Hi Hockey Fans,
I know that one of the biggest challenges that parents mention to me is that their child’s size keeps them from moving up. I have been a victim of this my whole life as well so I really relate to it. Coaches will typically lean towards size, all other things being equal. This is particularly evident when body checking comes into play at minor bantam AA and higher. Some coaches may not even look at you given your size, whereas lots of bigger players will get several opportunities. So, how can smaller players ever be successful given this uneven playing field?
SKILL!!! What you lack in size, you have to make up in skill. I just took a quick look at the NHL top 10 scoring leaders. You have several players who are over six feet tall and 200 pounds or more. However, you’ll also notice Johnny “Hockey” Gaudreau in Calgary who is listed as 5’9″ and 157 pounds. Also worth noting that the Chicago Blackhawks dynamic duo of Patrick Kane and Artemi Panarin both come in at 5’11”, but only 177 and 170 pounds respectively. By comparison, Sidney Crosby is 5’11” and weighs in at 200 pounds.
So how do these three succeed in a game that averages players over six feet tall and 200 pounds? They separate themselves with their skills! They skate quickly, they stick handle like magicians, and they shoot in the blink of an eye. Hockey is a game of speed and if you can make decisions and execute quicker than your opponent, you give yourself a huge advantage!
Instead of looking at your size being a disadvantage, look at the natural advantages it gives you! You can be harder to hit, have more agility, and can be more sneaky. If you use these natural advantages in addition to your skill, you can always find a way to make an impact on the game and set yourself apart.
There is a revolution coming in the game. Players like Johnny Gaudreau, Mitch Marner,
and Patrick Kane are becoming higher in demand as they can create offense. Today’s NHL is goal deprived and the movement towards offensive skill is going to grow as teams try to find a competitive advantage.
Skill will always be needed in sports. For smaller players, you do have to excel in order to get noticed, but with your natural advantages of quickness and agility you can set yourself apart in a game built on speed.
If you need any further tips, drop me a line!