Development & Education Coordinator Andy Hudson encourages all coaches to demonstrate patience and sportsmanlike behavior
With the early part of the hockey season underway, MIHOA’s Development & Education leadership team is gearing up for another busy year. An integral part of the program’s efforts is to provide a safe, positive and supportive experience for our members, especially during the critical first few games of an official’s career.
A new member’s first experience officiating is often filled with excitement, nervous energy, hesitation and uncertainty. That’s why our team of mentors, shadows and supervisors make a significant effort to be at the rink during a new member’s first-ever games. It can make all the difference, and is proving to be a crucial part of our retention goals.
With this in mind, here are my top 5 notes and tips for coaches as they get their teams and players ready for the upcoming season:
#1 BE PATIENT: Please be patient, especially with our newer and younger officials. Unlike players, our new officials do not have practices to learn the craft of officiating. Please help us by being patient, understanding that mistakes will be made, and demonstrating sportsmanlike and mature behavior.
#2 MENTORS & SHADOWS: On-ice shadows/mentors and off-ice supervisors will be utilized again this season, especially to help coach and train new officials. Thank you for your help in supporting our training efforts. The shadow/mentor/supervisor is an excellent game-time resource if you have questions, need clarification, or would like to share comments.
#3 BE A COACH: Please focus on coaching and keep your conversations with officials short, to the point, constructive, and only regarding application of a rule (not to discuss judgement calls). Show the courtesy of asking an official if it’s okay to have a quick chat, step down off the bench, and have an eye-to-eye conversation. You may disagree with the officials at times, but that's part of the game. Avoid conversations regarding typical minor penalties or perceived “missed” calls...just get back to coaching so the game can keep moving and the kids can get as much ice time as possible. Consider waiting until the intermission or end of the game to have a conversation, if necessary.
#4 USE THE 24-HOUR RULE: Please practice the "24 hour" or "sleep on it" rule when considering submitting a report or sending an email. We want to receive feedback on our officials (because that’s how we can help them continue to learn/grow), but comments received shortly after a game will -- more often than not -- lack the perspective necessary to be constructive or helpful.
#5 STAY IN YOUR LANE: Please allow the officials to do their jobs. If the players play, the coaches coach, the spectators spectate, and the officials officiate -- and everyone stays in their lane -- the game will be more enjoyable for all participants.
An official’s initial experience can make the difference between him/her being energized to get back on the ice for his/her second game, or wanting to simply hang ‘em up after only a few outings. Thank you for your help in supporting, developing and training our officiating future!
MIHOA Development & Education Coordinator
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