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Old
10-14-2015, 10:39 PM
  #1
BrobReborn
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Too late to come back?

So to keep this short and sweet, I am 19, almost 20. I played street hockey since I was about 5, but then I stopped when I was about 13. I picked ice hockey up at 16 and played that for 2 years. After quitting ice hockey at 17, I really let myself go. I gained tons of weight, at my highest I was 320 lb. About 6 months ago I decided to change, and currently I'm down to 260, 6'3". I can bench a bit over 200 and squat about 300. I am probably below average for my size, but I'm currently training

Now, I really want to play hockey again. I will probably go out for an adult league in October 2016. I am confident that my hockey skills will be good enough by then. I am practicing 5-8 hrs a week on my shots. My problems is though, I can barely skate. Most people have skated since they could walk, and I feel I will never be on their level. My dream is to eventually play on the local ECHL team in 3 years or so, but am I too late for that? I'll be like 24. This winter I should have 3 solid months of frozen lake ice time, and I plan not to waste it. Ideally I will practice 2 hrs a day during the week, and probably around 4 hours a day on the weekends when im off work. Will I ever get to an equal level of skating in 3-4 Years to compare with these ECHL guys? I just feel like I started too late in terms of skated, and even general athleticism.

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Old
10-15-2015, 12:02 AM
  #2
manictech
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Sorry to be honest but I don't think you'll make it. But I'm sure you can enjoy beer league hockey for many years to come.

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10-15-2015, 06:54 AM
  #3
shoeshine boy
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your chances of making the ECHL are slim though not impossible.
I have a friend who recently decided to try to play professional hockey. the short version of his story is that after high school he decided to go to chiropractic school rather than a traditional college where he could've continued to play hockey on some collegiate level. his former high school teammates are playing ECHL and AHL so he has devoted the last year to getting in super-shape and working on his game. he's had ECHL and SPHL tryouts and the best he's gotten is a "we might call you up mid-season if someone gets hurt" from some of the SPHL teams.
ECHL may seem like low-level hockey but even those players are far better than most of us will ever be.
keep at it though because you can still have a great time playing beer league hockey.

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10-15-2015, 08:39 AM
  #4
BrobReborn
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So, obviously the ECHL may be a little ambitious, but it's my end goal. I love hockey, but there aren't really any good leagues around here. I think over the next few years I'm really going to go hard at this and get into shape. I just wish I had more time though. I'll be working through the daylight hours Mon through Fri. It may just end up being a hobby, but I still want to treat it as more than that. Maybe in a few yesrs I could try a league lower than the ECHL and work.my way from there

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10-15-2015, 09:14 AM
  #5
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Your goal is super unrealistic. Think of it this way, most division I players can't make it to pro hockey let alone in pro hockey. They skate a lot more hours per week and have skated a lot more per week in the past 15 years (where development is arguably far more important). Just play to have fun at this point.

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Old
10-15-2015, 09:36 AM
  #6
Beezeral
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrobReborn View Post
So, obviously the ECHL may be a little ambitious, but it's my end goal. I love hockey, but there aren't really any good leagues around here. I think over the next few years I'm really going to go hard at this and get into shape. I just wish I had more time though. I'll be working through the daylight hours Mon through Fri. It may just end up being a hobby, but I still want to treat it as more than that. Maybe in a few yesrs I could try a league lower than the ECHL and work.my way from there
Sorry man, but the guys in the ECHL are pretty much all guys who played Major Junior or NCAA hockey and many of them were drafted by NHL teams but didn't pan out. The chances of you getting a spot are about the same as you becoming an astronaut. Even the semi pro leagues are all guys who played high level hockey their entire lives. Unless you are a freak athlete that just needs to gain some experience, no amount of "hard work" is going to get you where you think you can get.

Just do like the rest of us and play beer league hockey for love of the game. It may not be what you want to hear, but it is reality.

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Old
10-15-2015, 11:18 AM
  #7
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Despite being a "AA" League, the ECHL is still considered a developmental league. That means they are responsible for developing and cultivating talent to move up to the AHL level. Their rosters are made of mostly younger players that the parent club has on track to fill an AHL (and possibly an NHL) roster spot mixed in with a few veterans that typically have experience at multiple levels of the game.

Now, I'm not one to snuff out anyone's dreams, and good on you for setting your goals high, but if you're going to be 20-21 before you even hit the ice again and you only have two years of experience playing ice hockey, pro hockey is out of the question for you. Even if those two years of experience were at an NHL proving ground like Shattuck St. Mary's or Mount St. Charles, I'd still say there's no way.

Conditioning and ability are only part of being a pro. Piggy-backing on what others have said, I have seen more than a few uber-talented former D1 NCAA or Major Junior players that can't stick in the ECHL and wind up playing in the SPHL or having to go overseas to continue their careers. Some of those guys were NHL draft picks. Also, since the CHL has dissolved, the talent level in the SPHL has increased, and there are fewer spots available in the lower ranks of pro hockey. Long story short, you've just got too many factors working against you.

Just go out there and play the game because you love it. There's nothing wrong with having dreams, I'm just trying to provide some perspective. Hell, I'm playing at Joe Louis next week and I keep telling my wife that once the Wings' scouts see me, she's going to have to adjust to me being on the road (I'm 32... with a beer gut and cement hands).


Last edited by leftwinger37: 10-15-2015 at 11:33 AM.
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Old
10-15-2015, 11:41 AM
  #8
lorwood
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Pro athletes are all born with some degree of natural ability (eye hand coordination that is in the highest percentiles) This is all about brain development that, while everybody can improve on, most do not start out on the upper ends of the charts. (remember theirs are also improving)

Pro athletes usually spend years in athletics prior to turning pro. In fact most organizations now look for players with multiple sports on their resume.

Even the best young players have to be lucky enough to navigate a loaded mine field (injury, outside influences, right place right time) to ever collect a paycheck.

Dreams are great. Athletics are great. You can play beer league until you are 70. Just don't wake up 6 years from now finding that your dream has left you wondering why all your peers are doing so much better.

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Old
10-15-2015, 12:40 PM
  #9
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Professional hockey is not realistic in your situation. Not to burst your bubble, but someone's tried something similar (The Dan Plan) and it's not working out after several years.

You don't have to be a professional to enjoy playing hockey. Take some skating lessons, join a beginners instructional league, play on the pond, and join an adult league. It's a fun, healthy activity where you can make a lot of friends while pushing yourself to become a better player.

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Old
10-15-2015, 02:11 PM
  #10
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Work your butt off but don't expect professional hockey in your situation without serious work, and even then it's hard to expect you to make up for the years of development. I played DII hockey and I wouldn't even consider myself good enough to try out professionally.

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Old
10-15-2015, 02:38 PM
  #11
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I played in the 90s with ECHL guys, and they seemed good even then, when it wasn't the "premiere AA league." It was still the East Coast League, and a time when some teams were starting to identify with and affiliate with NHL and AHL teams, but not anything like it is now. Most of them didn't go any higher, in fact most of them, even the ones you thought would go up and stay, maybe saw a few AHL or IHL games but wound up fizzling out in places like the CHL or WPHL a few years later. But I can't think of one that didn't have very similar development to regulars in the AHL and NHL. That is, they started playing competitively at a very young age, came up and played through major junior or college (a few came from Europe or Russia, so developed over there). But usually for guys in the coast, ECHL was first stop out of junior or college and had been skating nonstop since they were like 3. There were some guys with that kind of playing history who wanted to turn pro that would get cut in training camp. I do understand the dream, but just keep getting in shape and playing with your heart. I mean at the low minors level, these are guys that arent taking roster spots in the NHL and AHL, and aren't over playing in Russia, Sweden or Germany. So you're talking of all the hockey players in the world, players cracking the top 3,000-4,000 best in the world will fill out rosters in the low minors.


Last edited by iconoclast22: 10-15-2015 at 02:57 PM.
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Old
10-15-2015, 03:57 PM
  #12
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Look. Don't listen to people talking about odds. What ECHL:ers are as hockey players are not impossible to achieve. Say they have spent 10 000 hours maybe playing hockey, if you spend on average 7 hours 350 days a year in the gym, on the ice and stickhandling, you will after 3 years spent 7350 hours training. If you work hard, smart and amazingly concentrated and learn to love it, I know that's enough time to get really good at the ECHL level if you train smart. The hardest things to develope will be instincts, vision, stickhandling and skating. Your shot and the passes themselves are not as hard to get good at. But look forward to hours alone on the ice.

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Old
10-15-2015, 04:39 PM
  #13
Beezeral
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Originally Posted by Mashed Potatoes View Post
Look. Don't listen to people talking about odds. What ECHL:ers are as hockey players are not impossible to achieve. Say they have spent 10 000 hours maybe playing hockey, if you spend on average 7 hours 350 days a year in the gym, on the ice and stickhandling, you will after 3 years spent 7350 hours training. If you work hard, smart and amazingly concentrated and learn to love it, I know that's enough time to get really good at the ECHL level if you train smart. The hardest things to develope will be instincts, vision, stickhandling and skating. Your shot and the passes themselves are not as hard to get good at. But look forward to hours alone on the ice.
this is foolish advice. sorry. Hard work and 7000 hours of practice doesn't make up for years of missed development, actual game experience, and doesn't magically give him the athletic ability equal to the guys playing in the ECHL.

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10-15-2015, 04:45 PM
  #14
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So it seems that this is probably way out of my league. Even if I could dedicate 6-8 hours a day, it probably wouldn't work. If I did train enough to be on ECHL level, I would be 25+ and that's too old to play in a developmental league. I guess I could still go to college and play there for a bit.

Not to toot my own horn, but I think I am an excellent shooter and overall very good at street hockey. I just need to continue losing weight and get on the ice. I am confident, and here is probably my plan

2016-17: Beer League
2017-19: Div2 Hockey at a D1 satellite school
2019-21: Div1 Hockey

After that I'll see where life takes me. I'll probably be content with college hockey, then I could play in a low tier semi pro if I make it. What other leagues are out there besides the ECHL?

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10-15-2015, 04:51 PM
  #15
Beezeral
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Originally Posted by BrobReborn View Post
So it seems that this is probably way out of my league. Even if I could dedicate 6-8 hours a day, it probably wouldn't work. If I did train enough to be on ECHL level, I would be 25+ and that's too old to play in a developmental league. I guess I could still go to college and play there for a bit.

Not to toot my own horn, but I think I am an excellent shooter and overall very good at street hockey. I just need to continue losing weight and get on the ice. I am confident, and here is probably my plan

2016-17: Beer League
2017-19: Div2 Hockey at a D1 satellite school
2019-21: Div1 Hockey

After that I'll see where life takes me. I'll probably be content with college hockey, then I could play in a low tier semi pro if I make it. What other leagues are out there besides the ECHL?
You are deluding yourself man. Many of us here were the best player in our town/league/whatever. Very few of us made it further than Club Hockey in college.

If you were to rank "great at street hockey" on the list of caliber of hockey players, it would put you as someone who is a fringe AA travel ice hockey player at best. I won AAA National Championships growing up and didn't sniff D1 or D3 College hockey. Of all the great players I played with, only 1 got a D1 scholly and one other made it to Junior A

Half of HF considers themselves a great street hockey player and unless your excellent shooting skills come with a 90+ MPH slap shot or a wrist shot that can pick any corner at will, your shot isn't that great. I am not trying to be a jerk, but someone has to give you a dose of reality. Don't waste years of your life chasing a goal you can't achieve.


Last edited by Beezeral: 10-15-2015 at 05:00 PM.
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Old
10-15-2015, 04:52 PM
  #16
manictech
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrobReborn View Post
So it seems that this is probably way out of my league. Even if I could dedicate 6-8 hours a day, it probably wouldn't work. If I did train enough to be on ECHL level, I would be 25+ and that's too old to play in a developmental league. I guess I could still go to college and play there for a bit.

Not to toot my own horn, but I think I am an excellent shooter and overall very good at street hockey. I just need to continue losing weight and get on the ice. I am confident, and here is probably my plan

2016-17: Beer League
2017-19: Div2 Hockey at a D1 satellite school
2019-21: Div1 Hockey

After that I'll see where life takes me. I'll probably be content with college hockey, then I could play in a low tier semi pro if I make it. What other leagues are out there besides the ECHL?
You're being really unrealistic. I guess have fun while you train but don't be crushed when you're getting burned in some low level beer league.

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10-15-2015, 05:00 PM
  #17
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I think it's unrealistic to set a goal or aim to play at a certain level when you're so far behind the bunch. If you really enjoy it, then all you need to do is aim and strive to be as good or the best that you can be. If you achieve that, the other stuff doesn't matter..and if you do..and you have some athletic prowess, you never know.

Aiming for a certain level is putting the cart before the horse and probably just going to lead to disappointment.

I spend about 10 hours a week skating, practicing and playing pick up and games. I love it. Always improving and always looking to improve, but not kidding myself I'm going anywhere, just perpetually trying to close the gap with guys who played Junior or College; and I excelled at some other sports, but hockey is just unnatural to pick up late given the skating element.

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10-15-2015, 05:38 PM
  #18
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It doesn't feel good to shoot down other people's dreams but your goals are super unrealistic. You completely underestimate just how good of hockey players are in these leagues that you are naming off and how crucial development is in your formative years which you have missed. Think of it like learning a new language; very difficult for an adult, much easier for a child. Unless you are just a freak athlete and didn't realize it until 20 years old... well I do analysis by trade and I can tell you that your odds of success in your outlined plan is HIGHLY unlikely.

Also, I am not one to tell people what to do with their lives. You do what you want. But the poster who told you to spend 8 hours in the gym/ice 350 days a year. I am going to help you and let you know you would be very smart to ignore that asinine advice. Do something better with your time man.

If you do decide to go down this path you will realize very quickly just how in over your head you are but I wish you the best.


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Old
10-15-2015, 05:39 PM
  #19
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It doesn't feel good to shoot down other people's dreams but your goals are super unrealistic. You completely underestimate just how good of hockey players are in these leagues that you are naming off. Unless you are just a freak athlete and didn't realize it until 20 years old... well I do analysis by trade and I can tell you that your odds of success in your outlined plan is HIGHLY unlikely.

Also, I am not one to tell people what to do with their lives. You do what you want. But the poster who told you to spend 8 hours in the gym/ice 350 days a year. I am going to help you and let you know you would be very smart to ignore that asinine advice. Do something better with your time man.

If you do decide to go down this path you will realize very quickly just how in over your head you are.
agree 100%

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Old
10-15-2015, 06:10 PM
  #20
lorwood
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Just go to YouTube and search development leagues u16 or u17. Watch the videos and remind yourself that most of these high school aged players you are watching will never make D3.
Work on your game for fun and get yourself into college or trade school so you can earn a realistic living.

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10-15-2015, 06:43 PM
  #21
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I've made my decision now. I agree that a semi pro league is way out of my league, but not college. Some of you are trying to say that even D2/3 college hockey is full of elites, but I call BS on that. I know D3 players, some are great, others are just decent, but overall most of them played casually through out their life and aren't super athletes.

I'm going to train hard this year and play an adult league next year. The following year I will go to college (Likely D3, maybe D2). I'm not going to college to play hockey, I'm actually going to get a degree, but I will play hockey as well. To anyone who thinks that that is too high of a standard is just a pessimist. I am going to enjoy college hockey while it lasts, and spend the rest of my life casually playing in beer leagues, etc

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Old
10-15-2015, 07:08 PM
  #22
Beezeral
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Originally Posted by BrobReborn View Post
I've made my decision now. I agree that a semi pro league is way out of my league, but not college. Some of you are trying to say that even D2/3 college hockey is full of elites, but I call BS on that. I know D3 players, some are great, others are just decent, but overall most of them played casually through out their life and aren't super athletes.

I'm going to train hard this year and play an adult league next year. The following year I will go to college (Likely D3, maybe D2). I'm not going to college to play hockey, I'm actually going to get a degree, but I will play hockey as well. To anyone who thinks that that is too high of a standard is just a pessimist. I am going to enjoy college hockey while it lasts, and spend the rest of my life casually playing in beer leagues, etc
Most colleges have club teams. Look into that.

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10-15-2015, 07:10 PM
  #23
manictech
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Please let us know which college hockey team you make.

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10-15-2015, 07:24 PM
  #24
lorwood
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In your OP you state you can barely skate. Street hockey and Ice hockey are two completely different sports. It's like saying I am going to win The Masters because I can hit a Baseball a mile.

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10-15-2015, 07:35 PM
  #25
BrobReborn
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In your OP you state you can barely skate. Street hockey and Ice hockey are two completely different sports. It's like saying I am going to win The Masters because I can hit a Baseball a mile.
Not at all... If I have a good hard shot on street, I also have it on ice. I never said it would be easy, I still have a lot of work to do, but I will literally be putting in 20+ hours a week on ice when winter comes. I'll be happy to keep everyone updated, because I really think some of you guys are being outlandish.

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