A Misinformed Road To Success


From David Conte – Executive Vice President, Hockey Operations/ Director, Scouting. Entering 30th season with NJ Devils, 21st as team’s Director of Scouting NJ Devils, Stanley Cup 1995, 2000 & 2002.

Dave Conti – To Parents and Players

Parents and players are more interested in playing for rewards and for recognition rather than for pure joy.

When you do this, this limits chances of advancements, the very thing that parents and players seem to want,

they are precluded by a misinformed road map.

It is self-indulgent, all of this pursuit to go to Quebec to be in the supposed top tournament. What about citizenship? What about responsibility? The emphasis on winning results in players who are over-zealous and (unnaturally) aggressive. This emphasis deters skill development and enjoyment.

It starts at a young age; the play is too physical. Kids want to play with their friends and enjoy it for what it is. Look at kids in a skate board park.. There are no adults telling them what to do or evaluating them. They are uninhibited, inventive, just like when I was a kid playing pond hockey or street hockey.

We need more people with a love of the game.

Genetics play a big part in skill, but you see it evaporate in kids. Kids you see, who have ability when they are young, 8,10, 12 years of age, then it’s not there at 14 or 15. Why are kids leaving the sport at 14 or 15? There is too much emphasis on trophies.

These summer exposure tournaments are a big waste of time.

If you play in the summer it should be for fun. You have these people who run these things telling parents and players that if you do not participate that you will not gain recognition.

I will find you!

I do not go to these things. They are a waste.

People are too worried about status and jackets.

You need to do challenging drills,… that is how you get better.

Young players are lacking because too many people are telling them what to do and how to play, because of this they don’t think.

You don’t need exposure, you need to get better”.

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