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HockeyDad23

Travel & Pens Elite Tryouts

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Im new to the forum and learning a lot as a hockey parent. My son is a 2009 birthday. He really wants to try out for Pens Elite. Last year at North Pittsburgh he dis not make a travel team. A lot of coaches that know my son from ADM and summer league told me they were he didnt make travel. Soooo we opted for the NP in house league. In a matter of a few games he is on Line 1 of 3 and for the most part is noticeable in a good way on the ice. Needless to say he became a stronger skater since tryouts.

i want to give him the opportunity to try out at Pens elite to see what it takes to make it as I dont think he would make it. Any advice on this? Is it a waste of our time?

Any advice for preparing for North Pittsburgh travel tryouts? Thanks all!

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A lot of this depends on your son's personality.  If he takes getting cut as a sign to work hard and set a benchmark, try out - he will know what to work for. If he will wallow in failure and it will kill his love for hockey, don't do it.

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3 minutes ago, HockeyDad23 said:

Thank you i appreciate the feedback. I guess its a delicate slope either way.

It really does depend on the individual player. Not knowing you from Adam I would say you need to try out at North Pittsburgh and make making a travel team your benchmark.  Be excited and enjoy the ride when he makes one, regardless of level. Treat him to his favorite dinner out even if it is squirt 6. 

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My child did not make a travel team first time out of the gate as a squirt. There is a lot of movement as players decline spots, so even if he doesn't get an invite at first, there is still a chance. Now he plays fairly high level hockey and works his butt off. And there is no shame in making a lower team. Kids are better served playing with like skill. They develop so much better that way. It is not a bad thing to experience a little disappointment, but to try out at Pens Elite 'just to see'....that is expensive and a bit time consuming. I would use that money to take him to a Pens game. You are still handing money over to the Pens, but it may be more enjoyable.

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It's good to hear that he's doing well in the in-house league. 

I would set your sights on North Pittsburgh again since you are familiar with that rink, and have a back-up plan with another club at a nearby rink if you really want to try travel hockey.  The nearest travel programs to North Pittsburgh are Butler Valley (playing out of Frozen Pond  on Route 8), Arctic Foxes (RMU Island Sports Center), Pittsburgh Aviators (Shadyside Academy or UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex), Beaver Badgers (Bradys Run), and Lawrence County Lightning (in New Castle PA playing out of Hess).   

I would not bother with Pens Elite.  You have many good programs in the north that can meet his needs.  Get him a year or two of travel experience and then maybe reconsider it if and when he can earn a spot on an "AA" or "A Major" travel team in the local travel league.

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13 hours ago, aaaahockey said:

It really does depend on the individual player. Not knowing you from Adam I would say you need to try out at North Pittsburgh and make making a travel team your benchmark.  Be excited and enjoy the ride when he makes one, regardless of level. Treat him to his favorite dinner out even if it is squirt 6. 

Great comment, and it is all about kids being placed on teams at a similar skill level and them having fun, especially at that age.

Don't let parent ego get in the way of the process - I know parents that change organizations every single year because for some reason, the group of evaluators got it all wrong when assigning little Johnny to the #3 team instead of the #1 AA team.  In cases like this, the kid suffers because they are not developing any long lasting friendships when going from one organization to another every single year.  Both of my kids that played PAHL and PIHL hockey played with some of the same kids for years, and my oldest has been out of hockey for years and is still friendly with those kids.

We all want the best for our kids, so my advice is to manage your expectations.  

Edited by fafa fohi
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People have told me that North Pittsburgh has a ton of kids at both the Peewee and Squirt level.   A lot of kids get cut from the travel teams.  If you really want to play travel hockey then I would at least consider Butler Valley or another program as a fall back to North Pittsburhg.

Additionally, try signing him up for the PPE tune up for tryouts.  Not all of the PPE kids do it but some do.  If he does it then he can see up close where he stands with some of the PPE kids.   

 

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On 2/10/2019 at 11:06 PM, Jack Handey said:

It's good to hear that he's doing well in the in-house league. 

I would set your sights on North Pittsburgh again since you are familiar with that rink, and have a back-up plan with another club at a nearby rink if you really want to try travel hockey.  The nearest travel programs to North Pittsburgh are Butler Valley (playing out of Frozen Pond  on Route 8), Arctic Foxes (RMU Island Sports Center), Pittsburgh Aviators (Shadyside Academy or UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex), Beaver Badgers (Bradys Run), and Lawrence County Lightning (in New Castle PA playing out of Hess).   

I would not bother with Pens Elite.  You have many good programs in the north that can meet his needs.  Get him a year or two of travel experience and then maybe reconsider it if and when he can earn a spot on an "AA" or "A Major" travel team in the local travel league.

The Steel City Ice Renegades out of Alpha ice rink in Harmarville are also pretty close to North Pittsburgh for tryouts.  They seem to have a good number of travel teams in squirt.

Most importantly keep him on the ice as much as possible with clinics, 3 on 3 summer leagues etc. The more ice he gets as a squirt the more he will develop.

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Considering that Pens tryouts are right before NP tryouts I would say go for it. Explain to your son that it's at a higher skill level. Tell him upfront that he will likely not make it, but it will help him prepare for NP tryout.

This will not be a waste of time or money. Any tuneup at any rink would cost you the same or even more.

If he wants to progress to a higher level he needs to be exposed to it.

Taking Pens tuneup session is also a good idea, as someone suggested. You get the best value for the money there for sure.

Go for it. And it will help him make a better team at NP next year.

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23 hours ago, lferg said:

This will not be a waste of time or money. Any tuneup at any rink would cost you the same or even more.

 

A tryout is not the same as a tune-up.  Your player will get some advice and coaching in a tune-up but will get no coaching nor feedback in the tryout.  Unless you consider acceptance or rejection as feedback. 

Walk before you run and try a PAHL team first.

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On 2/15/2019 at 10:27 PM, lferg said:

 

Go for it. And it will help him make a better team at NP next year.

How do you figure? He has the skills that he is going to have right now, a try out isn't going to help him get on a better team between now and the next tryout. If you really want to spend $$, spend the tryout fee on a lesson. Dollar for dollar, if you are looking to improve a skill, private lessons with a good instructor are the best bang for your buck over anything, really. But to expect anything now to help much for this year's try out is a bit much. He is where he is at this point, anyone who tells you something different is most likely trying to get in your wallet.

Lessons over the summer are the best time for those gains. Cut costs by sharing the lesson with a similarly skilled bud or two.

That being said, keep him moving on the ice before tryouts so he doesn't lose his skate legs and he doesn't get rusty. However you do it, through a private, a tune up, a public skate, stick time, any of that works. A try out is not good for that purpose.

What is at NP's rink between now and tryouts? Do you know families on the travel teams you can talk to? NP director of hockey ops? Most rinks and programs offer things to keep the rust off before tryouts. Probably get better info there on what you need to make a team then from here where people post anonymously.

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