How to survive (and thrive at) your first OHL training camp.

Thanks for all your positive feedback after Revolution Sport Conditioning  coach Tyler Doig did his first guest post here on .  I thought he did a great job too, so I asked him to give an insider’s view of how to succeed at your first OHL training camp, here’s what he had to say….

Some of you will get drafted to the OHL and some of you won’t. In the end, it doesn’t matter the route that you take to the OHL. From my own experience of being a walk-on invitee, I am proof that you don’t have to be drafted to play in the OHL. What really matters is how you prepare yourself and execute when the opportunity comes.

Every year, hockey players make the jump to the OHL from many different avenues. Some come from Jr B, Jr C or Jr D, while others make the jump from AAA. Knowing what to expect and how to deal with certain situations is going to give you the edge when you head off to your first OHL training camp in August.

When you head off to camp you are going to have to adjust on the ice as well as off it. Moving away from home, living with another family and transferring to a new school are just a few of the major adjustments you will have to make, but don’t worry, I am here to help. I am going to give you 5 tips on how to make your transition to the OHL go as smoothly as possible.

A. Be yourself, Play your game – whether you are going to camp as a walk-on or as a draftee, just be yourself and play your game. You are there because the team wants what you bring to the table. If you are a play maker, make plays, if you are a grinder, bang bodies and be a pest.  Do your job.

B. Business of the game- Don’t get caught in the numbers game and worrying about how many players are at the camp that play your position or how many returning players are there. Everyone is in the same position as you are; they all have to make the team.

C. Don’t be intimidated- OHL camps can be overwhelming especially when you are young. Be confident but not cocky- you are there because someone sees something in you. Play hard and do the things that made you successful and got you there in the first place.

D. Embrace your new family- Leaving home to play hockey is more difficult for some players than it is for others. Your new hockey family will do their best to make you feel comfortable while being away from home. Do your best to return the favor; be respectful, tidy, and go out of your way to help with things around the house. It will all help to make a special bond between you that could last a lifetime.

E.Socialize at school- The hardest thing for me was leaving the high school I was familiar with and all of my buddies at home. Get out of your comfort zone and make new friends at school that are not associated with the hockey team. Having friends away from the rink well help to make your new city feel a lot like home.

Leaving home to pursue your dream can be a challenge, but you should also look at it as a new adventure. Using these tips will surely give you the upper hand to not only succeed at the OHL level, but help make the transition as smooth as possible.

Good luck at camp.