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Thread: Change high schools or not?

  1. #1
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    Change high schools or not?

    I have a question for anyone that has or known of someone(preferably female) that has moved away to play their freshman year of high school hockey at a different prep school or a public school hours away from home.
    My question is will this have a greater impact on her dream to play and be seen by Div. 1 schools ?
    It is a new coaching staff that sounds great and a really great school.
    She would have to live with another family as our family cannot move. We have known this family for only a year but seem very nice.
    My concern as her dad is will she be o.k without us and will we be ok without her on a daily basis. She will be home for most weekends.
    I feel this is a really important time of a teenagers life for overall growth and also the hardest times.
    I have no doubt in her abilities as a hockey player and a student.
    She has always been a very hard worker at anything she does and is very focused on her own goals.
    She has played a couple of years at varsity and plays and trains a lot in the off season.
    She has had the most points or top 5 in all of her tournaments she has been in on her AAA team and has advanced to the USA hockey summer camp.
    I have been told so many times that she needs to play in the "metro area" to continue to excel and be seen.
    Is this always the case?
    I've heard the Old cliché if she's good enough they will find her (I'm not totally on board with that one).
    Her high school team now has your mix of below average and average and 3-4 good players. I feel that this year really could be a good one, but after that I'm not sure.
    Ideally my wife and I would like to see her stay home and continue what she does now and play at home in the regular season, keep advancing in USA/ccm spring hockey, train in off season and play with her higher level AAA team but we also feel that the regular season is where it matters the most and feel strongly that coaching at this age can make all the difference in her future.
    I know there is no magic formula to get to a Div.1 school, but any advice on our situation would be appreciated.

    Basically we are looking for some advice on this.

    Thanks
    Minnesota Hockey Dad






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  2. #2
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    Re: Change high schools or not?

    I can't speak to your question from the standpoint of how much your daughter's chances for a scholarship will be enhanced by having her play for a better team, but I can tell you that I have raised a couple of (non-D1) children and would not trade those four years of watching them develop into the people they will become, for the possibility of getting a scholarship. Every time my children come home for a visit, we always reminisce about the things they did and the people they knew in their high school days. I am very thankful I was around to experience those years.

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    Re: Change high schools or not?

    That of course is our biggest hang up. We would never get those years back.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Leather helmet View Post
    I can't speak to your question from the standpoint of how much your daughter's chances for a scholarship will be enhanced by having her play for a better team, but I can tell you that I have raised a couple of (non-D1) children and would not trade those four years of watching them develop into the people they will become, for the possibility of getting a scholarship. Every time my children come home for a visit, we always reminisce about the things they did and the people they knew in their high school days. I am very thankful I was around to experience those years.
    I agree. My daughter had a chance to go to Shattuck/St Mary's when she was 13. She was a bit disappointed it didn't work out at the time but when her high school career was done she was happy she didn't go. She just graduated from Concordia-Moorhead playing 4 years for the Cobbers.

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    Re: Change high schools or not?

    I would encourage you/her to try to figure out a way to get plugged in to fall/spring hockey at OS and also try to get in some of their summer programming with Futures/Prospects (all in the metro area...most of the games are at Fogerty in Blaine). I am sure that there are girls who drive 1-2 hours each way to participate in these leagues and even farther to do the F/P weekends.

    In my opinion there are other ways to be seen outside of only being a player in the Twin Cities Metro area. The clearest example in today's HS game that does NOT go to SSM or play for a metro team that is Taylor Heise from Red Wing. She plays for a small school that does play some metro schools and has not made it to the state tourney for a couple of years but is absolutely on the radar of D1 schools and USA hockey.

    She plays in Fall/Spring Elite League and I am impressed by her almost every single shift she plays...

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    Re: Change high schools or not?

    You face the toughest decision for any aspiring ice hockey player that doesn't have the best options immediately in your vicinity - go to a higher visibility school/program away from home or stay home and hope there is enough visibility via summer leagues/showcases. Being in New England, my daughter had the good fortune of being able to go to a private school within relatively easy driving distance that raised her visibility as well as (and probably more importantly) her academics. She played with players at the school who were boarding students who faced the same situation you did and we saw the trials and tribulations of this approach. So I sympathize with your situation and the difficult choice you need to make.

    There is no right or wrong answer here. The away from home and the stay at home approach both work and fail for some kids. In the end, it is a personal decision which should be based on the speicfic situation. Here are some questions I would suggest that you need to answer before you decide what path to pursue (roughly in this order):

    - What is the primary goal - Scholarship, Division 1 hockey at any cost/effort, college hockey at any level with a good education, good education? Different answers will lead to different paths and perspectives on the approach - as different at the college/hockey experieces are at Concordia-Moorhead, U Wisonsin, Amherst, and Princeton. If the primary goal is a D1 scholarship, you need to get as much visibility as early as possible (freshman and sophomores are regularly being offered and committing to scholarships now) and the away approach may make more sense. If a good education is the primary goal, then the big question is if the away approach provides a better academic opportunity then staying home.

    - How mature is your daughter - An emotionally immature young lady will likely struggle more away from home. This will probably be tough for you to evaluate yourself as you are too close to the situation - I would suggest asking others you can trust to give you a straight answer about whether they think your daughter is emotionally ready to leave home.

    - How strong is the support mechanism at the new program/school - Sink or swim? Deep emotional and academic support? See the above as this relates to maturity.

    - How much interest have college coaches shown to date - If you are already gettting strong signals/inquiries from college coaches, then she may be OK at home. If she is going to the USA camps and getting no inquiries/attention, then the visibility issue may be more important. It's true that really exceptional players will likely be found wherever they are (there aren't many players like this), but the marginal/on-the-edge players (most in reality) are the ones who benefit most from more visibility - St Cloud isn't going to kill themselves looking for that 6th defenseman or 11th forward, but if a girl is in front of them frequently they might just default her into that spot.

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    Re: Change high schools or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by used2lurk View Post
    I would encourage you/her to try to figure out a way to get plugged in to fall/spring hockey at OS and also try to get in some of their summer programming with Futures/Prospects (all in the metro area...most of the games are at Fogerty in Blaine). I am sure that there are girls who drive 1-2 hours each way to participate in these leagues and even farther to do the F/P weekends.

    In my opinion there are other ways to be seen outside of only being a player in the Twin Cities Metro area. The clearest example in today's HS game that does NOT go to SSM or play for a metro team that is Taylor Heise from Red Wing. She plays for a small school that does play some metro schools and has not made it to the state tourney for a couple of years but is absolutely on the radar of D1 schools and USA hockey.

    She plays in Fall/Spring Elite League and I am impressed by her almost every single shift she plays...
    Thank you for your advice.
    It's funny you mentioned Taylor my daughter is currently in a camp with Taylor, nice young lady.


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    Re: Change high schools or not?

    Also should probably be mentioned that kids (often young) change schools or school districts for a variety of reasons in the TC metro area. Hockey is a significant driver (from composition of the team, coaching, opportunity to play varsity before 10th grade, etc.) in most cases but the educational piece is very important to some families too.

    SSM is a BIG number for school + hockey costs. $50k+ (https://www.s-sm.org/admissions/dome...rding-tuition/)

    Plenty of D1 hockey players have come out of Hill & BSM for $15k or so a year. One could have a pretty solid room & board situation for another $20-25k and then allocate $3k for Uber until your kid can drive. One could also rent in the Maple Grove/Eden Prairie/Woodbury area to go to HS and play hockey without the cost of a HM or BSM. Breck & Blake are also schools that seem to have good hockey programs. There is a higher tuition cost at both ($25-30k) and quite possibly more rigor to their academics but it is the right fit for some.

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    Re: Change high schools or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by used2lurk View Post
    Also should probably be mentioned that kids (often young) change schools or school districts for a variety of reasons in the TC metro area. Hockey is a significant driver (from composition of the team, coaching, opportunity to play varsity before 10th grade, etc.) in most cases but the educational piece is very important to some families too.

    SSM is a BIG number for school + hockey costs. $50k+ (https://www.s-sm.org/admissions/dome...rding-tuition/)

    Plenty of D1 hockey players have come out of Hill & BSM for $15k or so a year. One could have a pretty solid room & board situation for another $20-25k and then allocate $3k for Uber until your kid can drive. One could also rent in the Maple Grove/Eden Prairie/Woodbury area to go to HS and play hockey without the cost of a HM or BSM. Breck & Blake are also schools that seem to have good hockey programs. There is a higher tuition cost at both ($25-30k) and quite possibly more rigor to their academics but it is the right fit for some.
    Until a few years ago, when my daughter finished her playing career, I was buying goalie gear on a regular basis, and I started to view things in terms of "Goalie Pad Equivalents", or GPE. A midrange set of goalie pads (not top-of-the-line) can set you back $2000, so to see that that SSM costs 25 GPE is a sobering statistic.

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    Re: Change high schools or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Minne.Hockey.Dad View Post
    Thank you for your advice.
    It's funny you mentioned Taylor my daughter is currently in a camp with Taylor, nice young lady.


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    Are these camps attended by D1 scouts?
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    Re: Change high schools or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Timothy A View Post
    Are these camps attended by D1 scouts?
    This one is not


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    Re: Change high schools or not?

    Unfortunately I was not able to produce offspring talented enough to garner recruiting interest (all my wife's fault of course), so I have a question; can't a parent make a Youtube channel of their offspring's play and send links to different coaching staffs? Can a parent actually contact teams' staff and say, "hey, take a look at my kid?"
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    Originally Posted by Wisko McBadgerton:
    "Baggot says Hughes and Rockwood are centering the top two lines...
    Timothy A --> Great hockey mind... Or Greatest hockey mind?!?"

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    Re: Change high schools or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Timothy A View Post
    Unfortunately I was not able to produce offspring talented enough to garner recruiting interest (all my wife's fault of course), so I have a question; can't a parent make a Youtube channel of their offspring's play and send links to different coaching staffs? Can a parent actually contact teams' staff and say, "hey, take a look at my kid?"
    In my experience, there are more parents of D1 players than there are D1 players, if you catch my drift. Not sure that coaches are excited to hear from them directly.

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    Re: Change high schools or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Leather helmet View Post
    In my experience, there are more parents of D1 players than there are D1 players, if you catch my drift. Not sure that coaches are excited to hear from them directly.
    While the video recruiting thing is pretty common in sports with far higher participation (field hockey, lacrosse, softball, soccer, etc.) than women's ice hockey, it is rarely used in women's ice hockey because there are only a finite number of events where coaches need to to go to see nearly all recruits in person. They will always value their own live observation over some highly edited, only positive recruiting video.

    Coaches pretty much never want to hear from parents in the recruiting process and my experience suggests that the parents are far more likely to do harm rather than good. First contacts should come from players. Also, a player's parents are subject to the same contact rules that the player is, so they can't be a channel for "early" contact wrt NCAA rules. This needs to happen from recruit to coach (player initiated) or through a third party like a coach. And this is also where a highly connected coach at a boarding/billeting high school can make a huge difference - in connecting a talented player with coaches he or she knows.

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    Re: Change high schools or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Minne.Hockey.Dad View Post
    This one is not


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    Then while she may be getting the benefit of raising her skill level, she is losing a valuable opportunity to be seen and evaluated if she is interested in a D1 scholarship opportunity.

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    Re: Change high schools or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Minne.Hockey.Dad View Post
    I have no doubt in her abilities as a hockey player
    Then let her prove herself in the several weeks of USA Hockey U18 tryouts.

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    Re: Change high schools or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by EastFan1 View Post
    Then let her prove herself in the several weeks of USA Hockey U18 tryouts.
    Sorry not that level of hockey. It is ccm high performance hockey summer camp with USA hockey. She is not at that age level yet.


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    Re: Change high schools or not?

    Get her into tournaments like The Beantown Classic (a couple of really good Minnesota teams already go).

    Have HER contact coaches of schools she may be interested in. Despite a previous poster's thoughts, a youtube channel helped for my daughter. Have her send an introductory email to the university coaches with her bio, upcoming schedule and link to her youtube channel.

    At tournaments have her approach any coaches she sees, whether it's a school she's targeting or not. It'll give her experience in talking to coaches and.....coaches talk to each other, so if she presents well to one coach and another asks about her then it's a positive for her.

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    Re: Change high schools or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by GTOWN View Post
    Get her into tournaments like The Beantown Classic (a couple of really good Minnesota teams already go).

    Have HER contact coaches of schools she may be interested in. Despite a previous poster's thoughts, a youtube channel helped for my daughter. Have her send an introductory email to the university coaches with her bio, upcoming schedule and link to her youtube channel.

    At tournaments have her approach any coaches she sees, whether it's a school she's targeting or not. It'll give her experience in talking to coaches and.....coaches talk to each other, so if she presents well to one coach and another asks about her then it's a positive for her.
    Good advice. Only the second player I've ever heard of that used a video/youtube with any success. First was in remote location (Alaska) which makes more sense. Was your daughter geogrpahically challenged?

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    Re: Change high schools or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Minne.Hockey.Dad View Post
    Sorry not that level of hockey. It is ccm high performance hockey summer camp with USA hockey. She is not at that age level yet.
    I was referring to all the U15 to U18 USA Hockey summer camps (Maine or St. Cloud) and the process that leads up to those camps.

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