If you are passionate about hockey, becoming a professional player in Europe can be your dream come true. However, the road to achieving it is not easy. It requires dedication, hard work, and persistence because competition is fierce, talent abundant and skills honed from an early age.
But don’t worry! In this article, we have shared ten secrets that will help you become a pro hockey player in Europe.
“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful. ” – Albert Schweitzer
The first secret to becoming a pro hockey player in Europe is to stay motivated and happy while pursuing your goals. Hockey requires endless hours of practice and training sessions, which can make it challenging at times. But if you truly enjoy playing the sport on ice and consider it as something more than just “work, ” then every day becomes an opportunity for growth.
You must learn how to excel both on and off the field by maintaining discipline, taking care of yourself physically and mentally, building relationships with teammates/coaches/management personnel while staying focused on your objectives.
Understand the European Hockey Landscape
If you are looking to play professional hockey in Europe, it’s important to first understand the landscape of European hockey. While ice hockey isn’t as popular in some countries like Spain and Italy, other nations such as Sweden, Finland, and Russia have a strong fan following and well-established leagues.
Each league has its own rules regarding foreign players, so be sure to do your research on player eligibility before submitting applications. Some leagues allow unrestricted Import Players while others have strict limits on non-nationalized players.
The top-tier leagues include the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) in Russia, Swedish Hockey League (SHL), Liiga in Finland, Czech Extraliga in Czech Republic, National League A in Switzerland and Deutsche Eishockey Liga (DEL) in Germany. Other popular leagues include Denmark’s Metal Ligaen or Norway’s GET-ligaen that can provide opportunities for younger talent or those returning from injury.
“It’s essential work with an experienced agent who understands the European market if you want to effectively penetrate the international arena, ” says Rob Gerster, Director of At Your Request Sports Management – Sport Agency & Consulting Service
To increase your chances of finding clubs interested in taking you on board, learn more about hockey culture across different regions. Reach out to individuals connected within hockey communities online. Follow social media accounts for teams around Europe and interact with fans worldwide.
In summary, knowing which countries’ markets align best with your skills is crucial when focusing on playing professionally overseas. Once you’ve studied up on various markets make informed decisions accordingly contributing towards successful representation at tryouts>>
Know the Different Leagues
If you’re considering playing professional hockey in Europe, it’s important to understand the different leagues and what they offer.
The top European league is the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL), which consists of teams from Russia, Belarus, Latvia Kazakhstan, Finland, China and Croatia. This league has a strong reputation for competitive play and pays its players very well, but also has a large cultural barrier due to language differences.
The Swedish Hockey League (SHL) is another highly regarded league known for its skilled players and high-level competition. Players are generally paid less than KHL players, but enjoy more comfortable living arrangements and fewer cultural challenges.
In addition to the SHL, other noteworthy European hockey leagues include Switzerland’s National League A (NLA), Germany’s Deutsche Eishockey Liga (DEL), Austria’s Erste Bank Eishockey Liga (EBEL) and Britain’s Elite Ice Hockey League (EIHL).
“Playing Professional hockey in Europe requires not only skill but also adaptability. “- Unknown
No matter where you end up playing in Europe, your experience will undoubtedly be unique. The key to success on any team abroad is being open-minded and willing to embrace new cultures while staying true to yourself as an athlete. Good luck!
Follow the Teams and Players
If you want to learn how to play professional hockey in Europe, it’s important to keep track of teams and players. Follow their performances so you can assess your own abilities accordingly.
The best way to do this is by following leagues such as the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL), Swedish Hockey League (SHL) or Deutsche Eishockey Liga (DEL). These are the top three European leagues that attract some of the world’s best talent. You can also follow local social media accounts for specific teams to stay up-to-date with team news.
Watching games on television or online is another effective way to gain knowledge about playing professionally overseas. Study different styles of play and strategies that may apply to your game. Learn from the physicality of top-level hockey and train yourself both mentally and physically.
“One key aspect is learning a second language which will help make communication with coaches and teammates easier, ” says former NHL player Robert Esche who played several seasons in Russia. “Understanding cultural differences can also be beneficial when adjusting to life abroad. “
Above all, remain dedicated, work hard every day, and never give up pursuing your dream of playing professional hockey in Europe.
Get Noticed by Scouts
If you are an aspiring professional hockey player hoping to secure a spot on a European team, it is essential that you learn how to showcase your skills and get noticed by scouts. Here are some tips:
1. Attend Professional Player Development Camps: These camps provide opportunities for players to train with professional coaches and play in front of scouts from different leagues.
2. Network: Make connections with people in the hockey world such as former teammates, coaches, agents or even other players who have gone overseas to play professionally. Networking can often lead to recommendating or offers from different teams.
3. Use Social Media Effectively: Social media has become increasingly important when it comes to scouting athletes. Make sure that all of your profiles (especially LinkedIn) are up-to-date and show yourself practicing hockey drills so prospective teams can see your skill level.
“When trying out for any pro league– be very attentive & respect what your tryout coach is stressing during drills. ” -Nate Leslie, founder of Get Noticed By Pro’s Hockey
4. Consider participation in tournaments/leagues abroad : Participating in foreign leagues allows you more opportunity for team exposure while also demonstrating independence / confidence as well as enhancements made from playing internationally. This experience is impressive on resumes and may give advantage over local competition in competing to land any future spots domestically or abroad.By leveraging these tips while staying focused on honing ice-skills, we believe success isn’t far off those aiming towards their career milestones in Europe!
Attend Camps and Tryouts
If you aspire to play professional hockey in Europe, it is essential to attend camps and tryouts. European leagues are highly competitive, and attending a camp or tryout increases your chances of being scouted by teams looking for new talent.
Many European ice hockey teams hold open tryouts at the beginning of their seasons. These events offer aspiring players an opportunity to showcase their skills alongside other hopefuls under the watchful eye of team scouts. Successful candidates might be offered a spot on a junior squad while they develop their abilities further.
Camps can provide greater exposure opportunities than traditional team tryouts because many different organizations scout these training events. You may also receive valuable feedback about your performance from experienced coaches and trainers:
“Attending camps early in my career taught me how tough this sport truly is but helped me surpass many personal limits, ” says former NHL player Pavol Demitra. “
You can find detailed information about upcoming pro hockey camps and tryouts online through scouting services such as Euro Hockey or International Scouting Services (ISS) who focus specifically on identifying top prospects for teams overseas”. By putting yourself through rigorous testing scenarios at various age levels with both local skill development programs plus outside sport-specific coaching providers could make all the difference in giving you that extra edge when it comes down to final decisions made over the next few years regarding whether or not you have what it takes to go pro”.
Highlight Your Skills and Experience
Becoming a professional hockey player in Europe requires dedication, hard work, and experience. If you want to succeed in playing professional hockey in Europe, it is important to highlight your skills and experience.
To start with, you should have excellent skating ability, stamina, agility, strength, balance, hand-eye coordination and shooting accuracy. You will also need outstanding stickhandling skills as well as good physicality and toughness due to the nature of the sport.
Your passion for ice hockey must be backed up by training experience in various areas such as conditioning training, power skating drills or game strategy tactics. Make sure that your resume emphasizes all of these attributes so that coaches can see how you stand out from other players on the team or within the league.
It’s essential to mention any recognized achievements such as MVP awards won during college matches or high ranking club competitions that demonstrate your abilities beyond basic level proficiency?
You may also include additional information about camps or tournaments attended over summer break which shows active development toward a set goal – working diligently to become an elite athlete. This can help distinguish yourself from competing candidates vying for opportunities overseas who potentially match-up physically but have less impressive track records when scrutinized closely by management staff analyzing their eligibility status.
Finally don’t forget to show stats of past games especially those performed at higher skill levels competition-wise since organizations would like nothing more than someone capable enough exceed expectations regarding achievements.
Build Your Skills and Fitness
In order to play professional hockey in Europe, it is essential that you have the necessary skills and fitness level. The competition is fierce and the players are skilled, so you must be prepared.
The first step is to work on your skating ability. This means practicing your stops, starts, turns, crossovers, and backward skating. You should also work on your stickhandling skills by using a variety of drills such as dribbling through cones or practicing one-handed puck control.
To improve your physical fitness level, incorporate exercises such as weightlifting, plyometrics, and cardio into your training routine. It’s important to build strength and endurance while maintaining agility.
“The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra. ” – Jimmy Johnson
You can also benefit from working with a coach or trainer who can guide you through specific drills tailored to help you improve in areas where you may need more practice.
Another important aspect of playing professional hockey in Europe is having mental toughness. The game moves quickly and requires quick decision making under pressure. Practicing mindfulness techniques such as visualization and focusing on breathing can help keep you calm during high-pressure situations.
In summary, building your skills and improving fitness levels are key components to becoming a successful professional ice hockey player in Europe. With hard work, dedication, and perseverance anything is possible!
Focus on Skating, Shooting, and Stickhandling
Playing professional hockey in Europe requires a certain level of skill and expertise. To make it to the top leagues, players need to have strong skating abilities which include speed, agility, balance and endurance.
In addition to good skating skills, aspiring players must also possess sharp shooting abilities. They should be able to take accurate shots at all angles that can help them score goals in any situation during a game.
Stickhandling is another important aspect of playing professional hockey in Europe. Players must develop their ability to control the puck while moving around swiftly without losing its possession.
“Practice makes perfect” – this ancient proverb is relevant when it comes to playing professional hockey in Europe. Regularly trainings are essential for improvement and honing one’s skills, ” said Maximilian Boltman, captain of HC Davos.
To become a successful player in European hockey league, you need a dedicated approach towards your training routine. This may involve several hours of practice per day or engaging with an experienced coach who can guide you through every step of the process. By focusing on these three elements – skating, shooting and stickhandling- along with discipline, hard work, dedication and determination–you will put yourself ahead of other players trying to make it into pro-hockey leagues in Europe.
Develop Your Strength and Endurance
In order to play professional hockey in Europe, it is essential that you have the strength and endurance needed for long games and intense training sessions. This can be achieved through a combination of weightlifting, cardiovascular exercise, and proper nutrition.
Weightlifting should focus on building both upper body and lower body strength, with exercises such as squats, deadlifts, bench press, and pull-ups. It is important to work with a trainer or coach who can guide you in developing a safe and effective lifting program.
Cardiovascular exercise should include activities such as running, cycling, or interval training to improve your overall endurance. Incorporating high-intensity intervals into your workouts can simulate the fast pace of game situations.
Nutrition plays a crucial role in building strength and endurance. Eating a diet rich in lean protein, complex carbohydrates, fruits, and vegetables can provide the nutrients necessary for muscle recovery and energy production. Avoiding processed foods, sugary drinks, and alcohol can also contribute to optimal performance.
Remember to listen to your body throughout your training process. Rest days are just as important as workout days in preventing injury and promoting recovery.
By focusing on developing your physical abilities through weightlifting, cardiovascular exercise, and proper nutrition, you’ll be on track towards playing professional hockey in Europe!
Network with Coaches and Players
The process of getting started playing professional hockey in Europe can seem intimidating, but it’s important to remember that networking is key. Making connections with coaches and fellow players can help you get your foot in the door and make valuable contacts.
One great way to meet people in the industry is by attending showcases or tryouts. These events give players a chance to showcase their skills to potential teams, while also providing opportunities for networking.
You can also reach out to other players who are already playing overseas, either through social media or online forums. These individuals may be able to provide advice on navigating the European hockey scene or introduce you to their own contacts.
“Having personal relationships will not only help you when getting into pro hockey, but will stay with you throughout your entire career, ” says former professional player Matt Tendler.
In addition, consider reaching out directly to teams or agents via email or phone. Be prepared with an up-to-date resume highlighting your experience and accomplishments on the ice.
Remember that building relationships takes time and effort, so don’t get discouraged if progress is slow at first. Keep practicing and refining your skills, attend as many showcases as possible, and maintain a positive attitude – eventually your hard work will pay off!
Attend Hockey Events and Conferences
One important step to play professional hockey in Europe is to attend hockey events and conferences. These events not only provide a platform for networking but also offer opportunities to gain insights into the game, European culture, and how it relates to ice hockey.
You can meet people from different countries who have various experiences such as players, coaches, scouts, agents, team owners, and managers. Networking will give you an opportunity to learn about their backgrounds and connections in the industry that could be beneficial for your career growth.
Besides networking with professionals in the field of hockey, attending conferences enables you to gather knowledge on relevant topics such as training techniques focusing on different skills like shooting accuracy or decision-making under pressure.
The conference sessions are usually led by experts who share their practical experience and theoretical knowledge through seminars or workshops. You Get a chance to ask questions at these events which could help your learning curve quicker.
“Attending hockey events is one way I got noticed, “- Alexander Mogilny (Former NHL player)
Apart from gaining information regarding strategies related to coaching methods, attendees at tournaments get exposure watching games involving teams across leagues allowing them understand how certain systems work and how they need adapting when moving overseas.In conclusion, To play professional hockey in Europe apart from being a skilled player other factors must be incorporated including understanding cultures practiced within specific geographies. This entails attending Confrences & Tournaments otherwise known as scouting grounds where individuals involved in playing or manning interests meet with rising stars thereby unlocking future prospects. A well-rounded individual stands better chances of success than simply relying solely on innate talent hence why honing non-playing aspects of the sport should be equally emphasised. Understood this way;conferencing becomes another means of preparation before setting off making yourself available to pioneering minds ready for discussion & learning.
Connect with Agents and Scouts
If you aspire to play professional hockey in Europe, the first step is seeking representation from knowledgeable agents or scouts. These professionals can help guide you through the various leagues across the continent and find a team that suits your playing style.
To begin your search for an agent or scout, start by networking within the local hockey community. Attend games, clinics, and tournaments where industry professionals may be present. Use social media platforms like LinkedIn to connect with hockey insiders who can lead you in the right direction.
In addition to personal connections, there are also several online resources available for those seeking representation. Websites such as European Hockey Agent Directory offer listings of authorized agents throughout Europe. Be sure to conduct thorough research on any potential representative before making a commitment.
It’s essential to work with agents or scouts who have experience working within the European hockey market- especially if you’re new to it yourself.
Once you’ve found a suitable agent or scout, they will work closely with you to identify opportunities that line up with your talent level and career goals. They’ll negotiate contracts on behalf of clients while providing advice on international player taxation laws and health insurance requirements abroad.
Having seasoned guidance by your side would give you more exposure to top teams and playable contests needed for success in Professional Ice Hockey:The path towards becoming a successful professional ice hockey player requires hard work, determination, patience, and dedication towards training meant for championship athletes. Trusting experienced individuals’ knowledge about league structures – which may vary significantly between different countries – should keep one informed about logistic requirements. . As long as you remain focused on honing your craft for upcoming scouting sessions while working alongside qualified personnel recommended, set clear visions that align perfectly with achieving desired goals are realized soon enough!
Playing professional hockey in Europe can be an exciting opportunity for aspiring athletes. However, before taking the leap, it is essential to navigate the visa and work permit process.
The first step is to research which countries offer opportunities for hockey players. Once a player has identified their desired location, they should visit the country’s embassy website to check for specific visa requirements.
In most cases, athletes will need to obtain a sports visa or an employment visa depending on whether they are considered a professional athlete or not. It is important to have all necessary documentation such as contracts and letters from teams outlining job responsibilities and salary information.
Additionally, some European leagues require non-EU citizens to obtain a work permit. This process may take several months to complete and involves submitting various documents such as medical certificates and criminal records checks. It is recommended that players begin this process well in advance of their planned start date.
“It is crucial for players looking to play overseas to thoroughly research visas and work permits ahead of time. “
Avoiding any legal issues can significantly impact a player’s career if left unaddressed or unresolved. By starting early with planning paperwork, potential setbacks can more easily be avoided entirely, leaving you free focus on increasing your skills in preparation for playing at the international level!
Research the Visa Requirements for Each Country
If you’re planning to play professional hockey in Europe, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with visa requirements for each country where you will be traveling and performing. Generally speaking, non-citizens who wish to work or study abroad must obtain a work or student visa before departure.
To research visa requirements, begin by locating the consular website of the embassy that serves your intended destination(s). Some countries have separate categories of visas for athletes and entertainers, so it’s important to check which category applies to you as a professional athlete.
You may need to provide various documentation such as proof of employment offer, sponsorship letters from teams, medical certificates and criminal background checks (which can take some time), travel itinerary information, and evidence of sufficient means to support yourself while overseas.
Note: It is advisable to apply for visas well in advance since application processing times can vary widely from one consulate/embassy office location or region/country within which they are situated versus another.
In addition, changes in visa policies sometimes occur unexpectedly due to political tensions between home government authorities and foreign governments. Therefore staying current on news developments also proves helpful ahead of making travel preparations or appointments for any needed applications interviews if/as required per local embassy instructions.
All this effort should ensure smooth entry into desired European host countries without undue stress once there–and help fully focus upon playing up-to-par–as a dedicated member of your team!
Apply for Work Permits in Advance
If you are planning to play professional hockey in Europe, it is essential that you apply for your work permits well in advance. This is one of the most critical steps towards securing a job overseas, and failure to do so could result in missed opportunities or being sent home prematurely.
Each country will have its own specific regulations when it comes to visa requirements, so be sure to research each country’s policy before applying. Once you have determined what kind of paperwork needs to be filed for the visa application, make sure that all necessary documents are submitted on time and correctly completed.
The process of obtaining work permits can take several weeks if not months. It is therefore crucial that you start as early as possible – this means even before signing a contract with any team abroad. Ideally, apply six months ahead of your anticipated start date to allow plenty of leeway for processing times and potential complications that may arise during the application process.
A delay or rejection caused by poor preparation would ultimately reflect negatively on your ability and compatibility with the organization.
Remember, every moment counts when trying to secure employment playing hockey professionally in Europe; acting proactively rather than reactively only helps bolster chances at success down the road. Therefore, thoroughly conduct research regarding countries’ individual policies while also ensuring timely submission and more importantly accurate completion of relevant applications whilst applying diligently far enough in advance will increase overall odds working internationally within these leagues.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the requirements to play professional hockey in Europe?
Requirements to play professional hockey in Europe vary depending on the league and country. Generally, players must be at least 18 years old and have a high level of skill and experience. Many leagues require players to have played at least a certain number of games in a lower-level league or to have been scouted by a professional team. Additionally, players may need to obtain a work visa or residency permit to play in a foreign country.
What countries offer professional hockey leagues in Europe?
Professional hockey leagues are offered in many countries in Europe, including Sweden, Finland, Russia, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, and many others. Each country’s league has its own unique style of play and level of competition. Some of the most popular leagues in Europe include the Swedish Hockey League (SHL), Kontinental Hockey League (KHL), and Deutsche Eishockey Liga (DEL).
How do I find a team to play for in Europe?
There are several ways to find a team to play for in Europe. One option is to work with a sports agency that specializes in placing hockey players with teams abroad. Another option is to reach out directly to teams and inquire about tryouts or opportunities to join the team. Networking with coaches, scouts, and other players can also be a helpful way to discover new opportunities and get connected with a team.
What are the differences between playing professional hockey in Europe vs. North America?
There are several differences between playing professional hockey in Europe and North America. In Europe, the rink size is typically larger, which affects the style of play and requires players to have different skills. Additionally, the travel schedule is often less intense in European leagues, with teams playing multiple games against the same opponent in a single weekend. Finally, the level of competition can vary greatly between different European leagues, with some leagues being more competitive than others.
What steps can I take to improve my chances of playing professional hockey in Europe?
To improve your chances of playing professional hockey in Europe, it is important to work on developing your skills and experience as a player. This may involve playing at a lower level and working your way up to higher-level leagues, as well as seeking out opportunities to play in international tournaments or with teams overseas. Building a strong network of coaches, scouts, and other players can also be helpful in discovering new opportunities and getting connected with teams abroad.