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Does the average kid have the best chance to go pro in hockey?

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12-09-2011, 01:01 PM
  #1
prob22
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Does the average kid have the best chance to go pro in hockey?

Of the big the leagues, MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL is the average kid off the streets more likely to go pro in NHL because of the teachability that hockey skills require. Im not saying that hockey is the easiest to go pro in by any means. What I am saying is with sports like football and baseball inhertited traits like size tend to pre-dispose young athletes to better success then say the average kid. The average 5'10 kid will probably never play in the NBA and height, a characteristic he cant control, will have a lot to do with it. Football seems to be the same way when it comes to measurables like height and weight.

Hockey is one of the more difficult sports to play but it seems like a sport were the skills needed are more teachable and learned skills then they are genetically inhereted traits. Any young kid with a love for the game and a family who is patient and willing to teach can make a kid a strong skater. Stick skills are something learned the more you pick up a stick and practice with it. Again im not saying hockey is the easiest to go pro in. All im saying is that it is the sport where the average kid raised in the right environment who loves to play has the best chance to succeed in. Size is nice in the NHL but there are hundreds of 5'10 hockey players who are just as talented. Does anyone see what im saying/agree with me?

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12-09-2011, 01:56 PM
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I don't agree with this at all..and I am guessing you are American

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12-09-2011, 02:02 PM
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I'm trying hard to rack my brain for reasons to disagree with this... but I suppose it makes a little bit of sense, especially post-lockout where size doesn't hinder players like it used to. Assuming you're counting muscle and bulk as a "learnable" attribute, then all you're really talking about is height. So, is it easier to make the NHL at 5'8 than it is to make the NBA or NFL? Almost definitely. (Admittedly, I don't know much about baseball, so I'm not sure what's valued there.)

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12-09-2011, 02:04 PM
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Stickmata
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Read the first chapter of the book Outliers, if you want to know the most statistically significant factor in determining your kid's chances of making it to the NHL...

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12-09-2011, 02:17 PM
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The "average" kid has no hope in any major sports. If the goal is to just be a professional then hockey and baseball are obviously the easiest because of the amount of minor leagues in both sports.

I see well above average kids playing Tier III junior hockey that have zero hope of playing professionally but they are striving for a D II or D III shot somewhere.

A 5'10" kid would have to have a crazy amount of talent and even a bigger stroke of luck to make the NHL. There are so many things that have to fall into place for anyone to make the NHL. Play on the right teams, meet the right people, fill a certain roll, have the right skills at the right time when a team needs them. There are hundreds of guys in the AHL who could play in the NHL if they were in a different organization during the one week when someone with their skill set got hurt and they got their shot.

I get your question in that is it easier. I still think baseball is easier but the odds are so long it isn't really even something that you can calculate. The NBA and NFL are one step from impossible and the NHL and MLB are a step and a half from impossible.

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12-09-2011, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by prob22 View Post
Hockey is one of the more difficult sports to play but it seems like a sport were the skills needed are more teachable and learned skills then they are genetically inhereted traits.
You miss your own point^^. The reason why "anyone" can be a hockey pro according to you, because it's "all learnable". Well most people do not have the discipline and will to practice as much as you have to to become a pro in hockey. Is discipline and work ethic inherited traits?

I mean sure, small people will have a hard time making it in the NBA, but there has been some of them. Guess what? They worked their ass off. If an average sized person thinks that he's too small and wants to make a good life in hockey cause that's "easier", well good luck. If a few inches scare you off of a BB court, you'll bail after the first few sessions of hockey training. You'll have to learn to skate without thinking about it (eg learn to walk again) and you didn't even touch a stick and puck where the fun (the real work) begins.

Hockey is not for the weak willed.

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12-09-2011, 02:50 PM
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Im not saying hockey is easy to go pro-in. What im saying is that kid who has the drive doesnt have to deal with un-alterable traits that sports like football and basketball almost require. No one is getting my point. Lets say for example little 5'10 Johny from Massachussetts wants to be a pro athlete. In any sport the drive to succeed and be discipline is needed so lets say that thats not the issue with this kid he has the love of the game and drive to do whatever it takes. In my opinion this kid is better off taking up hockey and learning to skate and develope stick skills then he trying to learn to over come being a 5'10 kid from New England who wants to play power forward for the celtics. Im not saying hes going to be a pro-hockey player, done deal. Im saying in hockey its easier to overcome not being blessed with certain genetic traits then any other sports. I dont have to be a 6'11 inch center to play hockey and succed if I developed the necessary skill. A 5'10 kid who has great ball handling and a killer jump shot will NEVER be an NBA center no matter how good he is.

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12-09-2011, 03:01 PM
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Seriously, read the first chapter of Outliers. You'll have a better understanding of the unalterable traits that impact a kid's likelihood of making it to the NHL./

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12-09-2011, 03:17 PM
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Originally Posted by prob22 View Post
Im not saying hockey is easy to go pro-in. What im saying is that kid who has the drive doesnt have to deal with un-alterable traits that sports like football and basketball almost require. No one is getting my point. Lets say for example little 5'10 Johny from Massachussetts wants to be a pro athlete. In any sport the drive to succeed and be discipline is needed so lets say that thats not the issue with this kid he has the love of the game and drive to do whatever it takes. In my opinion this kid is better off taking up hockey and learning to skate and develope stick skills then he trying to learn to over come being a 5'10 kid from New England who wants to play power forward for the celtics. Im not saying hes going to be a pro-hockey player, done deal. Im saying in hockey its easier to overcome not being blessed with certain genetic traits then any other sports. I dont have to be a 6'11 inch center to play hockey and succed if I developed the necessary skill. A 5'10 kid who has great ball handling and a killer jump shot will NEVER be an NBA center no matter how good he is.

No, but he could be a guard .

I completely understand what you're saying and I think you're right that all things being equal (motivation, finances, the right places to play, etc), and assuming one can develop a professional skill set in any of the major sports, hockey has less deterrence in the way of physical attributes. You just have to look at the wide range of physiques that are playing the game right now. You have George Parros, you have Ovechkin, then you have guys like Kane who were 160 in their rookie year, and Nugent-Hopkins isn't really a physical specimen, either, and he's lighting it up.

Hockey has a fairly long list of under-sized pro players, be it by height or weight (albeit the lighter ones tend to bulk up after a few years, but sometimes not even that extremely).

Even an out of shape Kyle Wellwood was able to play at a pro level just on hands and vision alone (yeah, he's in shape now, I realize this).


Quote:
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Seriously, read the first chapter of Outliers. You'll have a better understanding of the unalterable traits that impact a kid's likelihood of making it to the NHL./
You can preview the first chapter on Google Books.


Last edited by mbeam: 12-09-2011 at 03:23 PM.
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12-09-2011, 03:55 PM
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I don't agree with this at all..and I am guessing you are American
sooo, just because someone makes an ignorant observation they must be American. Funny how you Canadians think hockey is your birthright. (see what I did there?)


and no its not easier to make it in hockey, there are other traits that are required, you may not have to be 6'7" to play hockey but you must have vision, balance, strength, etc. You can be 6'7" and 350lbs with little athletic ability and make it to the NFL. Not that every player is not athletic but you can get by on size alone. Hell Devin Hester with the Chicago Bears is a complete moron and only can run about 3-4 plays, but boy can he run.

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12-09-2011, 04:00 PM
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sooo, just because someone makes an ignorant observation they must be American. Funny how you Canadians think hockey is your birthright. (see what I did there?)
And there national sport is Box Lax.

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12-09-2011, 04:06 PM
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Even with all of the ice time, money, and training in the world, the "average" kid is not making the NHL unless he has the physical gifts or has the intelligence to play the game at a high level

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12-09-2011, 04:08 PM
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I understand what your saying but the premise is stupid. The average 5'10 kid off the streets is never going to go pro in any sport that he doesn't start playing till he's a teenager. And by assigning him a height better suited for the NHL than the NBA or NFL your already attempting to dictate the answer to your question.

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12-09-2011, 04:18 PM
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In hockey you still need the height. Especially NHL.

Football (Soccer) on the other hand...
One of the best players of the world - Messi, had growth problems as a child, so he is pretty small. On the other hand, from the top of my mind -Ibrahimovich is pretty large and is excellent power forward.

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12-09-2011, 04:43 PM
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I'm pretty sure what the OP is saying is that hockey is more SKILL based than sports like football and basketball where your size is among one of the biggest factors. Baseball and soccer are also fundamentally skill based. However this makes the NHL harder than NFL and NBA to get into because the range of size is much larger and therefore many more people around the world are striving for that goal.

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12-09-2011, 04:45 PM
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I think some people are not reading what the OP is saying. Hockey is by no means easy to go pro in. But no sport is. He isn't saying that the "average kid" even has a chance. The point is that hockey is the sport that has the least amount of disadvantages you are born with. Yes hockey takes pure talent. But every sport does. Even soccer does and to some people all you do it kick a ball. Yes hockey takes intelligence and vision. But try even playing any top college sports with out it.

Hockey has all kinds of different body types that play all the same position. Defence has guys like Hal Gill and Chara on one end and guys like Toby Enstrom and Dan Boyle on the other side of it. Forwards have Joe Thornton and then Marty St. Louis. goalies have guys like Ryan Miller who might weigh 130 with hs pads on. And then on the other side Giggy.

Yes there have been a handful of small guys in the NBA. But you can count all of them on your hands. I had a teacher who played College football and when I asked him why he didn't go pro he said he was too small. I thought he was crazy. This guy was huge.

And this is coming from a Canadian.

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12-09-2011, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by izzy3 View Post
You miss your own point^^. The reason why "anyone" can be a hockey pro according to you, because it's "all learnable". Well most people do not have the discipline and will to practice as much as you have to to become a pro in hockey. Is discipline and work ethic inherited traits?

I mean sure, small people will have a hard time making it in the NBA, but there has been some of them. Guess what? They worked their ass off. If an average sized person thinks that he's too small and wants to make a good life in hockey cause that's "easier", well good luck. If a few inches scare you off of a BB court, you'll bail after the first few sessions of hockey training. You'll have to learn to skate without thinking about it (eg learn to walk again) and you didn't even touch a stick and puck where the fun (the real work) begins.

Hockey is not for the weak willed.
Agreed, some people are incredibly good at hockey and they may get drafted in the 3rd round. Guy on our team is top 5 in scoring for Ontario and easily the best player I've ever seen, but he's projected mid 3rd round to late 3rd in the OHL draft coming up. His dad rides his ASS when he loses and yells and yells. It's even worse when he doesn't get a goal or point. Where as like you say in Football if your big when you go to highschool your coach will most likely ask you to play because of the size of you. And TBH no offence to anyone but to be an OL all you really need to do is be big and strong, no real skill set.

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12-09-2011, 05:25 PM
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I think some people are not reading what the OP is saying. Hockey is by no means easy to go pro in. But no sport is. He isn't saying that the "average kid" even has a chance. The point is that hockey is the sport that has the least amount of disadvantages you are born with. Yes hockey takes pure talent. But every sport does. Even soccer does and to some people all you do it kick a ball. Yes hockey takes intelligence and vision. But try even playing any top college sports with out it.

Hockey has all kinds of different body types that play all the same position. Defence has guys like Hal Gill and Chara on one end and guys like Toby Enstrom and Dan Boyle on the other side of it. Forwards have Joe Thornton and then Marty St. Louis. goalies have guys like Ryan Miller who might weigh 130 with hs pads on. And then on the other side Giggy.

Yes there have been a handful of small guys in the NBA. But you can count all of them on your hands. I had a teacher who played College football and when I asked him why he didn't go pro he said he was too small. I thought he was crazy. This guy was huge.

And this is coming from a Canadian.
I'm pretty sure its in the title.

and The "Canadian" thing was in response to the "American" generalization.

A good athlete is a good athlete. although as I said before in respect to football, and I guess in basketball "if you count Manute Boll " size can play into if you make it or not vs. pure athletism.

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12-09-2011, 05:33 PM
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Originally Posted by prob22 View Post
Of the big the leagues, MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL is the average kid off the streets more likely to go pro in NHL because of the teachability that hockey skills require. Im not saying that hockey is the easiest to go pro in by any means. What I am saying is with sports like football and baseball inhertited traits like size tend to pre-dispose young athletes to better success then say the average kid. The average 5'10 kid will probably never play in the NBA and height, a characteristic he cant control, will have a lot to do with it. Football seems to be the same way when it comes to measurables like height and weight.

Hockey is one of the more difficult sports to play but it seems like a sport were the skills needed are more teachable and learned skills then they are genetically inhereted traits. Any young kid with a love for the game and a family who is patient and willing to teach can make a kid a strong skater. Stick skills are something learned the more you pick up a stick and practice with it. Again im not saying hockey is the easiest to go pro in. All im saying is that it is the sport where the average kid raised in the right environment who loves to play has the best chance to succeed in. Size is nice in the NHL but there are hundreds of 5'10 hockey players who are just as talented. Does anyone see what im saying/agree with me?
Absolutely not...

A lot of hockey is genetics, and things can't just be "taught." Players who go to the NHL have hockey senses that are far superior than other players who simply do not make it to that level. While the skills are crucial, the average kid can not just wake up one day and choose to start practicing these skills hoping to go pro one day.

Its a process, and it is the most selective process out of any pro sport.

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12-09-2011, 05:46 PM
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If you're talking the major team sports, hockey and football both give smaller kids who are fast/skilled enough a chance. You're also reducing "average" to what appears to be a purely size-based trait. Hockey players may not rely on height as much as basketball players, but it's a general requirement that you can skate quickly (somewhat genetically predisposed), hold your balance (again, partially genetic), and have better stamina than other sports (again, partially genetic). Reaction time is also somewhat dictated from birth, and it's a huge influence on how well you can play a game as fast as hockey.

If you're talking all pro sports, then golf is the clear choice for the kid with average physical traits.

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12-09-2011, 05:51 PM
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Absolutely not...

A lot of hockey is genetics, and things can't just be "taught." Players who go to the NHL have hockey senses that are far superior than other players who simply do not make it to that level. While the skills are crucial, the average kid can not just wake up one day and choose to start practicing these skills hoping to go pro one day.

Its a process, and it is the most selective process out of any pro sport.
Are you saying that hockey sense, vision, whatever you want to call it, is genetic? I think that's ludicrous. Hockey IQ is developed from exposure to the sport: playing, watching, studying. It's a learned trait.
The only thing I can think of to support this is bringing up father/son duos but that doesn't do much to support the genetics argument in my mind. These are children who have access to greater hockey minds, who grow up in and around the sport with a professional trainer in dad just an arms length away. They're born into special circumstances that greatly increase their odds but that does not make them innately superior players.

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12-09-2011, 05:51 PM
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I don't agree with this at all..and I am guessing you are American
I'm an American and disagree with him. What's your point?

Hockey is harder because there's SO much that has to be taught, IMHO.

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12-09-2011, 05:59 PM
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Are you saying that hockey sense, vision, whatever you want to call it, is genetic? I think that's ludicrous. Hockey IQ is developed from exposure to the sport: playing, watching, studying. It's a learned trait.
The only thing I can think of to support this is bringing up father/son duos but that doesn't do much to support the genetics argument in my mind. These are children who have access to greater hockey minds, who grow up in and around the sport with a professional trainer in dad just an arms length away. They're born into special circumstances that greatly increase their odds but that does not make them innately superior players.
Everything - literally everything - is a combination of genetics and environment. Learning may have a greater environmental influence than genetic, but to claim that it's entirely a result of exposure would be fallacious.

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12-09-2011, 05:59 PM
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Are you saying that hockey sense, vision, whatever you want to call it, is genetic? I think that's ludicrous. Hockey IQ is developed from exposure to the sport: playing, watching, studying. It's a learned trait.
The only thing I can think of to support this is bringing up father/son duos but that doesn't do much to support the genetics argument in my mind. These are children who have access to greater hockey minds, who grow up in and around the sport with a professional trainer in dad just an arms length away. They're born into special circumstances that greatly increase their odds but that does not make them innately superior players.
Do you even play hockey? Because your response gives me a clear impression that you don't. Natural skating ability, as well as hand-eye coordination have a lot to do with genetics. If your parents are tall, then you most likely will be tall. If your parents are short, then your will probably be short. If your parents were excellent athletes, then you most likely will be an excellent athlete. If your parents have a high vertical jump, then you will probably have a high vertical jump.

If your parents played hockey for example, and their secondary moving around motion, for however long they played the game, was skating, then it will come easier to you. It is in the genes, it is how your muscles are built and react and adapt to certain motions. I am not saying that they are just automatically disgusting at skating because their parents were, I am saying that it comes to them a bit easier, and is more natural for them. But it does take practice, a lot of it, I am not arguing that.

As for hockey sense and vision on the ice, yes, much of that comes from watching the game and teaching, but it is not something that just anyone can pick up on. Do you really think that Stamkos' or Ovechkin's ability to be in the right place at the right time, or to think of some of the things that they do when they do them is just all from practice? No. Part of it is a gift.

If it was as easy as just practicing all day your whole life, then everybody would do it.

Edit: I just re read your statement where you said that Hockey IQ is a learned trait...With all due respect, are you high? Or is your lack of understanding of what it really takes so far down that you think your one of those people who if they "started playing a year or two earlier could have made it..."

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12-09-2011, 06:14 PM
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If your parents played hockey for example, and their secondary moving around motion, for however long they played the game, was skating, then it will come easier to you. It is in the genes, it is how your muscles are built and react and adapt to certain motions. I am not saying that they are just automatically disgusting at skating because their parents were, I am saying that it comes to them a bit easier, and is more natural for them. But it does take practice, a lot of it, I am not arguing that.
Umm I don't think thats how it works.. and I think Charles Darwin would also disagree with you, by that logic, the offspring of bodybuilders would have an "easier" type becoming muscular. Even if I was wrong (which I'm not) alot of professionals are the first in the family to take up ice hockey, it would be impossible for it to be in their genes. Otherwise I thought your post was quite reasonable.

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