Assessing Talent in a child

Discussion in 'The Rink' started by happyhab*, Mar 23, 2010.

  1. Pablo Messier Registered User

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    Every kid is different. Some kids like to play rough, some dont. Some are selfish, some are too unselfish. If he enjoys playing, keep it up. Find a coach who cares about individual development over winning. Once the confidence grows, he'll become a totally different player. Drop a level or two if that is where you find the right coach.
     
  2. Mr Jiggyfly Registered User

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    You can’t really teach desire and effort.

    My daughter has been skating since she was four and playing hockey at six (just turned 9), but she was kind of content to hang back and just let the play come to her until this past season.

    What changed? Her desire, because she set a goal for herself.

    A 12u travel coach happened to see us running drills this past summer and approached me about her trying out for his team... I knew she wasn’t ready and politely declined.

    She asked me why she couldn’t play, and I said she needed more time and I was in no hurry to rush her...

    Ever since that day she has been self-motivated to get better because she wants to play travel/rep hockey.

    She does her own drills after school on the synthetic ice I got her two years ago that was barely being used... now she’s wearing it out.

    She’s constantly asking me to get her on the ice to work on things she needs to improve...

    And her game has improved dramatically since this time last year.

    She had to want something for herself, and nothing I said or hinted at in the past motivated her to get better... she needed to be self-motivated with her own goals for herself.
     
  3. Slats432 Registered User

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    You don't know what you have in a player until Bantam. My kid who played Peewee Tier 5 made Junior A.
     
    Jjbuck and NNCbama like this.
  4. Yukon Joe Registered User

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    So what turned your kid around? That's a hell of a jump.
     
  5. Slats432 Registered User

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    Training and work ethic. When he was cut from Peewee AA and sent back to house, the next offseason he started with a personal trainer and was playing 3 on 3 in the summer. By the next fall he was Bantam Tier 3, then Bantam AA then Minor Midget AAA and Midget AAA for two years before signing in the SJHL.

    You have to be honest with your strengths and weaknesses. Also be willing to work your ass off to fix them. For him it was always being fast enough (Big kid). Had pretty much everything else.

    Finding a good trainer, good camps to go to and putting in the time.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2020
  6. cynicalcitizen Registered User

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    So, is the original post kid a phenom draft talent now?
     
  7. Craig Ludwig Registered User

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    My kids are now teenagers so I have watched an entire region in Montreal grow up. What I can tell you is that the select few that were standouts at 7-8 years old, and I mean major standouts, were the ones that are now being selected by the Prep Schools, QMJHL and US Colleges. But the keys to being standouts were tremendous skating ability (something very hard to teach), but also the killer instinct, and not vision. I have seen others that didn't have that innate ability, yet did the 10,000 hours, and although they were good, never equalled those gifted kids that practiced a lot less. Vision will come, but skating like the wind cannot be taught, it's almost like they were born with skater's hips.

    Also, those gifted kids were also the best soccer and baseball players also.
     
  8. DannyGallivan Your world frightens and confuses me

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    Some comment in general about my observations with 7/8 year old kids.

    Passing: they are just starting to "get" this part of the game, but most kids still do not even try to pass. This part of the game will come.

    Puck hogs: On the one hand, the only way to really develop skill is to do it in a game situation. Puck handling is a very important skill, and in my opinion the whole purpose of hockey at this stage (other than the prime directive of having fun) is to develop skills. So, I don't really have a problem with kids overhandling the puck - on occasion. But, on the other hand...

    Hockey Sense: ... they need to develop hockey sense as well. And a large part of that involves when and where to pass the puck, so stickhandling through the entire on-ice lineup does not help achieve this part of development. The kids also need to know where to go on the ice when they don't have the puck, whether it's offense or defense. To me, this is the toughest part of learning the game. I've seen kids with lots of talent not make the A team because of a lack of hockey sense. I've also seen slow skaters who always seem to find the back of the net because they know where to be and when to be there.

    Competitiveness: This is more about mindset than skill, but it's the one thing that will separate them from the pack when skills are equal. They need to want that puck when the other team has it - they need to learn to appreciate pursuit and checking.

    Conclusion: At this age, time on the ice and time touching the puck are the most important goals IMO. Kids aren't going to get better standing still and watching, they need to get involved. And this is a good time to invest in some extra training (power skating particularly), in order to give the kids the basic skills that they can practice during the season.

    I really don't care that much about the score or wins and losses at this age. To me, it's about the kids having fun and getting better. What I hate the most is coaches at this level trying to have kids stay back in a defensive shell. That's not going to improve their skills. Taking the odd risk and learning the ebbs and flows of the game and where to be on the ice will make them better.
     
  9. DannyGallivan Your world frightens and confuses me

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    Although you aren't directing this at me, I didn't even know this thread was so old... I just assume that these things are current. That's funny. Some things are timeless, I guess.
     
  10. Jjbuck Registered User

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    No truer words have been spoken!

    My kid was the slowest thing on the ice in the lowest tier peewee. Just kept telling him, wait till bantam, where you can slow those fast kids down.

    He was an undersized bantam, but loved contact. Since he was always small/slow, we focused on checking clinics years before he could hit.

    He always had high hockey IQ. Always tough, no fear of big kids. And had proper check technique.

    Very driven, worked hard, years with skate coaches. Was always over looked early, stuck with it, just finished HS hockey as one of his coaches favorites.

    Most kids from his peewee/bantam teams quit years ago. We have 2 college club team tryouts on the schedule.

    Things change when kids can look at their toes all game anymore ...

    No one has a clue about their kid till the hits start coming. I've seen my share of all stars fade away.
     
  11. Lap2000 Registered User

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    I do a little scouting. In my experience, the best of the best kids in Novice, are the best of the best kids that now have a chance at being drafted to a CHL team. They were also the kids who got the most ice and were typically born earlier. Of those kids the puck hogs are still very good and they are all early born, of those kids who were not the puck hogs though and instead who showed great IQ or are born later in the year - they are now the best of the best and have the shot at being drafted. There are also a few who just never got much ice or instruction who have bumped up into this group of elite - but not many.

    PeeWee is the worst age to compare anything, Bantam Minor is the second worst age to do comparison. Those years are just a race to puberty and that's it for the most part as far as the top kids on the team. In second year Bantam AAA - most of those kids have hit so it's good to compare again, if it's not AAA then typically it's not yet time to compare because of the Puberty. If however the kid is now a hairy beast with a deep voice and he is not one of the top 2 or 3 of his team - he will not be drafted to the CHL. If he is only good (Maybe even middle of the team) - but hasn't sniffed Puberty - there is still hope for him! If he is outside of these parameters - it is unlikely to change.

    Many will say you can't tell anything at 7/8. You can't tell who will be good at 7/8 I agree but you can rule some out. If they are born early in the year and have received a lot of hockey instruction and have done summer camps etc. and they have not made the top travel team by then - chances are they will not make a living in the sport on the ice unless they are wearing stripes - which is a great and very challenging goal is well!
     

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