Variety is the Spice of Life

As the level of hockey gets higher, so does the intensity of the recruiting process. Midget, prep, junior, college, and pro teams all recruit players for their rosters. While the offers are different at all levels (contract $$ at the pro level, scholarships for college, an opportunity to play in junior), the reality is that there is at least one person choosing how to build a roster and what types of players and people to fill that roster with.

There are thousands of choices when it comes to building rosters. What traits do you look for? What types of personalities? The list goes on, and regardless of level, you’re almost always sacrificing one thing in favor of another – the reality is that there is no “perfect” player.

One thing that I personally value in my roster is variety. Variety of playing styles, variety of personalities, but most importantly, variety of experience. I don’t want to have too many players from one specific background. This can be geographic, hockey, socio-economic, cultural, etc. The more breadth of experience I can add to my roster, the further enhance the experience of my players is going to be. When a young man who was born and raised in Boston and played prep hockey becomes close friends with a junior hockey player from Ontario, they have both grown as people. College is about growth and development both educationally and personally. By maintaing a diverse roster our players get to see and experience a wide variety of interests and points of view. They leave as better people with a much bigger worldview.

As a coach, a variety of experiences challenges me as well. I have to work to connect with people from different backgrounds, with different goals and different habits. It also creates a roster where there are many different players at our disposal to use in many different situations. A diverse roster brings in different playing styles and methods of play, further enhancing our ability to compete on the ice.

Variety truly is the spice of life. Surround yourself with people who are different. Challenge yourself to connect with others in new and meaningful ways. You will grow as a person (and as a hockey player).