Calhockey.com

Hockey Discussions => Midget Hockey => Topic started by: islandhockey on May 05, 2019, 07:57:40 AM

Title: College Decisions
Post by: islandhockey on May 05, 2019, 07:57:40 AM
I've been talking with a number of high school seniors parents as they are deciding on college for their sons which is important for me since I have a year to think about how to guide my son. I find this fascinating. Most of the Tier I kids did fair to mediocre in high school academically which quickly eliminated some of the better colleges except for the elite kids who are already committed, but I heard that number is tiny. I also heard Tier I coaches could care less about academics, so no study time is seriously done on any road trip. Most of the kids that are going to the college route are winding up at colleges are outside the top 100 - even the top 200 in the nation because of their high school commitment to hockey which took precedence over academics.  Others are going to have their kids give Juniors a shot hoping to get a pass into a D1 hockey, but even if that were to happen, there are no full ride scholarships AND, you will be competing with kids from around the world...something like a third or higher?  For those that know their kids are not going to the NHL, is playing juniors and sacrificing a top flight education truly worth it? As I look around at so many coaches who followed that same path and struggle to make ends meet and play the political game of promising every little Johnny the world to get that $70 an hour at stick time, I wonder why? Putting your kid's education on hold to play juniors, along with all the drugs and alcohol that many succumb to seems a huge price instead of keeping to the books and getting into a top 100 college that will likely offer a scholarship that will rival any D1 hockey scholarship.  In the end, my son will make that choice, but I will try my best to influence him to place academics above hockey.  Unfortunately, I know my son isn't going to the NHL and has virtually no chance at making one of the only 61 D1 hockey programs.  The junior year is the toughest academically and your son will have to study for the ACT/SAT as well as write essays over the summer before senior year.  Lots to think about.
Title: Re: College Decisions
Post by: KickSave on May 05, 2019, 01:40:09 PM
We are having these same discussions. In the end, it comes down to your kid, your levels of sacrifice, your desired outcomes. If the only reason your kid is in AAA is to get a DI scholarship, you might be disappointed. If your kid thrives on playing at the highest level, and if you and the siblings don't need to sacrifice for it, then great. It's a shame the academics usually suffer, but having an unmotivated kid with no dreams or drive may be just as likely to lead down a path ending in drugs or alcohol as any involvement on Junior hockey. Having the courage to pursue his/her dreams may groom them for success just as much as a 4.0. What makes this tough is the outcome depends on the individual, and none of us has a crystal ball (that works, anyway).
Title: Re: College Decisions
Post by: CahaMama on May 06, 2019, 09:04:10 AM
This is a great discussion. There are many ways to keep education at the forefront. There are so many things to consider for a high schooler...do they want to stay close to home? Do they want to continue playing hockey at a college level or will men's league suffice? D1 and D3 schools mainly pull kids for their teams from USHL and the NAHL. There is nothing wrong with going to a good school and playing club hockey. Lots of local universities offer that. The great thing is that there are many options. It's definitely overwhelming at times because we (the parents) don't want to make a mistake when it comes to our kids' future.
Title: Re: College Decisions
Post by: Nowhearthis on May 06, 2019, 11:03:49 AM
It seems that every parent of a high school athlete is experiencing this dilemma.  Hockey seems to have the worst situation since the system directs you away from college early, where the emphasis is to drop a grade and play juniors with some sort of academic filler or drop a grade and join a prep, ... or just stay in Tier and let that commitment slowly erode the education until age out.  What shows of this is lower grades, lower level class selections,  lackluster SAT's, and off to community college.  I d I don't know of another sport with this clear divergence from a path to true higher education.  A lot of parents have differing views and opinions, and that is fine, they know their children the best and have their own risk/reward glasses on.
Many say it's their kids choice, but I have observed that most of the time the parents make the decisions, maybe appropriately so.


Only about 1.5% of players will be able to make hockey a lucrative career.  Combine that with the intense competition for the desirable college diplomas and the shrinking middle class, there really is a serious situation at hand,  one that most of our parents never imagined.

Title: Re: College Decisions
Post by: Knuckle Puck on May 06, 2019, 02:49:59 PM
academics should ALWAYS come first. even if your kid is truly a superstar athlete, every kid has to get decent to very good grades to gain admission to the majority of D1 schools. Put another way, sacrificing academics during the first two years of high school in favor of prioritizing hockey, as I’ve seen some do, is really dumb. very hard to climb out of that hole.
Title: Re: College Decisions
Post by: notTHATdad on May 12, 2019, 11:58:56 PM
Just one Dad's opinions about education and older players...
 
Tier I...
Jr Hockey in Canada is a horrible throw back to the 50's. Old men in small towns making money off of unpaid 16 year olds. It wouldn't be allowed in any other industry. Kind of amazing. And let's face it, most of the kids are not chasing educational futures - they are chasing dreams of pro careers - it's hard to overstate how delusional some jr parents can be - particularly in Canada. So beware where you are putting your kid. Yes, there are scholarship funds. But your kid still needs to make it into the college, and that is simply secondary. You just have to hope your kid is mature and the billet is willing to make sure they study.


Jr Hockey in the USA is better, just because NCAA is more established and because of the stronger traditions of college athletics down here. BUT (and it's a big but...) it's much smaller. USHL has 17 teams. The CHL has 60 teams, and the number of players in the US is very similar to Canada. Far more kids as a percentage (almost all) go on from USHL to college than CHL. But remember, there are less than 1/3rd the spots in the USHL. Your kid better be good.


Tier II
Canadian Tier II (eg. BCHL) does not mess with your NCAA eligibility in Canada, so you will find more kids playing tier II up there with the intent of playing NCAA, and it does happen. Still a small minority.


US Tier II is also a way to get to the NCAA, I'm guessing more at the DIII level. I don't know what the statistics are though, and have never seen them mentioned. (There is actually a remarkable lack of information or focus on the 30 or so DIII colleges that play hockey.)


Tier III... Anything is possible I guess. But at that point you are paying for your kid to play at a much lower level, instead of paying for school. So be careful and set your expectations accordingly.


Prep schools.
Some of the prep schools have excellent reputations for getting kids in to the NCAA, and frequently combine with really great educational programs. Very little downside here, apart from cost, and the very real challenge of having to send your 16 year old kid off across the country to live by themselves. It's not for everyone. Something to think about though - including travel, it costs us westerners $15-$20k a year to play AAA. That's at least a start on the cost of a prep school (though remember you'll be shipping your kid back and forth from the prep school, so the travel savings may not be what you think).


Academy's.
There are a lot of these. Mostly in Canada, but also in the US now. I put them in the 'chasing dreams' category of logic because even though you may get a high school education, I don't see how anyone can think of that as the primary thing they offer. Education is often either online, or in conjunction with a local small town school. Not sure I'd choose either of those if my ambitions were for college.


AAA Hockey.
Kids DO get to college via AAA, but frankly it's tougher out here on the west coast. College scouts just aren't out here as much. A scout in one of the eastern states can watch those local kids every weekend. The advantage of AAA of course is you are tempering the 'dream' part and have the opportunity to focus on the educational aspect. Probably the safest bet for the vast majority of kids without the resources for prep.
Title: Re: College Decisions
Post by: Strawman on May 14, 2019, 11:35:35 PM
Good perspective. At some levels AAA hockey in California costs closer to $30k than to $15k, and that doesn’t even include all the select camps, combines etc. that many AAA players do. That bill makes it really hard not to consider [size=78%]the other options you discuss.[/size]
Title: Re: College Decisions
Post by: Hockeykid on May 19, 2019, 08:26:44 PM
 Just my story of my son’s decision on academics over hockey. Sorry it’s so long.
My son is graduating from High School this month, and this fall he’ll be attending college at the number one ranked public college in the US & 15th in the nation (per Forbes). I’m not trying to brag, it’s just part of the story.
My son always dreamed of playing in the NHL & NCAA D1 College hockey, but around his junior HS year, reality hit. He realized the odds of making it big were against him.
I also wanted him to chase “the dream” as he’s always been obsessed with hockey! He puts in the work too, as he’s on the ice about 5 times a week & stickhandles, shoots pucks, and works out just about every day.
His sophomore and junior HS years he played AA hockey, driving two hours round trip to practices, three days a week & getting home at 11:30pm. He was able to keep up with his AP homework and maintain his GPA, but it was tough. He started progressively realizing playing up a level to AAA hockey his senior year season wouldn’t allow him to maintain his GPA. He knew it’d be too demanding on his time and would cause him to miss too many school days due to playing far away hockey tournaments, putting in more hours of windshield time, and attending showcases for a week at a time. So for his HS senior year he made a mature decision to play down a level from AA at the local club five minutes from our house, and concentrate on getting into a great college. He wanted to make sure he had time to raise his SAT score, keep up his GPA, take additional AP classes, and finish strong his senior HS year. At the time I wasn’t happy he decided not to play AAA hockey with teammates, but I couldn’t disagree with his logic.
While he was filling out his college applications, I asked him if he wanted to take a couple years off before going to college to chase “the dream”. He told me “I have no desire to go play junior hockey back east in the cold, with a bunch of kids who are just looking to have a good time. Plus, I don’t want to beat up my body with all the games and practices for the chance of playing NCAA D1 or D3 hockey.
His decision has really paid off, as he was accepted to many outstanding colleges.
Now my son plans on playing ACHA D2 hockey for his college, get his bachelor’s degree & then attend law school. This is now his goal and makes him extremely happy.
 
For my son, going straight into a great college to start his education and playing ACHA hockey is right for him. The California ACHA teams still get to play about 25 games a season and sometimes two or three practices a week (late night or early morning) for a total of about 30-40 a season. College ACHA teams are mostly self funded & cost around $3K per player, so the budget is only around $100K.
 
But I still feel like my son is missing out as he has the rest of his life to go to school and work, but only a few years to play junior hockey and have a great time. Just the other day, I read about a 21 year old junior hockey player who was accepted into the University of Utah to play ACHA D1 hockey. I would have loved for my son to follow this path, but it’s not what he wanted. This weekend it was extremely painful for me, as it was AAA tryout weekend & I felt he should have been attending the 18AAA tryouts (as he a 2001, and still has one year left of AAA eligibility).
 
BTH - Jr hockey may have bad influences that make your kid do stupid things, but frat parties in college are the same thing & can be even worse.
 
Title: Re: College Decisions
Post by: CahaMama on May 20, 2019, 07:36:31 AM
Stick taps all around to your kid Hockeykid! He sounds like a mature, wise kid that you can be proud of. This goes to show that every family makes decisions based on what is good for their family. There is no formula, no guaranteed path to success. If you're a California kid, the chances of making it to the NHL or even Div1 are so small. Kids have to move back east to be seen. That's just a fact.


At least now you will have your weekends back and maybe find a hobby of your own. It's tough after years of sacrifice.
Title: Re: College Decisions
Post by: gr8wrk on July 16, 2019, 12:27:17 AM
In the end only D1 or the WHL are roads to the NHL if you live in CA which means Tier1 Elite or Prep School at age 16.  D3 is mostly for kids who played Tier 1 elite or prep or played juniors in Montana or Texas (forget about playing in the WSHL).   ACHA D1 is gaining popularity as D3 kids switch to schools they would rather play at since D3 is a dead end too. 
Title: Re: College Decisions
Post by: cog254 on July 16, 2019, 07:25:41 PM
FWIW, My 2000 son spent his senior year playing in WSHL (gasp) and really enjoyed it, making some life long friends along the way. He knows he won't be the next Quick or Fluery and is okay w that. He wanted a "big college" experience and still be able to play hockey. He leaves for Ole Miss Aug 19th and will play for the ACHA team. The SEC has 16 teams and its pretty good hockey, plus he can enjoy all the fun of the big football games and join a fraternity and do ROTC, while still getting to play a decent level of hockey.  I am proud of him and can't wait to see him in net with an Ole Miss Rebels jersey on. I think he made the right decision over playing another 2 years of junior then going to some tiny D3 school on the east coast just to play.  Anyway, just my 2 cents.   
Title: Re: College Decisions
Post by: gr8wrk on July 16, 2019, 10:11:55 PM
FWIW, My 2000 son spent his senior year playing in WSHL (gasp) and really enjoyed it, making some life long friends along the way. He knows he won't be the next Quick or Fluery and is okay w that. He wanted a "big college" experience and still be able to play hockey. He leaves for Ole Miss Aug 19th and will play for the ACHA team. The SEC has 16 teams and its pretty good hockey, plus he can enjoy all the fun of the big football games and join a fraternity and do ROTC, while still getting to play a decent level of hockey.  I am proud of him and can't wait to see him in net with an Ole Miss Rebels jersey on. I think he made the right decision over playing another 2 years of junior then going to some tiny D3 school on the east coast just to play.  Anyway, just my 2 cents.
I hope he has a great time and a great college experience.  Here's a good article on the growth of ACHA by no less than the NHL itself:
https://www.nhl.com/news/acha-seeks-to-shed-club-hockey-label-as-national-championships-begin/c-306098996 (https://www.nhl.com/news/acha-seeks-to-shed-club-hockey-label-as-national-championships-begin/c-306098996)

Title: Re: College Decisions
Post by: SkatingDad on July 17, 2019, 08:15:26 AM
FWIW, My 2000 son spent his senior year playing in WSHL (gasp) and really enjoyed it, making some life long friends along the way. He knows he won't be the next Quick or Fluery and is okay w that. He wanted a "big college" experience and still be able to play hockey. He leaves for Ole Miss Aug 19th and will play for the ACHA team. The SEC has 16 teams and its pretty good hockey, plus he can enjoy all the fun of the big football games and join a fraternity and do ROTC, while still getting to play a decent level of hockey.  I am proud of him and can't wait to see him in net with an Ole Miss Rebels jersey on. I think he made the right decision over playing another 2 years of junior then going to some tiny D3 school on the east coast just to play.  Anyway, just my 2 cents.


There is nothing wrong with the WSHL especially if you are using it as a stepping stone.
Title: Re: College Decisions
Post by: Fowlmood on July 18, 2019, 04:02:15 PM
The only thing that I would recommend is having your player play locally through the age of 18 before playing in the WSHL to allow for more physical and mental maturity.  Your kid will be playing against 21 year old men.
Title: Re: College Decisions
Post by: SkatingDad on July 18, 2019, 04:20:37 PM
The only thing that I would recommend is having your player play locally through the age of 18 before playing in the WSHL to allow for more physical and mental maturity.  Your kid will be playing against 21 year old men.


21 year old men in any Junior league.  Your player had better be big and skilled if he is playing when he is 16-18, it's not for everyone.
Title: Re: College Decisions
Post by: lcadad on July 19, 2019, 08:33:09 PM
There is nothing wrong with the WSHL especially if you are using it as a stepping stone.


I know of a number of very good players who played WSHL and sustained serious injuries (breaks/fractures, concussions).  This is obviously something that could happen at any level of contact hockey, but I would question the risk/reward. 

Title: Re: College Decisions
Post by: Hockeykid on August 05, 2019, 01:37:29 AM
So true!

DAILY DISH: Veteran's Dilemma  Junior Hockey NewsPublished: Friday, 2 Aug 2019   
By: [/size]Stephen Heisler (https://www.juniorhockey.com/news/contributor_info.php?news_contributor_id=30), JuniorHockey.com (http://www.juniorhockey.com)

 
 Mason is a nineteen year-old, 2nd line junior "A" defender. He has been playing junior hockey since he was fifteen and living away from home for hockey since he was twelve.
Mason has seen more than his fair share of coaches and systems. He has been able to execute his duties exactly as directed for every team he has played for. He is one of those guys that does not stand out, he just gets the job done, shift after shift, and night after night.
Hockey has taken a toll on Mason academically. He has been in nine different schools from the 6th grade until his graduation last year. Graduation was not easy, and he had to spend two summers at a community college to get it done. His overall high school GPA was 1.8. This season he was supposed to be preparing for the SAT, but instead he has enjoyed his first year off from academics.
Mason's mom called me yesterday asking why he has not had any NCAA Div I offers, like a lot of other players on his team.  She entered the conversation with fantasies about Mason going to play at Notre Dame. As we peeled off the doses of reality she became angrier and angrier. "We have spent so much money on getting Mason to this point in his career, it is just not fair!" Mom yelled over the phone.
What is not fair is the fact that mom let hockey get in the way of Mason's education. When I suggested that Mason spend the summer at an SAT camp mom immediately refused, "That is entirely too expensive," she quickly replied. "He always works with my dad each summer to pay for hockey."
Don't shoot the messenger but here are the facts about Mason. He is not going to play at Notre Dame. He might catch a break at another school IF he can get a good SAT or ACT number.
The other alternative is to go ahead and enter the world of minor professional hockey. Guys like Mason are needed at that level as well. Make the free-agent try-out rounds and maybe he will be able to stick. If not, he can always return to the Jr. "A" for his final year of eligibility.
The reality is that Mason may be able to play in the Federal Hockey League, or eventually the ECHL level of pro hockey. But that is it. Is this result worth the seven years of investment in his game?
The bottom line is simple. What happens in the classroom is every bit as important as what happens on the ice. Prospects that are hoping to play in college need to address academics from the sixth grade and beyond. Mason has always been a coach's favorite, that is great, but he should have been the teacher's favorite too.
Mason is an alias that we used to protect the player's identify... and his dignity.
Title: Re: College Decisions
Post by: notTHATdad on August 09, 2019, 06:33:59 PM
Really good story.


What people don't realize is that the better your marks are, the more chance you have at a college scholarship. It is the #1 criteria in determining how many openings are available to you. I'll get the numbers a bit off (because I'm working from memory) but it works sort of like this... For a given team they will have:


2 spots for GPA >= 1.5
8 spots for GPA >= 2.0
16 spots for GPA >= 3.0
25 spots for GPA >= 3.5


The one number I remember pretty well is the '2'.


Remember - it's a COLLEGE and hockey is not a money-maker like football. Basically, if your marks suck, there are only a couple of 'dummy' spots available on ANY NCAA team, and that kid is competing against every other player for those spots. If there is an equal kid, with better marks, you lose.


On top of that, each D1 team will have 18 athletic scholarships available for a 25 player roster. If you are not one of the lucky players to get the 'full athletic ride' then you will only get a partial athletic scholarship... BUT if your marks are decent they will be able to make that up with an academic scholarship.


So DON'T LET HOCKEY SCREW UP YOUR MARKS. I get super frustrated with coaches that pay lip service to giving/forcing teams time to study on the road during tournaments. It hurts them in the long run.


Masons parents were really poorly informed or idiots.



Title: Re: College Decisions
Post by: gr8wrk on January 12, 2020, 06:36:47 PM
Besides grades, your son's SAT or ACT scores will matter.  Our son went to New England Prep and after his Junior year he had several D3 schools talking to him but his SAT score was 25 points too low so he spent the summer in an SAP prep course and raised his score 80 points.  Some schools continued to talk to him after that but others had moved on.


A few notes: First, even if your kid goes to Prep school and gets a D1 offer, they will still likely play Juniors someplace for a year or two, it's really hard to go from high-school to college hockey (where you are playing against 25 year olds).  Second, Juniors can be quite an experience for a hockey player who is used to playing in front of their parents and a few others.   Our son played Juniors in the NA3HL and every game had 500 to 1,000 people watching and he was asked for autographs and everyone in the town knew who he was. 
Title: Re: College Decisions
Post by: islandhockey on January 18, 2020, 06:05:20 PM
At some point in the 16-17 age range, you (parents) and your son will have a huge decision to make if they are anywhere decent on the ice.  By decent, i mean capable of playing juniors or college.  I see so many kids playing juniors that frankly have no hope at playing college hockey, so they are just holding off starting college and onto adult life.  I really scratch my head at those kids and their parents.  Some juniors only have the skills to play DIII (no money) or college club hockey, which equates to 2-3 years of putting their college on hold and the sad thing is that a lot of these DIII schools aren't even in the top 300-400 academic colleges in the country.  I see a number of juniors moving to DI (Yea!  $$), but there are no full ride scholarships and many of these DI colleges are terrible academically as well.  I think we all see the best kids (USHL level and equivalent) go onto some really good colleges, but that number is incredibly low and they are competing with kids around the world. If you really want your son to play college hockey, you really don't choose the college....you have to see who wants you which is why your choices are often terrible in terms of academics and location. What I don't want for my son is to have no option other than to become a youth hockey coach, pressuring parents to pay for your clinics with no medical benefits and no retirement.  If you have a bright kid, who isn't going to turn pro, I would consider going to a good school to and play club hockey.  Some of the better schools have really top notch club teams that would give DIII hockey a run for their money and if they focus on their academics in high school, there is much more academic money out there than athletic scholarships.  Then, you kid starts college as a true freshman and will be in their senior year, with internships and travel abroad opportunities while their peers in youth hockey are just starting and old, 21-22 year old freshmen.  In the end, some 95%+ of all youth hockey players will not play pro, not get a DI scholarship, and wind up in the same place...the beer league.  Some will have great jobs while others not so great. Think about your kids future when you make these difficult decisions...not yourself.  [size=78%]   [/size]
Title: Re: College Decisions
Post by: Knuckle Puck on January 19, 2020, 08:26:01 AM
going back to the 95s, on average only around a dozen kids from socal per birth year get to ncaa d1, including girls. similar numbers per year to d3. chasing the dream is great, but academics should always come first because the kid is going to need that.




Title: Re: College Decisions
Post by: notTHATdad on February 10, 2020, 04:55:10 PM
At some point in the 16-17 age range, you (parents) and your son will have a huge decision to make if they are anywhere decent on the ice.  By decent, i mean capable of playing juniors or college.  I see so many kids playing juniors that frankly have no hope at playing college hockey, so they are just holding off starting college and onto adult life.  I really scratch my head at those kids and their parents.  Some juniors only have the skills to play DIII (no money) or college club hockey, which equates to 2-3 years of putting their college on hold and the sad thing is that a lot of these DIII schools aren't even in the top 300-400 academic colleges in the country.  I see a number of juniors moving to DI (Yea!  $$), but there are no full ride scholarships and many of these DI colleges are terrible academically as well.  I think we all see the best kids (USHL level and equivalent) go onto some really good colleges, but that number is incredibly low and they are competing with kids around the world. If you really want your son to play college hockey, you really don't choose the college....you have to see who wants you which is why your choices are often terrible in terms of academics and location. What I don't want for my son is to have no option other than to become a youth hockey coach, pressuring parents to pay for your clinics with no medical benefits and no retirement.  If you have a bright kid, who isn't going to turn pro, I would consider going to a good school to and play club hockey.  Some of the better schools have really top notch club teams that would give DIII hockey a run for their money and if they focus on their academics in high school, there is much more academic money out there than athletic scholarships.  Then, you kid starts college as a true freshman and will be in their senior year, with internships and travel abroad opportunities while their peers in youth hockey are just starting and old, 21-22 year old freshmen.  In the end, some 95%+ of all youth hockey players will not play pro, not get a DI scholarship, and wind up in the same place...the beer league.  Some will have great jobs while others not so great. Think about your kids future when you make these difficult decisions...not yourself.  [size=78%]   [/size]


I think that's right.


But I'd balance that with the fact that we tend to rush kids into college, when a lot of them are not ready for it. That was certainly my generation - the idea of taking time off to 'chase a dream' for a couple of years was not to even be discussed.


But that may be a mistake, and I think thinking has changed a bit. You only get one chance to chase a dream sometimes. If my kid wants to go off for a year or two on some silly quest, I may be ok with it, as long as the conditions are ok, and the plan realistic.

Title: Re: College Decisions
Post by: SkatingDad on February 11, 2020, 11:54:24 AM
At some point in the 16-17 age range, you (parents) and your son will have a huge decision to make if they are anywhere decent on the ice.  By decent, i mean capable of playing juniors or college.  I see so many kids playing juniors that frankly have no hope at playing college hockey, so they are just holding off starting college and onto adult life.  I really scratch my head at those kids and their parents.  Some juniors only have the skills to play DIII (no money) or college club hockey, which equates to 2-3 years of putting their college on hold and the sad thing is that a lot of these DIII schools aren't even in the top 300-400 academic colleges in the country.  I see a number of juniors moving to DI (Yea!  $$), but there are no full ride scholarships and many of these DI colleges are terrible academically as well.  I think we all see the best kids (USHL level and equivalent) go onto some really good colleges, but that number is incredibly low and they are competing with kids around the world. If you really want your son to play college hockey, you really don't choose the college....you have to see who wants you which is why your choices are often terrible in terms of academics and location. What I don't want for my son is to have no option other than to become a youth hockey coach, pressuring parents to pay for your clinics with no medical benefits and no retirement.  If you have a bright kid, who isn't going to turn pro, I would consider going to a good school to and play club hockey.  Some of the better schools have really top notch club teams that would give DIII hockey a run for their money and if they focus on their academics in high school, there is much more academic money out there than athletic scholarships.  Then, you kid starts college as a true freshman and will be in their senior year, with internships and travel abroad opportunities while their peers in youth hockey are just starting and old, 21-22 year old freshmen.  In the end, some 95%+ of all youth hockey players will not play pro, not get a DI scholarship, and wind up in the same place...the beer league.  Some will have great jobs while others not so great. Think about your kids future when you make these difficult decisions...not yourself.  [size=78%]   [/size]


I think that's right.


But I'd balance that with the fact that we tend to rush kids into college, when a lot of them are not ready for it. That was certainly my generation - the idea of taking time off to 'chase a dream' for a couple of years was not to even be discussed.


But that may be a mistake, and I think thinking has changed a bit. You only get one chance to chase a dream sometimes. If my kid wants to go off for a year or two on some silly quest, I may be ok with it, as long as the conditions are ok, and the plan realistic.


For men, there is plenty of time to go to college and work in corporate.  I believe everyone should delay that dreary existence for a long as possible. Chase your dreams first, father time catches up with everyone...