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11-27-2012, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by cagney View Post
There's some talk of Sean Day seeking exceptional status for the OHL draft along with numerous rave reviews of his play over in the OHL section of the boards. I don't know how that would work considering he's been playing in the US since he was at least 9. Apparently he may be a dual-citizen so that could have some impact on the situation as well as bring up questions of just who he'd represent internationally. It'd be a bit ironic if a kid who played his formative years in the US development system ended up playing for Canada though. What's even funnier to me is that I've heard Chad Krys is even better than Day and he's a dual-citizen as well. Is the US development system improving that much or should we just start importing more Canadian parents?
I know your comment probably wasn't looking for an in depth comment

The system here in the U.S. didn't help. two things helped.

1. Start early on the important things (individual skills) Most coaches team practice settings does not drive elite skills. Individual work, starting early, on skating, puckhandling and shooting. This is done on own, stick n' puck sessions, basement, garage, etc (if you have a coach that drives individual skills for years and years during team practices, that is more icing on the cake)

2. Parents who know how important #1 is. (And Canadian parents, more so one's that know the game and played a high level are key. Obviously there are American parents who know this but they are few and far between because so many never grew up with the game. They do not realize the hours upon hours it takes of having individual skills practiced endlessly)

Most parents who have played the game or at least been around the game enough to know what got elite players to the elite status know what is important. Here in the U.S. there are not enough parents who know the game enough to help their kids get to the elite stage.

-Years ago I had parents of 5 year old kids worried like crazy that we were not spending time on where to line up for a face off. Wondering if we were ever going to spend time in practice on it. (we got one hour a week of practice) They weren't happy when I told them that the goal I had for our cross ice games would be to have very few face offs and more playing.

-A couple years later I had parents of 7 year olds wondering why we didn't have a first and second power play unit.

-A couple years later with 9 year olds I had parents wondering why we spend so much time on skating still when our PK was not playing up to their expectations.

All of the stories above are true and have been the same experiences of many more youth coaches that I talk to.

The parent who worries more about the amount of time their kids coaches will dedicate to skating and puckhandling and shooting and passing will be the parents happy with their kids progress in the end. And the shame is that most parents who will ask those questions will be the parents who have the hockey background like many elite players parents have.

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