Difficult Decisions Ahead

Difficult Decisions Ahead

Parent
Parent

March 19th, 2012, 3:21 pm #1

My son will be a freshman next year. He is a mid-level AAA player. I believe he has a chance to make a tier 1 midget team, but I do not believe he will ever be a superstar. We are having a very difficult time making a decision about next year. Our family has been following the high school tournament and have even been to some games. The level of hockey, even at varsity, is not what he has been playing at bantam major AAA. The atmosphere, however, isn't even close. It has to be a lot of fun to be on the ice in front of all of those people. He will be going to a school with a nice hockey program and I believe he would be a big fish in the high school hockey pond. On the other hand, he won't be pushed if he plays high school and we would never know what he could have achieved. Making a midget AAA team is not a given either, but I'm pretty sure he would make a quality CSDHL team.

He is very confused as to what he wants to do. We as parents are confused too. He is the one playing, so the decision will ultimately be his, but I would like to know what way to direct him.

Have any of you been there? What did you decide? Did you regret the choice? I know that I'm going to get a lot of crap answers, but mixed in I have to believe there will be some honesty.

Just so to give you more information, he is playing for his high school in the spring as well as skating for a midget AAA program. We thought he should get a feel for the level of high school hockey, plus he wanted to play with his friends.
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Our Story
Our Story

March 19th, 2012, 3:53 pm #2

My mid level AAA son faced the same decision. He was cut from a AAA Midget and two Junior tryouts. But HE was focused on his dream. Since it was HIS dream to play college hockey, we, as a family put 100% behind him. He went to another AAA Midget program and worked his tail off on ice, off ice, and in the classroom. He closed the gap and then puilled away. He went to the USHL for 2 years and then into Division 1 hockey. On his way through AAA Midgets, working his way onto the first or second forward line, working his way onto the special teams, and playing well at AAA showcases got him to the next level. And the USHAL/College scouts did not count his goals as much as they counted his crisp passes, hustle, ability to create scoring opportunities, grades, character references, and ACT. Whether you son chooses High School or AAA, let him chase his dream and you be there for him.
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HD
HD

March 19th, 2012, 7:26 pm #3

My son will be a freshman next year. He is a mid-level AAA player. I believe he has a chance to make a tier 1 midget team, but I do not believe he will ever be a superstar. We are having a very difficult time making a decision about next year. Our family has been following the high school tournament and have even been to some games. The level of hockey, even at varsity, is not what he has been playing at bantam major AAA. The atmosphere, however, isn't even close. It has to be a lot of fun to be on the ice in front of all of those people. He will be going to a school with a nice hockey program and I believe he would be a big fish in the high school hockey pond. On the other hand, he won't be pushed if he plays high school and we would never know what he could have achieved. Making a midget AAA team is not a given either, but I'm pretty sure he would make a quality CSDHL team.

He is very confused as to what he wants to do. We as parents are confused too. He is the one playing, so the decision will ultimately be his, but I would like to know what way to direct him.

Have any of you been there? What did you decide? Did you regret the choice? I know that I'm going to get a lot of crap answers, but mixed in I have to believe there will be some honesty.

Just so to give you more information, he is playing for his high school in the spring as well as skating for a midget AAA program. We thought he should get a feel for the level of high school hockey, plus he wanted to play with his friends.
I'd sit with him and try to get him to answer honestly what does he want from hockey. If he likes the social aspect of high school sports, play HS. He will still become a better player, he'll get exercise, and he'll probably develop a life long love of the sport.

If he thinks wants to compete and try to move on to juniors and D1. Then I'd advise him to get on the best AAA roster he can and compete, compete, compete. At his age, attitude and effort start to count as much as skill. If he can get on a team and works hard, there are a lot of options to juniors. Since he's a freshman, he's got six years of AAA/junior hockey ahead of him if that's what he really wants.

In midgets, it's possible to make big moves developmentally. It's really up to him and your family's ability to support him.

Good luck
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anon
anon

March 20th, 2012, 1:50 am #4

The HS option for my son had was terrible. He wound up at CS and loved it. They succeeded for that level and he had two trips to nationals. For him, though, there was no choice because the HS hockey here is bad.

If he had a north shore option and better play, I think he would have done it.

Either way, like you said, it has to be his decision. Not easy to be sure.
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anon
anon

March 20th, 2012, 3:50 am #5

Does your skater have good grades, drive, discipline, skill and size...why not prep?
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anon
anon

March 20th, 2012, 4:06 am #6

A difficult decision usually revolves around a medical procedure not youth hockey.
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anon
anon

March 20th, 2012, 2:29 pm #7

Better info here than on your HS post. What may be the best yardstick is the amount of time he is willing to spend away from the rink on dry land and weights. This will be the biggest factor getting him to the next level. I have let my 94 make his own mind up on where he wanted to play, and supported his decisions. His off ice has been the difference, and with each higher level, the amount of time he spends has grown. Good luck and either way it is an exciting part of your sons life.
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Parent
Parent

March 20th, 2012, 3:52 pm #8

I would like to thank everyone for all of the thoughtful responses. It is interesting to see how the responses from AAA parents differ from H.S. parents. I might throw this on AA to see what they have to say too.

Anyway, another question...

If my son doesn't make a tier 1 mm team (which is a definite possibility), should he play for a quality CSDHL program for a year and try tier 1 again next year, or go to HS?

He is small, by the way, and still has a lot of growing to do.

Again, I'm leaving this up to him. I just want to guide him.
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HD
HD

March 23rd, 2012, 4:55 am #9

If he is an ambitious hockey player, I'd steer him to CS and try to work on his weeknesses. Plan for another shot at AAA next year.
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anon
anon

March 28th, 2012, 3:32 am #10

Play high school CS is a money grab and high school is less travel, better practice times and as you noted the games are played in front of peers. Who needs the hassle of the pych job parents involved in CS... better for your kid if he loves the game to play high school.
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