Hockey Ops begins the captain selection and assignment processes during the summer before each season. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you would or would not like to be a captain for the upcoming season. You may be reached out to directly if there’s a need!
Captains are leaders on and off the ice. They may know a lot about hockey, they may not know a lot about hockey. They should all be positive and encouraging representatives of the MGHA.
- Know basic hockey rules and ensure their players are playing the MGHA Way
- Foster a positive team atmosphere, recognizing and encouraging leadership among all team members
- Leading team practices
- Disseminating league communications in the locker room before and after games
- Creating lines & allocating subs according to the MGHA sub policy
- Understanding their players’ capabilities and assist skills development directly (themselves) / indirectly (empowering others)
- Promoting inclusion and creating a safe space on / off the ice
- Writing injury reports and code of conduct violations on behalf of their players
- Escalating issues (i.e. injuries, code of conduct violations, player harassment, etc.) to the board
- Helping enforce disciplinary actions decided on by the board
Captains should not…
- Spend too much time focusing on one skill level or another
- Stack lines
- Make disciplinary decisions without board awareness or approval
Attendance Tracker & Line Formation Sheet
Make a copy of (or download) this google sheet to make team attendance and lines easier to track.
Weekly Email Template
Captains should send an email like this the Thursday or Friday before Sunday games. Thanks to Molly Costello for this great content from her time captaining the Mountain Majesties!
Subject: [Team-purple] Game Sunday 2/21 @ 5:50 vs. Orange
Hello [Team Name]!
Game 2/21 @ 5:50 vs. Orange
NAME and NAME have scorebox duty from 7-8. Link to Schedule on Website
Skill Focus of the Week (see more below)
A refresher on positioning. Here’s a nice site outlining the main…
Our social sponsor this week is Dexter’s. If you haven’t already, check out their very popular Friday fish fry, or stop by for a post-game beer and snack.
Seriously, you guys, SIGN UP TO BRING THINGS OR IT WILL BE THE SADDEST POTLUCK EVER.
Other Examples: Event reminders, volunteer opportunities, surveys to fill out, daylight savings, town halls, etc all-league stuff.
Think of talking on the ice as an opportunity to remember the names of all your new teammates. If you can’t remember names in the chaos, a classic “I’m open!” or a few taps of your stick on the ice are a good starting point. Use short phrases, and repeat yourself for maximum impact. Wondering what people are yelling? Look below for common phrases you might hear on the ice, and what they mean.
Common On Ice Phrases (not comprehensive, pulled this from my brain, feel free to add others):
“Time” or “space”– You’ve got some time to gain control of the puck, as there’s no one from the opposing team close to you
“Off” or “offsides”- Someone is offsides, if we’re in their end, hustle back to the other side of the blue line
“Man on” or “one on”– A player from the other team is approaching behind you, prepare to defend the puck or pass it
“Open”– Your teammate is open for a pass, pick your head up and pass as appropriate
“Screen”- If Kyle is yelling this, it means someone is blocking his view, otherwise known as screening the goalie. Move yourself, or the offending player, out of his view so he can see the ice to better defend our net.
“Dump” or “dump it”- Shoot the puck into the opposing end, usually used to change lines or clear the puck out of our end
“Ice” – A whistle for icing is on its way, no need to hustle down to the puck (unless you can reach it before it crosses the goal line). Pro tip: the ref signal for this is one arm held straight up in the air, sometimes goalies will mimic this sign, too, to notify players.
Two hands on the stick. Seriously, anything you can do with one hand, you can do even better with two. It’s tempting to stretch your arm out with one hand on the stick when you think you otherwise can’t reach the puck/player. The more effective tactic is to take an extra step or two, and come in strong with both hands. Two hands = twice the power.
Falling…and getting back up! I once had a coach that told us “if you don’t fall down, you’re not skating hard enough”. That being said, it’s important to know how to fall safely, and how to recover. Yes, you should practice falling and recovering, so it becomes muscle memory. It might look crazy, but let me tell you, it helps!
- Fall small- when you know you’re heading down, use that split second to make your body as compact as possible. I.e. don’t flail your arms around wildly and drop and do the splits on the ice. This reduces the risk that you take down someone else with you.
- Heads up hockey– For when you’re falling near the boards, because spinal injuries are bad.
- Getting back up- Adorable, and useful!
- Stick retrieval- if you lost your stick in the process, NEVER take off your glove to pick it back up. It’s not worth the risk of a blade near your fingers.
Net presence. We’ve talked before about the triangle formation in the offensive end. If you’re not actively working on gaining puck possession, the next best thing you can do is camp out in front of the net. That way, when your teammate on the boards or in the corner gets the puck, you’re there for them to pass to. Focus on keeping a close-but-not-too-close distance from the crease (I aim for about 3-5 feet out), and keeping your stick down. Don’t let those pesky defenders deter you!
Two hands on the stick. Stick on the ice. This may sound familiar, because I’ve mentioned it before, but it bears repeating. Last week in the locker room, there were threats of taping gloves to sticks. Don’t make me go through with them. 🙂
Breakouts. We’ve been doing a nice job of getting the puck out of our end, but we can always get better! Here’s a nice article that outlines some different types of breakouts to try, depending on the situation you’re facing. Bonus list of tips at the bottom of the article, including my favorite: “Don’t pass the puck through the middle (unless you are 1000% sure, and even then be double sure)”
Stick handling. The nice thing about this skill is it’s something that you can practice off ice as well as on ice. The key things to remember are soft hands, and keeping your head up. Off ice, take a tennis ball and practice while you watch tv. This will help your hands get used to moving and using your peripheral vision to track the puck while your head is up looking for an opportunity (or watching Scandal). On ice, focus on smoothly pushing the puck back and forth, not chopping your stick up and down on either side.
Keeping your knees bent. I’m still totally guilty of standing up straighter than I should, even after all these years. Bending your knees allows you more stability, and gives your stride more power. Here’s a great article and video that explain the power of bent knees in more detail.