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Six Ways to Stay Engaged When It’s Not Your Shift

By Ontario Minor Hockey Association, 09/08/17, 11:45AM EDT

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How to contribute to what’s happening on the ice

Every player on a team is an important piece of the puzzle that brings a community together. While there may only be six players on the ice at a time, everyone takes turns in contributing to the team’s success. When you are waiting for your next shift and taking a breather on the bench, there are many ways to be a part of what’s happening on the ice.

Here are six ways to stay engaged when it’s not your shift:

Always Be Ready: When it’s your turn to hit the ice, make sure you are prepared. Stay focused on the flow of the game and be ready for any last-second instruction from the coach. Keep building the momentum for your team!

Encourage: Your teammates are working hard on the ice. Show them the same energy by remaining positive. Keep your teammates’ emotions under control. Make note of your body language and how it may have an effect on those around you. A fist bump or pat on the back after a hard-working shift are easy gestures to show your teammates that you appreciate their effort.

Stay Organized: Put water bottles back in their proper place and don’t leave a mess on the bench. Your seat will become your teammate’s and don’t let them get distracted from what’s going on in the game. It will help the flow of your team.

Study the Opponent: When it’s not your shift you should still be paying attention to what’s happening on the ice. The different viewpoint of being outside the action can be a great learning tool and you can see other team’s tendencies that you may not have otherwise noticed. Take this new perspective and apply it when you hit the ice.

Speak Up: Talk to your linemates after your shift and go over what went well and what you can improve on together. Keep the talking to game-related topics. Save the non-game chatting for the locker room after the game.

Ears Open: Pay attention to what the coaching staff is saying. They could be sharing important messaging about strategy, line changes or what’s happening on the ice. Communicate with them if you pick up on a trend from the other team.

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