Amy Stuart looks for more than on ice skills when it comes to selecting her team. While she emphasizes the importance of being a strong skater, Stuart states that coachability is key when it comes to choosing players for her roster.
“Other aspects of the game – shooting, positional play – are easier to teach,” explained Stuart, who coaches within the Toronto Eagles organization. “I think most coaches are also looking for coachability, which comes down to the player’s ability to listen, focus and demonstrate a positive attitude.”
Stuart is one of the hundreds of GTHL coaches currently running tryouts during the League’s tryout period. Starting with “AAA” teams, tryouts run through until May and provide an opportunity for coaching staff to get to know a players skill set and personality.
“It’s always challenging to get a good read on a player during a tryout,” admits David Lee, a coach with the Vaughan Rangers Minor Bantam “A” team this past season. “Perhaps the easiest thing to look for is work ethic, I want to see a player who is working hard and competing. My suggestion to any player at tryouts is to make it impossible for a coach to pick someone else. If you are the hardest working player on the ice, it is hard not to want you on the team.”
While coaches evaluate potential players, it’s the players themselves who are also doing their own homework on what a coach brings to the table.
“We made sure to discuss team goals, philosophy, budget, practice regiment, and times with coaches,” explained parent Mark Goulart. “It made it easier to see if it was a right fit from a social and skill perspective.”
Goulart’s son Joshua is familiar with the tryout process, recently making the jump from “A” to “AA” thanks to some hard work and determination put in both on and off the ice. When it came to tryouts, Joshua says it was all about having the confidence to know his own ability.
“Confidence and determination are important qualities to demonstrate, in addition to your skill,” explained Joshua – a recent OHF champion with the Streetsville Tigers Peewee “AA” team. “Push yourself to try your hardest at all aspects of the game and if you fall in the process, pick yourself up and get back into it and don’t beat yourself up and keep chugging along.”
Click here to see a full list of all tryouts.