TEAM. Together Everyone Achieves More. It’s a saying that is posted in many youth sports locker rooms around the country. And it’s no secret: the most successful teams in any sport are marked by great teamwork. History celebrates the great partnership between two players or the seemingly average group of individuals who work together as one to achieve extraordinary success. And when we think about one of the life lessons we hope our kids gain from playing youth sports, many parents say “teamwork” or “learning to be a good teammate” is at the top of their list.
Teaching teamwork can happen both on and off the field. And it starts by helping kids understand what teamwork is, how to practice being a good teammate, and celebrating good sportsmanship among teammates.
What Is Teamwork?
While the dictionary definition talks about a cooperative or coordinated effort in the interest of a common cause, most of us understand the meaning to be a group of people working towards a common goal while creating a positive environment that celebrates and accentuates each individual’s strengths to create a combined better performance. It’s the idea that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. That together we are stronger than we are individually.
What makes a team successful?
Talk to your kids about what attributes make a team successful. Positivity. Trust. Supporting each other. Striving for excellence. Accepting responsibility. Providing encouragement. As an example, start with your athlete’s favorite team and make a list of all of the traits that make that team great. In no time you’ll have a long list of qualities that then become a tool for demonstrating how your child could be a great teammate.
How to be a good teammate
While ‘chemistry’ analogies abound, teamwork doesn’t just happen. It takes work. Suggest to your child to try some of these steps to being a better teammate:
Keep It Going At Home
Teamwork isn’t just for sports. Incorporate it at home with projects that involve your athlete and their friends or siblings. Play board games as a family where you and your child are teammates. Stage a neighborhood play where everyone has a role – and as a team you’ll put on a terrific production.
Last but not least, don’t forget to celebrate and praise good teamwork when you see it. “Great pass!” “Way to set your outside hitter!” Cheering and clapping for kids working together reinforces that behavior.
Being a great teammate is just one of the many elements of good sportsmanship. Stay tuned for next month’s article for more helpful tips to encourage good sportsmanship.
The Liberty Mutual Insurance Play Positive™ program, powered by Positive Coaching Alliance, promotes good sportsmanship in youth sports so that our kids can have the fun and positive experience they deserve. We believe kids can learn valuable life lessons when coaches and parents come together to support doing the right thing on and off the ice.
In an effort to benefit millions of youth athletes, parents and coaches, this article is among a series created exclusively for the Liberty Mutual Insurance Play Positive™ program, powered by Positive Coaching Alliance.
©2015 Liberty Mutual Insurance and Positive Coaching Alliance. All rights reserved. This material may not be distributed without express written permission. Any reproduction in whole or part by and individuals or organizations will be held liable for copyright infringement to the full extent of the law.
QUESTION: I bought a brand new helmet and the HECC sticker on the back of the helmet says it is good until 2021. It has never been used so can I use it in a game, or is there a way to get a new certification?
ANSWER: A helmet with an expired HECC Sticker is not legal for use in Youth/Girls, High School, and Junior USA Hockey games. Since the certification relates to the age and integrity of the materials used to make the helmet, there is no way to renew certification. The purpose of HECC Certification Stickers and dates is to ensure youth players don’t wear ten-year old helmets.
QUESTION: The goalie has been pulled. If the opposing team scores a goal on the empty net, while there is an attacking player in the crease, should the goal be allowed?
ANSWER: The Goalkeeper’s Crease exists to protect the Goalkeeper while he/she is positioned in front of the goal. Therefore, this crease and its restrictions to attacking players disappears once the goalkeeper leaves the crease.
QUESTION: Player A accidentally high-sticks Player B resulting in a cut with blood. I assessed a major but no game misconduct as it was an accident and the guy went to help Player A immediately to make sure he was ok. I have seen high-sticks called without blood or injury as a minor, and double-minors for blood. The rule states "major plus game misconduct" for any injury. Is that correct in any situation regarding blood?
ANSWER: Rule 621(b) in the USA Hockey Playing Rules states,
“A major plus a game misconduct penalty shall be assessed to any player who injures an opponent as a result of high sticking.”
There is no alternate interpretation to this rule. If the contact results in a cut, a 5+GM must be assessed.
QUESTION: A goaltender continually knocks the net off the goal line by pushing her skate off of the post. It was clear she was not doing this intentionally, but it was excessive. The opposing bench complained and requested that I (as the referee) give her a warning. The action ceased after the warning. If it had not ceased, would I have been correct in assessing a delay of game penalty? The action was resulting in an unfair advantage gained by the defending goaltender.
ANSWER: Strictly speaking, there is no rule in the USA Hockey Playing Rules that mandates a penalty if a goalkeeper accidentally knocks the net off from its proper position. One option to prevent repeated incidents is to speak with both benches and see if they agree to place anchor pins in the goal (unless they are already there). Aside from that, the officials can only assess a penalty if the goalkeeper deliberately knocks the net off.
QUESTION: If opposing player has the puck and defender hooks the opposing players stick over the top to take away the puck, is that a hooking penalty? If defender lifts the opposing players stick with his stick to take away the puck, is that a hooking penalty. Is there a difference between the defender just hooking the stick to impede the opposing player from playing the puck and hooking the stick to try to get the puck?
ANSWER: Stick-lifts” (hooking underneath and lifting the stick) and “Stick-presses” (pressing the stick down on top of an opponent's stick) are legal defensive plays as long as they are executed on the lower portion of the opponent’s stick (near the blade). Any stick contact that occurs near the opponent's gloves should be penalized as Hooking.
QUESTION: How do you know were to do the face-off after a stoppage?