If you are planning to enter professional hockey and play in big leagues then you might be thinking of where to begin and how. You don’t need to be a Pro-player, to begin with. All you need is preparation and practice. You can easily enter minor leagues if you know what you are good at, Grinder, Goal Scorer, or Enforcer.
The Timing/Age: Not all the players are early bloomers but there’s no doubt that the age at which you begin does have an impact on your career as a professional hockey player. As Luke Sandler New York, during an interview with Dr. Hockey says, that starting off early will get you far into the bigger leagues.
Teams often pick players from local clubs or even sometimes high school kids with potential. Right from the beginning, you can start earning your expenses, once you enter a league.
Where To Begin With: There is no such condition that you have to begin with a particular platform. Entering minor leagues like AHL, Southern League, or ECHL, can be easier as compared to entering NHL directly. You will have to work hard and go up the ladder to reach the bigger leagues. Luke Sandler, who is currently playing for Kalamazoo Wings in the ECHL, has begun his career when he was in junior high.
Remember the earlier you begin, the more are your chances to get higher in your professional ladder. Of course, not all players are early bloomers, and they are also doing great. But as you grow older you might lose out your preferences.
What To Expect: It is not going to be easy. Improving on a regular basis, practicing your game, and knowing your weaknesses and strengths can help you step ahead of others. Making your way in any professional sport is not as easy as it seems to be. Many of us would want to play before a handsome crowd, cheering, shouting, supporting the game.
Once you get to the minor leagues, at least, it is only then that you can expect to receive a paycheck for playing. Getting paid to play is every sportsman’s dream.
Decide Your Niche: Before entering any league you should know what is your niche. Are you good at playing as an enforcer or goal scorer? Plan your trials accordingly. If you are a scorer and you begin to play as an enforcer, probably you will not perform at your full potential.
Your niche is something that over time you’ll come to learn. You cannot decide before you even begin to play. Players often take half their careers to figure out what they are best at, and it is completely acceptable. Take your time to figure out yourself.
As quoted by Dr. Hockey, “Success Happens when the prepared meets the opportunity.” There is no correct time or strategy to do anything. The beginning is always rough but the path ahead is an ice-cream smoothie. So, begin with your dream to be a star hockey player and remember, perseverance and practicing are the only things that will get you through the rough tides.