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03-27-2010, 06:17 PM
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This is a really great thread...lots of good insight.

Interesting point about Corey Perry, but I would guess that is the exception rather than the rule. My guess is that 99% of most pro hockey players were absolute standouts since Mites.

I think the birth year thing holds a lot of weight too. My son is an '03 birth year and because his tryouts for travel were last year he was put on a C team. He developed a lot over the summer and then absolutely dominated the entire season and he was still one of the younger players.....but now he has TWO more seasons of Mites where he will likely be on an A team both years because he has a Jan 03 birth year giving him time to really be a standout as an 8 year old where other 8 year olds with earlier birth years wont have that chance.

By and large I think it is a mix of both inherent skill and practice/commitment/love of the game. Anyone who watches me play would probably say that my son is already 2x as good as I am so it isnt my genes that is working the magic, but since he was born he has been watching hockey, playing floor hockey, street hockey, and skating at 2 and a half. Also, I have always coached his house league teams and that allows him to skate two sessions of practice should he want (they always need extra coaches around) and sometimes if other teams are short. So this year between travel league and house league he got about 7-8 hours on the ice a week.

As far as people complaining about puck hogging and not passing at a young age....I disagree with their assesment that it is a problem. I think kids need to try to score, have fun, and try creative things. Great passes are always fantastic, but too often I find coaches with little hockey background praising *any* pass and it often times being the wrong hockey play. Shooting and scoring are rare talents and by far the most important skills in the game. We should encourage our kids to excel and develop these skills just as much as we clamor for passing.

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