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Top 10 Ways to Make a Standout Impression at Hockey Tryouts!

by Coach Craig Didmon

Over the years many players have asked me for tips as they head into the Junior tryout camps so I have come up with ten simple ways that players can make a great impression at their tryouts.

1. Exude Confidence

Confidence is built through preparation so do your pre-camp homework. Find out as much information about your camp as possible; the schedule, the format, and even the competition. This simple act will put you ahead of the game. Knowing what to expect, helps breed confidence. A player that plays with confidence sets himself apart from the pack. Believing in yourself is that first step. If you are a younger player in the tryout and possibly not expecting to make the roster this year, set some realistic and attainable goals for yourself. Put things into perspective and make it clear to yourself what you are trying to accomplish.

2. Act Professional

You never have a second chance to make a first impression so make sure you’re upbeat, and not sleepy-eyed. Show mature personality and confidence. Officials and coaches are looking for players with high self esteem that are comfortable in the public eye. Be ready for a conversation if any team officials want to talk; it’s an opportunity.

3. Come to Camp in a Shirt and Tie?

It takes nerve to show up to a camp in a shirt and tie, and we always notice and take note. This simple act can often make a big difference as it shows a certain characteristic about that player. Your skill set is one part of the puzzle however, attitude and character are as equal parts on what the coaches, scouts and GM’s are looking for. But in saying that, if wearing a shirt and tie is going to negatively affect your focus and concentration then don’t jump that far out of your comfort zone. My advice is to definitely look good and be clean shaven; collared shirts and no ball caps is a really good start.

4. Your On-Ice Presence

Look good on the ice! Make sure your equipment is ready: your socks are the same colour, stick is taped and prepared, helmet is properly secured, there are not cuts in your pants or other areas and there no laces hanging out or broken. All of those equipment and uniform distractions need to be taken care of prior to camp so you can focus on the task at hand. Look prepared and treat the tryout as a job interview.

5. Show Your Intelligence

Good preparation is a key to this. It’s important when practicing that you understand the drills so watch and listen as best you can. In many camps they will have similar practices, so check and see if you have the opportunity watch the practice before and get to know the drills. Then you can go first and coaches love those players that lead the way. But if you don’t understand the drill completely definitely avoid going first!

6. Exhibit Positive Body Language

Coaches hate to see bad body language on the ice. Suck it up if things aren’t going well and keep a positive frame of mind. Every player is going to make a mistake, and it is how you handle yourself through those times of adversity that really counts at the end of the day. You are going to win some battles and you are going to lose some but through it all battle hard and show respect for your opponents win or lose.

7. Introduce Yourself

Pick your spot on this one. It doesn’t have to be on the first day, but try to find the opportunity. Tell the coach you just wanted to introduce yourself. Be well spoken, first and last name and where you are from then take it from there. In my position with the BCHL, I always like it when a player tells me his goal is to get a D1 NCAA Scholarship. When I hear this I know the player has clear and direct goals and that the player believes he can achieve them.

8. Show Leadership

Be a leader in the group. Be the one that brings your camp team together, and/or leads the warm up. Whatever leadership role you take on, it usually doesn’t go unnoticed.

9. Ask Questions but Not Too Many!

Asking questions is good; especially if you have an opportunity to communicate with a junior coach on the bench. Seeking advice is good, but just remember it’s a camp and there are lots of players so you don’t want to come off as the player that never understands the instructions or the drill. Sometimes you need to figure things out on your own.

10. Smile and Have Fun!

We play the game because it is fun and coaches want to have fun too. We love players that enjoy every moment; so work hard, roll with the punches and smile!

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If you have any questions call Craig (250) 642-7792 or email


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