Most hockey teams have returning players; many of which already know each other through hockey or school. However, the Midget AA team I am working with this year has an unusual number of new faces, which creates a different dynamic on the bench and in the dressing room. New friendships are being formed and players need to learn how to work together as a team. The coaching staff ensures each player knows that there is no “I” in TEAM. “We play for the logo on your chest, not the name bar on your back”. When all of the players commit to working hard for each other there are more positive attitudes on the bench. A prime example of good sportsmanship happened this past weekend. One of our new defenseman was frantically trying to clear the puck from the defensive zone and by some unlucky turn of events, scored on our own net. This was a defining moment because most teenagers would instantly react with anger or blame. I was really proud of our team captain when I saw him go over to his sullen team mate to give him some positive encouragement. Our captain said “don’t worry about it,” patted him on the shoulder and cheered out to the rest of the team “let’s go boys, tough break but we will get it back.” A team with a good work ethic and positive attitude towards each other plays better together. I think for our first team road trip I will have to bring “The Mighty Ducks” to reinforce our team spirit!
Emma Van Ulden , BPE