Consider the following a cautionary tale heading into your 2017-18 hockey season.
Perhaps the worst thing for a dedicated coach is to see a team fail to reach its potential. All things being equal, wins and losses are usually predicated on talent. And talent, particularly at the high school level, can vary dramatically from year to year.
Getting the most out of whatever talent you have on the ice is the goal. When a team doesn’t, it’s incredibly frustrating. To illustrate, I’ll refer to a girls team that I knew well (I’ll refrain from identifying the squad, to protect the guilty and the innocent alike).
Part of the reason this particular team fell short of its potential is the predictable dilution of talent that often happens with girls high school hockey programs. The 2016-17 team I’m referring to lost its best natural sniper, who led the team in scoring as an eighthgrader, to a local prep school. They also lost another talented eighth-grade defender to a full-season "select" program.