I’m stoked for the season. It’s my 39th year in hockey and I’m honored that the club has entrusted me to take the lead. 2 league changes will create a newness, a fresh experience. Let’s enjoy the improvements, be gracious in defeat and victory and take it day by day. We’re going to have to step our game up. That means meaningful practices that foster the high performance mind. We’re a great coaching crew that will be working together to deliver the telluride hockey experience. And No matter how good we get I’m still sticking by my focus Good players Great people. Adam Geeter said it best in his story about the Telluride Can.
2019-2020 Tryout Guidelines
The idea is that by setting the expectations for how tryouts will go and what their purpose is, we can then turn this into a positive learning opportunity all the way around.
What do we hope to achieve with tryouts? Why tryouts at all? How can we rethink tryouts so that the experience can help a kid process both sides of the coin this time and down the line? How can we respect tryouts for the structural value they lend to the season while understanding they’re an inherently flawed process? These and more are all things that have been considered.
We hope to use tryouts as a tool for uniting LIKE players so that they can compete together against other LIKE teams. It’s our attempt to organize ourselves so our kids can compete on even playing fields with their mountain neighbors. Of course there are risks that come along with this tryout nonsense.
Whether you’re B, A or house league it’s ONE team. IF WE CAN GET THIS RIGHT We’re 70% of the way there! If the kids can learn from this tryout opportunity to compete, but also treat each other with ongoing mutual respect regardless of defense center left right B, A or goalie then we’re winning. A lot of that is up to us, the community around the kids. How do we deal with it? How do we keep our stuff out of it? Can we just keep it positive so the kids can be kids and keep it positive amongst themselves? My one great hope for the season is that we can.
Because the rest is easy. It’s about the kid getting the chance to play the best game there is, it’s about the parent watching their kid fail, flail and succeed all in the same moment, it’s about your team and your town, It’s about living as a big hockey playing family through the winter and it’s a little bit about the Green Bay Packers.
It’s nice to know ahead of time so here goes my best attempt to lay it out.
Squirt A 4 forwards 6 defenseman 2 player/goalies
Squirt B 9 forwards 6 defenseman and 2 player/goalie
Games: When girls u-12 conflicts with squirt A or B we encourage female players to play where they think it’s best and communicate those decisions to their coaches.
Practices: Girls playing squirt are encouraged to check out u-12 practices and bring their skills back and forth to each team’s practices.
Peewee A 4 defenseman 4 forwards 1 goalie and 1 player/goalie
Peewee B 9 player/goalies
Same game and practice guidelines for u-12 peewee crossovers.
3 defenseman 5 forwards 1 goalie + Brooklyn when she can
Bantam B 9 player/goalies + Brooklyn when she can but u-15 is her priority
Varsity 6 defenseman 6 forwards 2 goalies
Jv 9 skaters and either Brooklyn or varsity goalie.
Goalies split varsity jv at the discretion of coaching staff
*****exact numbers are subject to change depending on final registrations.
Think of it as Try It Out instead of a Try Out. What does it feel like, for a kid, to go for it? What does it mean for something to matter to a young person? Parents encourage them yes to go for it, but also to be good teammates, be their best and own it. Try your hardest, see what’s in there beyond what you previously thought was all you had. Live that way for 2 young person weeks.
To accomplish this we will let the kids play for tryouts. It’s all about games in tryouts because hockey is all about can you play the game? Do you understand hockey’s complexities? So 60% of the ice time will be devoted to games and the other 40% to skill development. Tryouts are great to get everyone up and going with the kind of momentum we hope the kids can bring to their seasons.
I’d encourage parents and kids alike to watch the practices during the tryout periods. They’ll be similar in nature and so there’s a lot for a kid to learn by hanging out watching others practice hockey. Parents if you can don’t just watch your kid watch the hockey.
With the help of 2 non-parent hockey people that I believe to have solid hockey sense We’ll put together the teams by Friday November 1. You might not agree with every decision that’s made, but I hope you can be open to the idea that we were paying attention and really watching what was going on and these teams are our best judgement.
I’ll post the results November 1 at the rink when I’m there for the mini-mite practice 4:45-5:45. The big kids who find their team and then come out and help the little kids learn are the triple AAA players in my mind. I’ll stay at the rink on November 1 until 7 pm to dialogue about tryouts and then I’m moving on as the director of hockey to the season opener.
November 2 is the beginning of the season with u-12 and u-15 action against Steamboat. Be there to support the squads.
We’ve had a very successful fundraising fall. The success of the KG golf tournament puts a lot of pressure on the October 18-20 Bridal Veil Cup Community Hockey Tournament to deliver. If you’re not playing come watch. Starting next Wednesday you can stop by Shaka Hockey at 124 East Pacific and buy 5 pucks for 10 buck$. The $1000 we raise will go towards on ice tools we can use creatively in practices this year. The pucks will go into buckets at the rink and be there in quantity so we can run really good shooting drills. 4 puck shooting drills aren’t fun with three pucks.
Western Colorado Hockey League is the league our squirts-bantams will compete in. Colorado Girls Hockey League is the league for the u-12 and u-15. I think people will appreciate what these relationships do for our kids. Please take care to be sportsmanlike and encourage our kids to be the same. All game schedules are available on the web at co.hockey or telluridehockey.com.
Mites and Minis
For the mites there will a few OPTIONAL hockey jamborees in the area as well as the Telluride MLK Jam. Mites and minis are all about having a high-quality overall hockey experience. We’ve been lucky that older players have picked up the fun of helping out at mites and minis-let’s keep that going this year. For any restless parents my advice is Don’t worry about it, by thanksgiving they’ll all be ripping around, tell your kids you love watching them skate and then prove it by standing there with your nose pressed against the glass while you text, drink coffee and talk story with other hockey parents. Telluride is one of the easiest places in the world to be a hockey parent.
What is Telluride League?
For Squirts-Bantams we are launching an initiative around small games that incorporate A, B and house players. One night each week we’re just going to play small games, keep score and keep a standings of those results in a year long battle of Telluride. Winner gets some type of rad prize, a dvd box set of seasons 1-25 of Seinfeld perhaps or the trophy that we have a whole season to come up with. This is supposed to be a fun way to come together and use our competitiveness to make everyone around us better. If we don’t like it next year we can try windsprints for an hour each week.
What about the other practices?
There’s a practice called Team Practice which is when you work on things like breakouts and regroups and team defense and the 5 man offense.
ADM Practice is based on the guidelines given to us by USA Hockey. ADM stands for Athlete Development Model. These practices will be small station driven where kids can work on skills inside of drills.
For the first 6 weeks I’ll be spending a lot of time on the ice working with both our players and coaches. The goal is to get each team ready to play their first games and to help create a vision of what’s possible for each group. I’ll also be spending a lot of time solving for the different things that will definitely come up. With the help of each family I want to not only take these kids across the winter, but take them on a hockey journey. Hopefully the Avs are fun to watch this year and hopefully we also get to see flashes of brilliance in our kids. If there’s something you think I can help with let me know. Try to find me at the rink or at my shop during the work day, and you can also email Grayson@lizardheadhockey.com
From Thanksgiving to March I’ll help everywhere I can in the program. I won’t be at every practice and game for every team for those next 19 weeks, but I will consistently be involved across the board.
If parents have ideas find me. I’ve got a lot of good ideas, but not all the ideas. 90% of feedback is helpful so therefore I’ll take my chances and leave myself open to 100% of the feedback that is offered. Thanks for offering it.
25 weeks is a long time to go without a day off. I want to be realistic. I want to go skiing too. And don’t forget that sometimes I like to just play hockey it doesn’t always have to be about Lizard Head Hockey. My point is I’m going to need days away from the rink and the teams so I can be fresh when I am there with them. Thanks for understanding.
That’s it for now. I’m sure there will be more later on.
You can find me at my shop at 124 East Pacific or at the rink. And you can reach me by email Grayson@lizardheadhockey.com