CHAPTER FIVE

THE ROLE OF A PLAYER

1.0   Role of Players

      At the Minor Hockey level players are in hockey because they want to spend their spare time enjoying themselves in a sport that is enjoyable. 

      The moment that the sport starts to seem like work, the players tend to find other sports or hobbies that allow them to have fun in their spare time.

1.1                           Learn Hockey Skills

      Skating (propelling your body by the alternate action of your legs on skates) is the first fundamental skill that must be learned before all other skills should even be attempted.  Good skaters can develop their stick handling (alternating the path of the puck on your stick without looking at the puck is the proper technique),  passing (allows teammates to move the puck up the ice and to one another faster than skating the puck up the ice) and shooting (slap shot, wrist shot, snap shot and backhand) skills once their balance on skates is developed.

1.2                           Learn life lessons

      Develop Friendships

         As players meet other players of their age they learn how to interact with these strangers and inevitably they develop friendships.  Some of these friendships last longer than others as players continue in the same schools, teams and other hobbies/sports.

      Communication

         Players learn different methods of communicating

         combative vs. peaceful

         compromising - discussing ideas and coming to an agreement

         give and receive constructive criticism vs. negative comments

                              Winning & Losing / Sportsmanship

                     If a player went through his whole hockey career without losing a single game then this player either had a very short hockey career or they are now in the Hockey Hall of Fame.

                     Losing and learning how to accept losing in a sportsmanlike manner (not taking a suck attack, or crying because things didnt go your way) will prepare hockey players for accepting defeat in life (divorce/separation/breakups, losing a job, bankruptcy, death, etc.). 

                     A player learns how to cope with the difficult battles in life by learning how to take the good with the bad and moving on with your life (ie. live to play another day).

                              Teamwork / Co-operation

         You are only as strong as your weakest link!

         Players must learn to use their strengths (star players) and weaknesses (the so called 4th line players) to develop a strategy and method to win.

1.3                           Why do players/kids play hockey?

      Have Fun

      Excitement of being part of a team trying to achieve a common goal

      Challenge of developing skills, fitness/physically and mentally

      Play in the NHL!!

         Does a 5 or 15 year old really want to play in the NHL or has he been brainwashed to believe that?

      Win!!

         Where do children get this competitive nature of I MUST WIN?

        Is this driven by the parents &/or costs of playing hockey?