Everyone and anyone can see the obvious talent, it jumps off the page. It’s the quiet talent that people often miss.
I was talking with a longtime scout a few weeks back when they mentioned that term to me. What wonderful descriptor, one that I will never forget.
There are so many young aspiring players out there with quiet talent. Their talents might be buried in the undercurrent of their team or within themselves. Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean their talent isn’t there. You see my interpretation of quiet talent is that type of skill and talent takes times to grow, time to develop, time to surface. You can call it late bloomer if you wish, but quiet talent takes on a lot of different perspectives. Perhaps the hockey world doesn’t appreciate or truly valued quiet talent.
Obviously, quiet talent hides within players that might not be the flashiest. The quiet aspects of their skill set and the intangibles they possess takes some time to see, evaluate and project, it doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Quiet talent might be the honest, two-way players, the stay at home defenders or hard nose competitors, the grinders, that’s who the quiet talented players are.
Scouts often share stories of the first time seeing or viewing certain players. Everyone has one of those stories, “oh I saw this or that player when they played here.” Well, when it comes to quiet talent, the talented player might have been in front of you all along. Quiet talent is often missed, because all of the focus is directed towards the highflyers. Every scout and organization are looking for the diamonds in the rough, but moreover they are looking for the sure thing. The sure things doesn’t always materialize. The later round draft picks often surprise the most and make the largest impact on and off the ice, but it shouldn’t be a surprise if you have done your work and identified the quiet talents these players possess. It’s not about taking a flyer in the later rounds of the draft, it’s about the quiet talent. It’s all about time. Time for growth and development because when its time for the opportunity, quiet talent is more than ready to jump at the chance to show they belong. The adversity quiet talent face on a day to day, year to year basis has a way of galvanizing their character and resiliency.
As scouts we have to drill down, always look closer and project no matter what. It doesn’t matter where the player is playing now or where they played last year, what matters the most is where they are going to be when it’s time, their time and the organizations time.
Quiet talent takes time, but when its time, look out because they will be more than ready and willing to contribute.
Here’s to all the quiet talented players out there maximizing their time to grow, develop and improve.
Your efforts won’t go unnoticed.