Ice hockey like any other sport requires passion and dedication. You may be a parent who sees great potential in his or her child's hockey skills and may want to plan the child's hockey career at an early stage. Or you may have been playing hockey since you were a child and think that the skills you have are good enough for the pros. There a few things you need to consider though before dropping everything else to become a professional hockey player. For example size is a factor and agents are looking for big players who can skate well. If you are not that big but possess exceptional skills on the ice then maybe you could get drafted for that alone. The route to becoming a professional hockey player takes a lot of work and determination.
- Learn to skate well. You have to be a good ice skater to play ice hockey. You need to possess great balance and speed because ice skating in hockey is unlike that of other ice skating sports. You need to learn how to start and stop effectively and make sharp turns while controlling the puck with a hockey stick. Ice hockey is also a very physical sport so balance is crucial in the rink.
- Improve on your defensive and offensive skills. You must be able to handle the hockey stick well if you dream of becoming a professional at this sport. You have to be skillful at both defensive and offensive tactics. There are several ways of taking away the puck from an opponent and this is called checking. Learn the approved or legal ways of checking with the stick or your body. Offensive tactics include stick handling and passing. If you learn and improve on these tactics you will become a better player.
- Take part in camps and courses. There are several hockey camps you can join to help improve your skills. There might be courses offered at the local rink which are held by professionals and by attending them you will gain more insight on what you need to become a professional.
- Plan your career path or route to take. Depending on your location there may be differences in route structures like the major juniors or college route. Then there are also minor and major leagues in different areas. Find out which route is best for you by asking professionals about their experience and how they got drafted.
If you are determined enough and have the tenacity to become an exceptional player then you may be just what the hockey agents are looking for. By becoming a professional hockey player you will be able to keep playing the sport you love and earn a good living from it.