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2019-20 TRYOUTS BEGIN MAY 20th

By Matt Kakabeeke, Hockey Director, 05/14/19, 4:00PM EDT


Tryouts begin next week for the 2019/20 season.  Hard to believe it is time again for hockey, so I trust you enjoyed your spring and hopefully your child experienced another sport!  

Obviously, our club is unique in the Michigan hockey landscape by being a USA Hockey Model Club and having a dedicated Skill Development team of professional and college players and coaches to assist each of our coaches and their staff in evaluating players throughout our tryout process.
We anticipate having three or four of the Skill Development team members, plus a goalie coach from the Skill Development team at each tryout (either on the ice or evaluating from the stands) who will make recommendations to the coaches regarding their team roster selections.  

The numbers for tryout registrations are strong and we have noticed an increase in the number of families from other areas in western Michigan and northern Indiana interested in being a part of our club.  Subsequently, we expect a portion of each roster to change, which can be stressful for families and players.
Often times, parents are concerned about politics during this time of year, and we are fortunate to have a knowledgeable skills staff that our coaches can rely on while they work to put together the best team possible at each age division, and to combat the perception of politics playing a part in the final roster selections.

If you have any questions about our process, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me or to Dave Toth - speculation and discussion in the stands rarely ends positively, and usually as a result of not having the correct information. We strive to be as transparent as possible, and are available to address questions and concerns.

We recognize this process can be hard, especially for players that may not make an invitation night or a final roster. Our goal is to keep the experience as positive as possible for players and parents, and we hope you will do the same.

Some things to remember to help your child navigate the tryout process (full article here, highlights below):


Tryouts are a process. How you deal with hockey tryouts will leave lasting impressions on your children, and they will see how you react to the process. If you’re anxious and stressed, your children will feel the same. If you’re positive and focus on trying your best and having fun, your child will echo that sentiment. Try not to compare your child to other players, especially in front of them! It can cause a negative effect on your child’s confidence.


The tryout process can be stressful, so be positive and encourage your child to do his/her best. As a parent, you can’t “make” your child be amazing at hockey, or anything else for that matter. You can only support and nurture his/her true potential.
How you deal with disappointment is also a teachable moment as a parent’s role. Unfortunately, dealing with disappointment is a lesson kids will eventually have to learn. As parents, it’s important to help them process and deal with disappointment. If you’re proud of whatever team your child makes, you’re showing that you’re supportive.


Playing youth sports for kids is as much a social experience as it is a competition. The kids want to win, of course! But what they truly want is simple – to play hockey and have fun! That’s what it all comes down to in their eyes – not the politics or how many goals they scored. While it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of the game, parents often need this reminder.