Check In Time: Draft Pressure and the Process

Now more than ever coaches, advisors and agents should be meeting with players and checking in on draft year pressure and all of that process entails.
With the QMJHL CSR’s 2nd comprehensive draft list rumoured to be coming out soon, draft eligible players from across Quebec and Atlantic Canada will want to know how they stack up.
Obviously, some players are going to be on that list and some aren’t. Some players will have risen, while others may have fallen on that list, that’s just how it goes, that’s the business.
What does all that mean? What does that process look like? How do scouts formulate these lists? What are scouts really looking for especially heading into the final few months of the season and into the draft?
Unfortunately, there are more questions than answers sometimes when it comes to the scouting and ranking process. Nevertheless, each and every draft eligible player might need to be reassured and feel more support at this point in the process. Draft year pressure can erode a young person and players confidence very quickly.
The entire process is incredibly stressful with many unknowns. Agents and advisors need to reassure their client to put trust in their own process of development and path to where they want to go and focus on the “controllables” so to speak rather than the end result.
The discussions between agent, player and their families are no doubt happening very frequently throughout the year, but more now that the release of the second list is fast approaching.
Most coaches have two approaches to draft year pressure and expectations. You could call it the leaderboard approach. Actually, some players might even take that same approach. Many pro golfers have to experience seeing their name on the leaderboard of big tournaments to know how to cope, learn, deal with and overcome the pressure to win the tournament. Some players hate to know where they stand and ignore the leaderboard all together. Some players will want to know every single detail when it comes to rankings and things, they need to work on to get better, while some players will ignore it all together. Some coaches take the same leaderboard approach when it comes to draft eligible players on their teams.
Some coaches let the players find their way or are hands off when it comes to the entire process. Clearly, they are always there to provide feedback on their overall performance and development, but some they choose never to bring it up or discuss the process until the end of the season. Other coaches are very hands on and actively engaged in the entire process. Obviously, coaches know their players the best and all those interactions are extremely important, personal, and private.
Now more than coaches and agents need to be there for their young aspiring players. Draft year pressure is real. In many cases it’s overwhelming and all consuming. Players need to realize the game should still be fun and that the entire process should never take away from that aspect of the game.
Now is the time to focus on the person first and player second. Now is the time to check in on every draft eligible prospect and make sure they are doing ok and see how they are handling the whirlwind that is their draft year.
Best of luck to all draft eligible players and their families.

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