Let’s “Green” the Hockey Environment

Below is an excellent article written by Keith Andresen, Senior Director of Hockey Programs for the Dallas Stars Youth Program. While the article is intended for a hocky specific audience, it is clearly applicable to all audiences.

“Green” has become the catchword for any cause that helps our environment. Everyday people examine ways we can “green” our environment by conserving our natural resources and eliminating pollution through the use of “green” products such as hybrid cars. The hockey environment could use some “greening” as well. Our environment is the rink and I have noticed that our game is being polluted by poor attitudes and foul language at an alarming rate and it’s time we all take a step back to see what we can do to make our Hockey Environment “GREEN”.

Anyone who comes to the rink is part of the environment and that includes, players, coaches, officials, and fans. Each person brings an attitude to the rink, and that attitude will create his or her contribution to the environment. When that attitude is a combination of respect and tolerance the hockey environment is healthy and “green”. However when there’s a lack of tolerance and respect, the environment suffers.

Let’s start with the officials. There are good officials and bad officials and fortunately the vast majority are good. No official is perfect and, here’s a flash for you, they do make mistakes; however, I have never met an official that intentionally tries to make mistakes. That being said I have found that there are officials who feel it necessary to leave their imprint on each game they work. They come out onto the ice with a chip on their shoulder and they find it necessary to let everyone know that they are in charge without much regard for the game that is going on in front of them. I’m not sure what these guys are thinking but I suggest they take time out to smile and remember that they are not the game people came to see. These are the guys who refuse to talk to a coach or player, even when approached politely, to answer questions or discuss a call. These are the officials who need to figure out that they will call fewer penalties and receive far less criticism if they just lighten up and keep a polite and open attitude.

Some of you coaches need to look in the mirror as well. While officials make mistakes now and then, every call that goes against your team is not a reason to climb up on the bench and start yelling at the officials like they just cost you a chance for the Stanley Cup. I have seen mite squirt and peewee coaches this year yelling and screaming at teenage officials to the point where the officials were almost in tears. Players need to learn at a young age that life isn’t always fair and that sometimes, even when you do everything right, the breaks go against you. A coach who can deal with adversity and teach that lesson to his players is a coach that will have a team that can play through almost anything. If you have to talk to an official do it with respect. Don’t stand up on the bench or boards but down in the bench so you can look him in the eye. Call the official over quietly and you’ll find that he will be far more willing to listen to what you have to say. You may not change his mind but you will have shown the official that you’re a decent guy and you will probably get the benefit of the doubt on future calls. Read more of this post

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Memorable Sports Quotes

Here is a list of favorite sports quotes….

We didn’t lose the game; we just ran out of time.
Vince Lombardi

If you can’t accept losing, you can’t win.
Vince Lombardi

Strength does not come from physical capacity, it comes from an indomitable will.
Mahatma Gandhi

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