Youth Hockey Tryouts vs The Job Interview
It's that most wonderful time of year (thank you Andy Williams)...the hockey tryout. It really should be considered a season all its own with the preparation, stress and craziness that comes with it. Long before the dates are announced the speculation starts. Who is leaving? Who is trying out? Is there a new coach? Did you hear that so-and-so is coming from such-and-such?
Nuts, I tell you.
It's a lot like looking for a job and take it from someone who has been there, it's extremely stressful. Let's follow the process and see just how closely they resemble each other.
Send in your resume....or in this case your player's application for tryouts. While sending in your resume doesn't require a fee, the youth hockey tryout application sure does. A resume and application both list your qualifications by asking listing where you have worked and where your child has played. Also, like a job search, your kid usually isn't putting in just one application either.
Preparation...In the time between turning in your resume or application, and the actual interview or tryout you are preparing. For a job you are researching the company, discovering key players and looking for news that you can use. For hockey, it's the spring camps, clinics and private lessons that keep your player his or her sharpest. Finding out who the coach is and asking around to find out what the team may or not be looking for are other steps you can take. Like I said, it may as well be another season. We will call it the "mid-season".
Dress to impress...For an interview you need to wear company and position appropriate clothing (no jeans for a bank job) and for hockey? Well, it's not about what you wear, just that you brought it all. Nothing worse than a delay getting on the ice because of a forgotten helmet or pads. Well, nothing worse except for the hockey mom wrath that your player incurs for you having to drive all the way home to get whatever they forgot!
Play nice...It is important to look your interviewer in the eye, give a firm handshake and thank them for their time. In hockey your player should introduce themselves whenever possible, be polite and respectful of the coaches' time. No horsing around with their buddies or half-assing a drill. This is called putting your best foot, or skate, forward.
Show off...(in a good way) This is not the time to be modest, shy or retiring. The wallflowers are not going to get the job OR the spot on the team. In a job interview you need to be ready with solid questions and a knowledge of the organization. In hockey, don't sit on the sidelines. It's the player with initiative who's first for every drill or the goalie who stakes a claim in net before anyone else that is going to get noticed.
Know your competition...Find out who had the job last, strengths and weaknesses and why they left. In hockey you can do the same and find out what the coach is looking for. A defenseman who can score? A goalie who plays the puck? Show off skills like good teamwork if the team has struggled with puck hogs in the past.
Be a good sport...You always want to thank your interviewer with a post-interview email or even handwritten card. Your player should thank all the coaches involved and help clear off nets and pucks if the opportunity presents itself. Bonus points for supporting the other players trying out with a fist bump or similar token of hockey appreciation.
The aftermath...Got the job? Made the team? Celebrate! But be respectful of those who didn't make it. This can be a tough time and we have all been there. You didn't get the job? Your player didn't make the team? Usually that just means that you weren't the right fit for the company or your player wasn't the right fit for the team. Keep the sour grapes where they belong, in the bottle of wine you will consume before breaking the news to your player. Kidding...sort of.
Keep moving forward...There are other jobs and tryouts ahead. Your player needs to keep shooting for the moon, at the very least they will land among the stars.
Have you experienced some heartbreaking hockey tryouts or for that matter job interviews? Let me hear about it!