This is the time of year hockey players live for, the start of the new season! Leaves are changing, the air is getting cooler and all the dreams of a breakout year are alive and well. This is going to be the season where your team goes all the way and you emerge as the breakout star! College coaches will notice you and you will be on way.
Fall also means it's Midget Showcase Season. There are a number of them now from 'Labor Day Kickoffs' through 'Thanksgiving Showdowns'. So what is your plan? How will a college coach notice you from everyone else? Here are a few tips to help you out this fall.
Let's start by saying these Showcases are actually a very good way to be seen by coaches. Since the college hockey season has not started yet, coaches are out in full force in the fall looking for players. Some players they are seeing for the first time, others they are following up on. With coaches out watching means you cannot take a shift off. Coaches look for more than just points, so do not worry if you are not leading your team in scoring. There is more to hockey than points. Play hard and do the simple things well.
Next, make sure to reach out to coaches in advance to introduce yourself, express your interest in their school and let them know your schedule. If a coach has your name before hand they are more likely to watch you. Don't sit back and assume that if you play great everyone will notice. A lot of times coaches head out to follow certain players they want to see. They will focus in on those players and may not pay attention to anyone else. Make sure you are one of those players they came to see!
Don't worry if a coach does not talk to you right away. It can be frustrating to see other players outside of a locker room after a game speaking with a college coach. Do not assume because you didn't not get pulled out means no one is interested. Most of the coaches at these showcases are the assistant or associate coaches. Their job is to find players they think are a good fit and let their head coach know. It is the head coach who make the decision to recruit a player or not. Many times a school will watch a player several times before that decision is even made. Coaches will typically reach out to your team coach and/or advisor before they contact you. Talk to your coaches and advisor to see if they have spoken to anyone. Send an email thanking them for attending the showcase. Be proactive.
Lastly, understand that recruitment is a marathon, not a sprint. The process can be long, filled with ups and downs. However, take the proper steps needed. Do all you can to make sure coaches see you this fall.
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