Day 12 – The Waterloo Warriors Recruiting Process

This is the twelfth day of our team’s virtual mid-season training camp. Each day for 28 days, there will be a short assignment for you to do to continue your development. These assignments are mandatory for players and coaches. Parents are also encouraged to participate.

Last season, we had a fantastic meeting with coaches Shaun Reagan, the Head Coach of the University of Waterloo Warriors Women’s Hockey Team and his Associate Coach Dollee Meigs.

Here is the recorded video of their presentation. This is a really good presentation and should be watched by anyone interested in playing varsity hockey at a Canadian school. I’d recommend that you share it with your parents as well.

How To Be Recruited As A Varsity Student Hockey Player


You can download a copy of the slides from the presentation here:

My Key Takeaways

  1. Always show your jersey number. Don’t tuck in your jersey or let your hair cover up your number and name. (17:05)
  1. They are looking to recruit players who “Love Hockey!“. (23:55)
  1. Recruiting videos: Put some good tunes into your videos. Have fun with it. Arrows and circles are good to help show where you are in game video. We don’t want to just see your highlight reel. Put together some shifts that show your body language and how you react with other players. [Suggestion from Coach Steve: Get someone to shoot an isolation video of a shift or two where you are in the centre of the frame for the entire shift.] Show fun drills and skills. Make it so the coaches want to share your video. (45:29)

Many thanks to Coaches Shaun and Dollee.

Video Index:

Start: Introductions and Welcome. Coach Shaun Reagan’s background.

3:29: Associate Coach Dollee Meig’s background and her participation in the NHL Coaches Association Mentorship Program.

7:07: USports Women’s Hockey Information

8:09: USports and Hockey Canada

9:58: USports Women’s Hockey Fun Facts. Differences between USports and NCAA.

11:46: High Performance USports Hockey – Resources and benefits to players at Waterloo

17:04: Recruiting – What Should I Do?

22:10: Recruiting- What do we look for?

26:57: Finding the Right Fit​ for YOU!

29:57: Funding your Education

33:09: Warrior Women’s Hockey Staff

33:54: Warriors Women’s Hockey Team – Roster size, player information, courses and co-op placements

39:41: What is next? Grow!

41:19: Questions and Answers

41:35: What’s the best way to contact Coach Shaun (or other coaches)? Shaun also gives some insight on the scouting process.

45:28: Tips on putting recruiting videos together. What they like to see.

48:06: What types of questions do you ask players when you interview them?

52:10: Are there things that players should be adding to their daily routines now that will help them?

53:54: Fitness standards and fitness testing

56:38: How do you go about scheduling practices and what does a typical week look like for players?

1:02:00: What is your coaching philosophy?

1:05:00: How the Warriors team likes to play? “We’re all about having fun!

Today’s Assignment:

For today…

  1. Complete today’s workout on the TeamBuildr app. Be sure to mark each exercise complete as you finish it.
  1. Review the video and write down two key takeaways that you have from the presentation. Include the time code in the video for reference. Post your your answers to the team WhatsApp group.
  1. Post any follow-up questions that you have. I will send them to Coach Keia and get answers for you.

Are You Getting Better Or Just Getting By?

Every player needs to ask themselves this question at every practice and game.

Jeff Blashill, Head Coach of the Detroit Red Wings, talks about the process of daily improvement.

Greatness is a daily choice!

Whatever your path is… Making it to the NHL, playing varsity university hockey, making it to the next level, whatever it is, you need to earn it every day.

Greatness is a daily choice. Every single day, you wake up, and you take a either couple steps towards being great or you take a couple steps away from being great. Every single day.”

“Did I get up and outwork all the guys in this camp. You earn what you get in life. You wake up every morning and you take steps towards greatness or you don’t. Period.”

1-2-2 Forecheck

Here is a really good example of the 1-2-2 Forecheck in action.

This forecheck is designed to bait the other team into thinking they have options and then taking them away.

Key points:

F1: (First forward to the puck carrier)
– Flushes the puck carrier.
– Put just enough pressure on the opposing puck carrier that they have to move the puck.

F2 and F3: (The other two forwards)
– Set up just above the face-off dots on either side
– Take away outlet passes
– Eliminate opposing team’s breakout options
– Unless they are sure they can get the puck, F2 and F3 cannot chase it into the corners

As the play moves from side to side, F1, F2 and F3 can switch positions with each other. TALK!

– Seal off the boards in case the puck squirts up ice
– As the puck moves to one side of the ice, the weak side D must support the other D by dropping back into the middle of the ice.

As the puck moves to one side, players take away the options.
As the puck moves in the zone, the nearest player to the puck switches to become F1. The other forwards adjust to become F2 and F3. TALK!

Hockey is a game and it is meant to be fun!

The new guys are pretty good…

Players, parents and coaches involved in youth sports will tell you that “Having fun” is the primary reason they participate in your sports. The absence of fun is usually given as they number one reason when they quit. 

I’m sure that every coach you’ve ever had has talked about “Having fun”. But what does this really mean? 

Research from Dr. Amanda Visek at George Washington University does a really good job of answering this question. Dr. Visek studied an entire youth soccer organization (142 players, 37 coaches and 57 parents). They were asked to brainstorm to identify all of the things that make playing sports fun for them. She then compiled all the answers and asked the entire group to rate the importance of each idea. This research allowed her to create the FUN Map and the Not-FUN Map.

The FUN Map lists and ranks 81 things that make sports fun. The Not-FUN Map lists and ranks 91 impediments to having fun in sports. In my experience, all of these apply to hockey

View the FUN and Not-FUN Maps

The Top Things That Make Hockey Fun

Surprisingly to some, “Winning” is nowhere near the top of the list.

  1. Being a good sport
    • Playing well together as a team
    • Supporting teammates
    • When players show good sportsmanship
  1. Trying hard
    • Trying your best
    • Exercising and being active
    • Working hard
    • Being strong and confident
  1. Positive coaching
    • When a coach treats players with respect
    • When a coach encourages the team
    • Getting clear, consistent communication from coaches
    • A coach who allows mistakes, while staying positive
    • A coach who listens to players and values their opinions
    • A friendly coach who you can talk to easily
  1. Learning and improving
    • Being challenged to improve and get better at your sport
    • Learning new skills
    • Learning from mistakes
  1. Team Friendships

Data based on Visek, A.J., (2015). The fun integration theory: Towards sustaining children and adolescents sport participation. The full study can be found below:

Having Fun is our team’s #1 Rule!

How to Practice Changing Your Shooting Angle

Auston Matthews may be one of the best in the league at changing the angle before he shoots. Just look at this snipe where he fools the defense and goalie in one motion.

Here’s a great video that explains why changing your shooting angle is so important and how you can practice it at home and on the ice.

Takeaway Skills – Pavel Datysuk

Pavel Datysuk is the master at taking the puck away from opponents.

He uses three primary methods.

  1. The Canoe Stick Lift. This is a stick lift with a flat, horizontal blade (so it doesn’t get stuck) just under the hands of his victim.
  2. The Blindspot Takeaway. Watch how he gets in the blind spots of his victim and then waits for the moment.
  3. The Stick-to-Puck Poke Check. He suddenly extends his stick, usually with one hand on his stick to extend his reach, and jabs the puck off his opponent.

Most importantly, his feet never stop moving so he can quickly accelerate away after he gets the puck.

How many examples of each can you find in the video?

Good Defensive 1-on-1

The key points shown in this example are as follows:

  1. Properly managed gap; two stick lengths as they cross the blue line.
  2. Good upper body posture; arms loose, but compact. Hands at the hips.
  3. Poke check, not swipe check; you can poke check and miss all day long, and still maintain proper body positioning.
  4. Stick on stick, body on body.
  5. Re-closing the gap; after the Swiss player turns back, the Russian defenseman re-closes the gap to maintain proper positioning in case of a re-entry.

Mastering the Wrist Shot

A good wrist shot has three key positions that you’ll want to master. This video breaks down how to take a hard and accurate wrist shot.