Festival ::: Down & Dirty

Since Thanksgiving tournaments (USFHA Festival and Shooting Stars Showcase) is around the corner, I thought this is a good subject to address.

For those who may not know…  the USA Field Hockey Association’s “National Field Hockey Festival” is their marquis event, open to over 3000 teenagers and adults playing hockey for three days over Thanksgiving weekend in Florida on polo grounds. Three years ago it was met with competition by a recruiting company called 3STEP Sports which runs a 2-day tournament on turf in Richmond Virginia over the same weekend.

While competition is typically considered good, in this case, not so much. Why? Because it makes college coaches have to decide where they want to be to watch high school hockey talent (watch you play).

For younger players, this is less of a concern, but for older players (high school juniors and seniors) this is a big concern. Players have less choice as they now have to go where their club goes, not necessarily where their school-of-interest will be. This is a big change for the prospect. In my view, it becomes an issue in trying to be seen.

That makes it even more important you create an outreach and communication strategy that starts early in your career. I addressed ways of doing that in an earlier email and blog.

Another piece to this puzzle that has changed the last few years, is the proliferation of showcase. Call it a showcase, and they will come. But if your game is not where it should be, or you are not prepared to show-off you talents (or lack thereof).

I separate high school hockey development into three elemnts:
SKILL DEVELOPMENT
PRACTICE & GAME PLAY
then SHOWCASE your talent

You need all three in order to be good and get recruited.

Comments 3

  1. Another great blog! This whole process of getting looked at by colleges is so confusing for my daughter and for me! We keep hearing conflicting opinions from people that I consider knowledgeable in fh. I guess I should feel relieved that this trip to festival will just be a playing oppurtunity for my sophmore, but it seems like an awful lot of money to spend if no one is even going to look at her.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on Festival.

  2. Post
    Author

    Meg,
    Please assume with this blog or any “expert” blog for that matter: I could be wrong. But I think you would know if your daughter is getting any interest by colleges. If you have no action or meaningful interest from them at this age – then it is a safe bet that she will not be “looked at” at Festival this fall. But as I said – I think it is worth the trip for serious players who show potential.

  3. Post
    Author

    Question asked: I’m a new parent to the current FH high school game, what high school rule book of the game would you recommend? I did play in high school but the game is very different now!
    Best Regards,
    Sandy

    ANSWER:
    NFHS Rules Publications
    RULES BOOKS which are published by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) contain the official rules for high school sports. These books are designed to explain all aspects of the game. They are used by coaches, officials, players and many fans who wish to know more about the rules of the game.
    NFHS Rules Publications
    http://www.nfhs.org/content.aspx?id=3281&linkidentifier=id&itemid=3281

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