Training Camp Exceptional Part 5: Exit meetings

Kelvin Cech

Steady contributor in multiple roles over the years at the coaches site, current General Manager and Head Coach of the MJHL Niverville Nighthawks, former assistant coach with the UBC Thunderbirds Men's Hockey team.

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Dignity, respect, and gratitude are the rule of the day during uncomfortable exit meetings.


Each coach who contributed to this series stressed the importance of honesty as the backbone of your exit meetings. And backbone is certainly required – releasing a player is never a fun task, but it’s a necessary one unless you want to carry a huge roster and chip your problems off the glass into the neutral zone where they’ll inevitably come back to haunt you.

Provided you’ve been thorough during training camp, you should feel confident in the decisions you and your staff have made. As we’ve seen earlier in the series, if you know what your team needs on or off the ice and you’ve communicated your expectations, then a lot of your decisions should become obvious. Hopefully you’ve gone into training camp with an open mind, because some of the best decisions you can make might come as a surprise, but that’s what training camp is for – happy surprises.

Whether you’re releasing a player or moving them on to the next phase, exit meetings are rarely comfortable.

Now imagine what the player is feeling on the other side of the table.

This is the fifth of a six part series called Training Camp Exceptional. Here’s the criteria we used:

Age Groups

As the range of contributing coaches demonstrates, we made a distinction between training camp and tryouts. This series is generally intended for junior hockey and older, though many elements will no doubt apply to U18 and younger.


Each post will cover the bones of training camp, from the planning, implementation, and fall-out. Hopefully you’ll get some inspiration or knowledge to help you run your next camp.

Dignity, respect, and gratitude are the rule of the day during uncomfortable exit meetings . . .



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