensity and up tempo practices.
If you are not getting enough practice time with your current team, where can you go for more ice-time?
If you trust and value your current coach's opinion, which hopefully you do, ask to schedule a meeting to discuss your son or daughter's skill development. Another avenue to try is asking college coaches who have seen your child play. Sometimes you can get great feedback from them.
Also, who do you know? There might be somebody who you trust with great experience in the game of hockey who wouldn't mind offering his or her expertise.
Find out what your son or daughter thinks they need to improve on.
They know the parts of the game that they are confident in and the areas
that they feel less than perfect.
Depending on where you live you might have limited options or you might have so many that it is tough to chose. Be careful of the people out there who talk a big game but are just out to make quick money. You can usually sniff them out. Find out the playing and coaching/teaching experience each individual has with college hockey.