Before the hockey season comes to a close, there is one final peak on what can be roller coaster year. Playdowns are now in full swing as over 1,800 teams are vying for the coveted #RedHats. With every shift mattering that much more, it can be easy to have the pressure be magnified on a player every time they touch the ice.
However, the game remains the same in many ways. How you act on and off the ice should still reflect your character and being respectful to opponents, parents, fans, referees and teammates is essential in building a true champion.
Here are five ways to be a good teammate during Playdowns.
1. Listen More than Talk
Communication on the ice is extremely important but it could be even more crucial in the locker room. If a teammate approaches you with some feedback about a play that went wrong or a way they believe you can improve, your focus should be on everything they are saying. This builds trust between teammates and shows that you respect their opinion.
2. The Team is Better than the Individual
There is no denying that having an MVP on your team is a valuable asset on the Road to #RedHats but one person can only do so much. Working together as a unit will bring the best opportunities forward for everybody and allow for a greater chance of group success. One pass from a player could change the fortunes of an entire team.
3. Be accountable
Everyone makes mistakes and nobody is blaming you for them. However, don’t let it be a poor effort that leads to a slip up on the ice. Owning your actions will build respect in the locker room and show your teammates that you care enough about them to admit when you were in the wrong.
4. Stay calm
It can be easy to let the Playdowns take over your emotions but it is necessary to remain calm. Your body language can have a great effect on your teammates whether you realize it or not and how you behave during a game is not always how you want to be remembered. When you are focused, that’s when the best results occur. Don’t let the competitive juices get out of hand.
5. Be a Friend
The team doesn’t disappear once the final whistle sounds. You never know what your teammates could be going through of off the ice and it is important to be a friend. Even when it doesn’t involve hockey, extending an invitation to a teammate only helps to build camaraderie. These bonds could be reflected on the ice the next team time the skates are laced up.