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:
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.
- Training Camp Exceptional Part 1: Schedules, volunteers & extras
- Training Camp Exceptional Part 2: On-ice training camp options
- Training Camp Exceptional Part 3: Pre-game guidance and communication
- Training Camp Exceptional Part 4: Training camp evaluation
- Training Camp Exceptional Part 5: Exit meetings
- Training Camp Exceptional Part 6: Post-camp team building
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