After talking to my cousin the other day I was reminded how grade 9 Athletes think. Ethan is a great hockey player who has played rep hockey his whole life, and has the skills to skate circles around me but from what he mentioned got me remembering back when I was in grade 9. 

What is in the grade 9 players mind? Well number one, who is better than themselves trying out for the team? While this is a very good question for a player to ask himself he/she also has to remember that skill is not the only thing a coach looks at. I can only guess what a hockey coach looks for but I bet it is the same as a Basketball coach. 

  1. Punctuality
  2. Grades
  3. Athleticism 
  4. Skill
  5. Personality 
  6. Ability To Learn Plays
  7. History In The Sport (past teams) 
  8. Size Of Body
  9. Leadership
As you can see from the list above skill is only one point out of many and these kids only think and look at skill. As a coach myself I would much rather take a smart athletic kid over a kid who has skill (unless that kid turns out to be LeBron James). 

Let me give you an example: In grade 8 for my AAA rep Basketball team I was the following:

  • 6'1" 
  • 180 pounds
  • Able to shoot from the free throw line consistently 
  • Had mediocre grades
The player I beat out for the spot
  • 6'6"
  • 190 pounds 
  • able to shoot anywhere and dunk
  • Had horrible grades 
  • known to not understand plays
who was picked? ... Yes ME 

So grade 9 players this does not mean to stop working hard in a tryout, this only means that you cant over think this stuff. When trying out for a team you must show the coach your all, if one kid is doing something great that you cant do show the coach something that kid cant do. When trying out for a team show the coach who you are and then show him your skills. 

Good Luck Ethan in your tryouts!