As a new season is upon us, I want to take the opportunity to welcome you to the 2018/19 season. As we all know, there have been a lot of changes within the Association in the past six months. One of the areas that the board of directors as well as the hockey director is trying to focus on is developing a positive “hockey culture.” This not only includes winning, but also knowing how to lose with class, being a good teammate, respecting the coaches/refs, and generally displaying positive sportsmanship.
With that said, here are a few key points I’d like to stress:
- We are working diligently to improve supervision in the locker rooms. Last season’s survey addressed this topic and the results were clear. Given the responses, new locker room policies have been adopted by the board, meetings with coaches have been conducted, and plans have been implemented. Please reminder your player to display appropriate locker room behavior.
- Although new policies are in place, coaches and/or locker room monitors can only do so much. They can’t catch every issue. When issues arise, the goal will be an increased push on accountability this year. You may see your kids having to skate side boards, clean up after practice and games, sit out shifts, or even sit out a game or two. PLEASE SUPPORT THE COACHES WITH THESE DECISIONS!!! If it happens to your player or your player’s team, please refrain from confronting the coach right away and talk to your player first about the behavior which led to the decision. Your coach(es) have the authority to “bench” a player for up to one full game without a compliance hearing.
- If you have concerns about an incident or discipline decision, please wait 24 hours before addressing the matter with your coach, the coordinator/hockey director, or the compliance director unless there is an immediate safety concern.
- PARENTS ARE KEY!! Continue to talk to your player on a regular basis about their behavior and expectations in the locker room, on the ice, etc. Please teach them what being a good teammate is and looks like. Your influence at home goes much further than anything being taught at the rink.
- Please DO NOT drop your player off at the rink an hour or two early even if your child requests it. 30 minutes prior to practice is early enough (unless directed by your coaches to be there earlier).
- Unless your player is a termite or mite/8U, parents please stay out of the locker rooms! If there is an issue, please try to find a coach to talk to first before entering. Encourage your player to ask for help if there are issues with their equipment or need their skates tied.
- Finally……please support the process! To develop the STAMPEDE CULTURE, we all must “buy in” to the process. Remember, hockey is about your player having fun and learning life lessons. Success will follow if those key points are stressed.
Parents: We also need to be careful of our behavior at the rink, in the parking lots, at home, and in the community. Let’s make it a goal for our Association to be a model Association both on the ice and off. We all know there will be games where we disagree with calls made or not made. Please keep in mind your player, coaches, and the referees try to do the best they can. Our goal as a board is to significantly minimize the numbers of compliance reports for this upcoming year. Focus on what you can control instead of what you can’t is the key!
I appreciate your time and willingness to try and make the WFHA the best Association in the state both on and off the ice. Please watch for regular updates from the compliance director as well as social media posts throughout the season.
Let’s have a great season, have fun, and GO STAMPEDE!
Director of Compliance and SafeSport