Let’s talk about that sweet spot between the end of training camp and the start of your regular season, that special time when optimism mingles with ambition because no one in the league has lost a game yet. Your roster is manageable, you can begin forging real relationships with new players and building on relationships with returning players.
For me, this is the time when the word rookie is retired for the season. Prior to training camp there’s a rookie camp, and that’s fine – rookie camp is focused on prospects competing with their peers and the chance to participate in main camp. But once that’s over, there are no more rookies, only first-year players and returning players. Everyone will be a unique and important contributor on the journey to come.
This is one of the most exciting times of the year, and if you navigate it right and create an indestructible foundation through team building, then every player, trainer, coach, and staff member will have a base of strong culture to which they can return to when the journey inevitably gets bumpy.
This is the final post in 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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