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

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Old
12-09-2011, 05:18 PM
  #26
BruinsHockey74
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Originally Posted by Kulluminati View Post
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.
Ok but I strongly disagree with you in saying that many professionals are the first in their family to lace em up. About 99% of pro players had a family member(s) or relative(s) who played the game before them. So I think it is a bit unfitting to say "a lot." More like "a few."

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12-09-2011, 05:19 PM
  #27
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I'll agree with the OP on one thing, which I think is really his point. I think if you took 4 identical kids that are good athletes and who are decent size AND had each put in the time from a very young age focused on one of the 4 major U.S. sports, basketball, football, baseball and hockey, IMO the one with the highest probability of success at the top professional level would be hockey, followed by baseball, football and, last, basketball. I say that for various reasons, but I do think, of the skills and traits required for each of the four sports, the impact of the unteachable traits that are required are smallest in hockey. I also say this based on professional athletes that I've known and met in all of these sports and how their athleticism compared to the average amateur athlete. In my experience, the difference in athleticism is smallest in hockey players, in general.

So in that regard I agree with him, however, I think the differences in probabilities are extremely small, largely because the starting probabilities are all similarly extremely small to begin with.

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12-09-2011, 05:38 PM
  #28
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Originally Posted by Stickmata View Post
I'll agree with the OP on one thing, which I think is really his point. I think if you took 4 identical kids that are good athletes and who are decent size AND had each put in the time from a very young age focused on one of the 4 major U.S. sports, basketball, football, baseball and hockey, IMO the one with the highest probability of success at the top professional level would be hockey, followed by baseball, football and, last, basketball. I say that for various reasons, but I do think, of the skills and traits required for each of the four sports, the impact of the unteachable traits that are required are smallest in hockey. I also say this based on professional athletes that I've known and met in all of these sports and how their athleticism compared to the average amateur athlete. In my experience, the difference in athleticism is smallest in hockey players, in general.

So in that regard I agree with him, however, I think the differences in probabilities are extremely small, largely because the starting probabilities are all similarly extremely small to begin with.
I might be catching your drift wrong on this...You do know that hockey is the most physically demanding sport, right?

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12-09-2011, 05:55 PM
  #29
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I think the OP's point is, take 3 kids who are identical in every way: athleticism, determination to succeed, weight, future growth, and make them all 5'10".

If each of these kids take up one of basketball, football, and hockey, the kid who plays hockey will have the best chance of making it to the pros. Not because he's more skilled at his sport, or has more willingness to succeed, since all those things are equal, but because the NBA and the NFL both have extreme size requirements.

And let's be serious, the 'selection process' to get into the NHL is far less thorough and has way less kids fed into it compared to soccer, basketball, baseball, and football. It's crazy how many kids get fed into those sports, and there has been money in those sports fuelling research in training, scouting, recruiting, etc... for a lot longer. 13 year olds can enter the Manchester United organization, there are high school courses in football, it's insane.

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12-09-2011, 05:59 PM
  #30
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Originally Posted by BruinsHockey74 View Post
I might be catching your drift wrong on this...You do know that hockey is the most physically demanding sport, right?
I'm not talking about endurance, I'm talking about athleticism. I've known a few professional football players, and I've been around a number of professional baseball and basketball players. The football and basketball players were all freakish athletes/human beings, not anything like you, me or even a high level amateur players in their sports. They were different down to their DNA, so to speak. I've also been around a fair number of professional hockey players. None of them have struck me as freakish athletes.

Also, I'm not saying there aren't natural traits that predispose people to be better at hockey. There clearly are. But relative to the others, which was his point, they are slightly less important. Slightly.

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12-09-2011, 06:07 PM
  #31
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I don't agree with this at all..and I am guessing you are American
Phil Kessel is American.

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12-09-2011, 06:58 PM
  #32
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Originally Posted by BruinsHockey74 View Post
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..."
Yes, I've played hockey since I was very little and I have a hard time attributing any of what I do to genetics. I have good hand eye coordination because I practiced and worked at it. Because I spent evenings out on the street with a stick and tennis ball. I am a good skater because I practiced. I have a good shot because I practiced. I'm not saying genetics doesn't have an impact and I should have stated that more clearly, but I don't give it as much merit in this case as you do. To me, it's more about beginning these techniques early during key developmental stages that leads to easier future success, not genetics.

And hockey IQ is NOT a learned trait? That's something innately bred into children? It's not from long term exposure to all things hockey? From early coaching, playing, watching and understanding? From a heightened understanding of time, space, geometry, physics in relation to a fast paced sport environment?

(The more I think about hockey IQ being genetic or not, the more I see it as having an indirect impact. Genetics could make someone have an easier time with understanding of angles, speeds, etc., but it would be a learned ability to relate that to the game of hockey and that's where prolonged exposure to the game comes in)

Edit: I just reread your statement on Stamkos and Ovechkin and vision. I agree with this to an extent. Some people do seem to get it more than others. It's not just prolonged exposure. There is that "understanding" factor that some people just don't seem to have as much as others, perhaps this has to do with genetics. Hockey IQ is a tougher thing to lock down, because it seems to be affected by so many factors: understanding of physics, geometry, hockey movements, a realistic awareness of the abilities of all those around you including yourself - at its best it's almost like a collective consciousness. It's really too difficult to pin down to any one thing. I will concede that genetics plays an indirect part in this, the exact extent of which is beyond me (and probably you, also), we need a geneticist in here.


Last edited by mbeam: 12-09-2011 at 07:07 PM.
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12-09-2011, 08:23 PM
  #33
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I made the American comment because with the amount of players/skill in Canada the average 5"10 kid does not make it passed Junior unless you are a special player.. Maybe the game has changed in recent years and focuses more on speed/skill but size is still a big factor on your way to the NHL.. For players like St Louis, RNH, etc to make it and excel just makes them that damn good


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12-10-2011, 02:02 AM
  #34
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As an American, I think the biggest disadvantage of making it in hockey is the fact that hockey doesn't reach the majority of kids. Whether for financial reasons or for the fact that other sports are flat out of more popular, the average athlete in America never even plays hockey. Obviously this doesn't apply to other countries where hockey is bigger.

From an athletic standpoint i can understand the argument.

I'll just sum it up like this:

If all of the NHL's players grew up playing other sports rather than hockey (particularly football and basketball), the NBA and NFL wouldn't look much different than it does today.

However, if all of the players in the NBA and NFL grew up playing hockey, the NHL would look drastically different.

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12-10-2011, 03:20 AM
  #35
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It has been mentioned previously in the thread but it is worth repeating: Any child who is in good health and really sets his/her mind to it can develop into a professional football/soccer player if they are provided with the right coaching and spend enough time on working on their skills. Football is a truly egalitarian sport in that there is a role on the pitch for everyone, regardless of if they are tall or short, quick or slow, the key is to identify the best role for each player and then make sure that they put the time into developing the right skills for that role.

In addition to that, the sheer amount of professional football clubs in existence around the globe ensures that players will be able to turn professional even if they have severe flaws in their game, there are plenty of players out there who get paid to play football despite them being tremendously slow or having poor technical skills because their other attributes are good enough to justify a professional contract at the level they play at. Hell, Fabio Liverani was able to play more than 250 Serie A matches and get capped 3 times for one of the greatest national teams in the world despite lacking virtually every physical attribute imaginable simply because of how great he was at passing.

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12-10-2011, 03:23 AM
  #36
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Originally Posted by Semper Sens View Post
I think the OP's point is, take 3 kids who are identical in every way: athleticism, determination to succeed, weight, future growth, and make them all 5'10".

If each of these kids take up one of basketball, football, and hockey, the kid who plays hockey will have the best chance of making it to the pros. Not because he's more skilled at his sport, or has more willingness to succeed, since all those things are equal, but because the NBA and the NFL both have extreme size requirements.

And let's be serious, the 'selection process' to get into the NHL is far less thorough and has way less kids fed into it compared to soccer, basketball, baseball, and football. It's crazy how many kids get fed into those sports, and there has been money in those sports fuelling research in training, scouting, recruiting, etc... for a lot longer. 13 year olds can enter the Manchester United organization, there are high school courses in football, it's insane.
This.
And it's 7 years olds now, entering the big soccer organisations.

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12-10-2011, 03:25 AM
  #37
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Originally Posted by silkyjohnson50 View Post
As an American, I think the biggest disadvantage of making it in hockey is the fact that hockey doesn't reach the majority of kids. Whether for financial reasons or for the fact that other sports are flat out of more popular, the average athlete in America never even plays hockey. Obviously this doesn't apply to other countries where hockey is bigger.

From an athletic standpoint i can understand the argument.

I'll just sum it up like this:

If all of the NHL's players grew up playing other sports rather than hockey (particularly football and basketball), the NBA and NFL wouldn't look much different than it does today.

However, if all of the players in the NBA and NFL grew up playing hockey, the NHL would look drastically different.
This sums it up perfectly.

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12-10-2011, 10:06 AM
  #38
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Unless my kid is over 6 feet, going pro in anything is going to be really hard. The exceptions would be hockey (skilled forward) or baseball (middle infielder). Trying to be a pro QB, goalie, or basketball player is going to be exceptionally tough.

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12-10-2011, 10:50 AM
  #39
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Id have to disagree with that. IMO, hockey is the hardest sport to go pro in simply because its the smallest of the 4 sports, because theres less opportunity to practice because of limited ice time and because of how expensive all the equipment and the travel costs are.
Id say the easiest to go pro at would be football or baseball because those sports are everywhere and because you can practice just about anywhere.

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12-10-2011, 11:14 AM
  #40
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Originally Posted by Hawkey36 View Post
Id have to disagree with that. IMO, hockey is the hardest sport to go pro in simply because its the smallest of the 4 sports, because theres less opportunity to practice because of limited ice time and because of how expensive all the equipment and the travel costs are.
Id say the easiest to go pro at would be football or baseball because those sports are everywhere and because you can practice just about anywhere.
Logistics.

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12-10-2011, 11:19 AM
  #41
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Originally Posted by Franck View Post
It has been mentioned previously in the thread but it is worth repeating: Any child who is in good health and really sets his/her mind to it can develop into a professional football/soccer player if they are provided with the right coaching and spend enough time on working on their skills. Football is a truly egalitarian sport in that there is a role on the pitch for everyone, regardless of if they are tall or short, quick or slow, the key is to identify the best role for each player and then make sure that they put the time into developing the right skills for that role.

In addition to that, the sheer amount of professional football clubs in existence around the globe ensures that players will be able to turn professional even if they have severe flaws in their game, there are plenty of players out there who get paid to play football despite them being tremendously slow or having poor technical skills because their other attributes are good enough to justify a professional contract at the level they play at. Hell, Fabio Liverani was able to play more than 250 Serie A matches and get capped 3 times for one of the greatest national teams in the world despite lacking virtually every physical attribute imaginable simply because of how great he was at passing.
i think the OP was talking about real sports.










I keed.

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12-10-2011, 12:31 PM
  #42
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Originally Posted by Stickmata View Post
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./

A first 1/4 birthday leads to:

- a mental and physical maturity advantage in the first years of hockey, which leads to....
- selection to better hockey programs from a young age, which leads to...
- better coaching and a fast track on development, which leads to...
- a better opportunity to progress through jr. and professional ranks.


This is the reason I only sex my wife in the months of April and May!


This is coming from a North American

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12-10-2011, 03:32 PM
  #43
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[QUOTE=Dump and Chase;40738975]A first 1/4 birthday leads to:

- a mental and physical maturity advantage in the first years of hockey, which leads to....
- selection to better hockey programs from a young age, which leads to...
- better coaching and a fast track on development, which leads to...
- a better opportunity to progress through jr. and professional ranks.


This is the reason I only sex my wife in the months of April and May!


This is coming from a North American[/QUOTE]


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12-10-2011, 11:29 PM
  #44
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For what it is worth....alot /most hockey players start at 4, 5, 6 yrs old.
I don't think you see many baseball, basketball, football players at that age.

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12-11-2011, 12:31 AM
  #45
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Originally Posted by asmeus View Post
In hockey you still need the height. Especially NHL.
This is bullshiat. There are a lot of smaller guys playing in the NHL right now- IIRC, the average listed height in the NHL, something almost always inflated, is 6 foot. That's way less than any other pro sport, apart from perhaps soccer, which is, again IIRC, pretty similar.

Height may help in some cases. Reach, the corresponding weight increase that allows a little more force. But there are a lot of small, fairly light guys who, because of being small and light, can accelerate faster than most big guys, allowing them to separate from traffic and open up room. Skinner. Crosby (5'11 on a good day), Nugent-Hopkins, St. Louis, Parise, hell, Nathan Gerbe, who's 5'6" on skates. There are a lot of star players who weren't gifted with great height. Apart from a few running backs, that does not happen in football. Apart from the rare freak like Muggsy Bogues, nobody of an average height is getting into the NBA. A guy like Chris Paul at 6' even is considered a short freak the way we would think of St. Louis or Parise.

It's not easy to make the NHL by any means, but OP is correct- if you're not a genetic freak, you can still work your ass off and make it big in hockey. But baseball can work too, or soccer.


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12-12-2011, 03:12 PM
  #46
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Originally Posted by leoleo3535 View Post
For what it is worth....alot /most hockey players start at 4, 5, 6 yrs old.
I don't think you see many baseball, basketball, football players at that age.
Interesting. What would be the reason for this?

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12-12-2011, 09:50 PM
  #47
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No, hockey is a sport that requires a lot of talent as well. In fact, I'd say it's harder because you need a lot of finesse, excellent hand eye coordination/dexterity, and intelligence.

Watching the NBA, you get the sense that a lot of the players, while being absolute physical beasts, have their head stuck in their ass. It's one of those games where if you have the physical talent, you can have a pea sized brain and still play decently (Corey Maggette, Stephon Marbury, to name a few).

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12-13-2011, 12:06 AM
  #48
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No, hockey is a sport that requires a lot of talent as well. In fact, I'd say it's harder because you need a lot of finesse, excellent hand eye coordination/dexterity, and intelligence.

Watching the NBA, you get the sense that a lot of the players, while being absolute physical beasts, have their head stuck in their ass. It's one of those games where if you have the physical talent, you can have a pea sized brain and still play decently (Corey Maggette, Stephon Marbury, to name a few).
Yeah, because there's no prima donnas in the NHL. Only hard working men of intelligence.

Saying that the NHL's athletes have more finesse and coordination is incorrect. Ball handlers in NBA are ridiculously coordinated. As are any of the skilled positions in football. Their coordination level is at the very least on par with any athlete in the NHL. IMO the coordination level of many elite athletes (NHL star vs NBA star) is on a close plane. What separates many NBA and NFL athletes from those in the NHL is that they are typically bigger, stronger, and faster.

If you're in the NHL then you're obviously an extremely gifted athlete. Nobody can deny that. But can you imagine if individuals like Lebron James, Kobe Bryant, Calvin Johnson, and Randy Moss grew up playing hockey? They are as coordinated as anybody in the NHL and they're all physical freaks.

Like i said earlier, if all of the athletes in the NBA and NFL grew up playing hockey, the NHL would look drastically different.

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12-13-2011, 12:51 AM
  #49
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Originally Posted by silkyjohnson50 View Post
What separates many NBA and NFL athletes from those in the NHL is that they are typically bigger, stronger, and faster.
This is silly. Bigger, but stronger? In some ways, perhaps. An NFL lineman is going to bench more than your typical NHL center. But that NHL center is going to have much, much stronger fast twitch muscles. And I would be willing to bet that as a whole, NHLers can cream NFL and NBA players in squats and leg presses.

Bodies, muscles and training can be manipulated in many ways, and training is sport specific. If Lebron, Moss and the like grew up playing hockey, they would look much more like hockey players- much smaller upper bodies, much thicker and denser legs. The reason you don't think of NHLers as super strong freaks is because they work out their legs- much less sexy and obvious then big biceps, but much more useful.

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12-13-2011, 01:39 AM
  #50
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slightly OT, but this thread got me thinking about something...Imagine all of the talent out there in the world that miss out on hockey simply because of their geographical location or cultural differences...I guess the same can be said for any sport, but there are sports that are much more universal like soccer or basketball where this argument doesn't apply as much... I use myself as an example, because I've never even seen snow, but I got introduced to hockey by a friend and played the video games and was hooked, I was determined to get the feel for the game even if it wasn't on ice, and I started frequenting asphalt rinks, as soon as I picked up the stick and was on skates it just felt like the most natural thing in the world for me, so much fun, and I was all my life being forced baseball, basketball, soccer, football etc... yet hockey felt like nothing before and I felt like if I was introduced to the sport as a child I would have succeeded on it because as I said it just feels natural and I've taught myself to play....there are many people out there that can be naturals for hockey but are just never introduced to the sport therefore never exercise their natural talent

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