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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

understanding the path to college hockey

Be a student.  Its that simple.  You as a player must, MUST, have the grades and standardized testing scores to keep doors open.  You maybe the next great one, but if your grades are as high, as a rock on water, the ncaa is not your path.   The path for any college bound athlete begins here.

Its not just about finish AAA/HS/Preps and going off to Jr's.  No coach in the world can make the NCAA change their standards.  Further, DO NOT forget, there are very, very few "full rides".  The most NCAA d1 scholarships available to schools is 18.  I dont care where you go, or what you heard, the number is 18 D1 full scholarships.  That money is spread around 25 to as many as 30 guys, do the math. So you need to have the grades, to get the academic money.  Money which conferences like the ECAC only uses, that is right since the Ivy's do not have athletic scholarships...athletes must be students first.  Then there is the Atlantic conference which just increased their scholarships to 16 for 2014.  So if hockey is your dream, you had best apply yourself in school.  D3 schools, do not have athletic scholarships, again only academic, and the general picture is that money offsets your fees to about that of average state school, if your good.
The hockey lifestyle....eating well, getting proper rest, studying, working out, and playing hockey.  In that order.

Good to the last drop.  That is what the commercials tell us, but what happens after the last drop, after that final moment, of your final shift in your final game?   For most in HS this will have been your largest stage, and unless you go on to play in the hotter NAHL markets or the USHL or BCHL or NCAA  you will never again play before such crowds.  The JR player, hopefully you have exhausted yourself in every moment of every day, and been able to answer affirmatively that you have done all you could in each moment to improve. THe NCAA player should have done the same, and again in the class room.  What now?  It is time for the rest of your life, friend.  Time for you take all you have learned in sport, from competition and apply it to your daily life, to your own family.  Hopefully you find it within yourself in time, to return, and mentor others.  Individual greatness is an amazing, and generally very temporary state of being.   It is however in those longer lasting moments after greatness, helping others who desire to follow in your footsteps that matter most, that are the most impactful.   Your wisdom, your experiences are invaluable tools of education and inspiration.  Those last forever, that is true legacy.
more to come....