Does Shortening the Bench Have a Place in Minor Hockey?, News (Pelham Minor Hockey Association)

PrintNews Article
Click to view full-size image
Does Shortening the Bench Have a Place in Minor Hockey?
Submitted By OMHA on Wednesday, November 01, 2017
It’s the final minute of a tie game and your team is taking the faceoff in the offensive zone.

Should the coach put in the next line in the rotation or the team’s best goal scorer?

OMHA Article Link

Coaches at every level can be tempted to ‘go for the win.’ At the minor hockey level, the decision to shorten the bench to squeeze out an extra win sends the wrong message.


Taking away ice time in any situation just might take away interest in the sport altogether. A coach skipping over the third line in the final minutes of a tight game may not seem like a big deal to an adult. But the sweetness of whatever victory gained from such a move likely will still taste sour to all those kids deemed not worthy of playing.

Richard Monette is the publisher and editor-in-chief of Active for Life. His professional activities span the disciplines of business, sport psychology and education. He is part of the B2ten leadership team and leads the Active for Life initiative. Monette is a believer in equal playing time.

"Some coaches play to win and some coaches play for the right reason which is to roll the lines so every kid has the same amount of ice time. That’s when it gets very challenging."

While coaches can come up with reasons not to play certain players, they need to remember to look at it from the kid’s perspective.

“Most kids don’t play just to win. Most kids try to win but it’s not really what matters the most to them,” said Monette. “When you look at surveys and all kinds of studies and you ask kids why do they play, they always say the same thing: they play to have fun and get better. Some studies actually conclude that most kids would rather play on a losing team than sit on a winning team.”

It can be tougher for kids to understand why they aren’t playing when their idea of hockey doesn’t match up with the view of what the coach is thinking.

Some coaches believe that benching a player can serve as a disciplinary tool. If a player is skipping a shift, the coach needs to explain to them why they aren’t out on the ice.

“The worst case you can do is the kid comes back after taking a bad penalty and you sit him on the bench and you say nothing. What this creates is the kid can make up his own scenario and you might totally miss the point. If you don’t explain to the kid why you are doing what you’re doing then the kid might come up with his own interpretation and might be totally irrelevant to what you’re thinking as a coach.”

Players can get emotional and if a coach can sense that there is a risk of injury or safety of another player, it is up to them to let the skater know why some extra time on the bench can help cool off a situation. Let the player relax and compose themselves again and tell them that they will be back on the ice once they control their emotions.

If any time arises where a coach benches a player for a shift, they should meet with the player and parents after the game and explain why they chose this option. Monette recommends that coaches never bench their players for more than a shift and not at all with younger players.

For younger players who are still understanding that hockey is more than one aspect, placing labels on them like ‘goal-scorer’ can limit how they think about and view the game. If coaches elect to break from a rotation and play a certain line for a specific situation, it can’t be a habit. It’s a matter of balance.

“Kids know. If you’re in that situation in a tournament or the finals of the league and it’s done the right way for the right reasons and it’s not done through the year every single game, kids understand.”

“Some coaches play to win and some coaches play for the right reason which is to roll the lines so every kid has the same amount of ice time. That’s when it gets very challenging.”

This article has been viewed 358 times.
News ArchiveOther Recent Articles
  • 21
    Feb
    Organization
    The application process for Head Coaching positions for PMHA Rep Hockey for the 18-19 season has now opened. If you are interested in being a Head Coach for a 2018-19 Pelham Panthers Representative hockey team, you must complete this ...
  • 21
    Feb
    Organization
    The PMHA is looking for a few members who are interested in becoming a part of the Pelham Regional Silver Stick Tournament organizing committee. There are currently five positions we would like to fill with PMHA members.
  • 20
    Feb
    Organization
    Registration information for the 2018-19 hockey season will not be announced and posted until after March Break.  If you require more information please check back to our website at that time and we will have a dedicated Registration page ...
  • 16
    Feb
    Organization
    Pelham Panther members.....our Facebook page is being updated daily with great posts and stories and photos. Please feel free to contribute and send in information to share with our Facebook group! We also maintain an active and updated ...
  • 06
    Feb
    Organization
    Please be advised that Playdown contracts & schedules, as well as NDHL and NDLL Playoff schedules are being worked on currently. These are beginning to appear on the PMHA website.  Please continue to monitor where your team is ...
  • 15
    Jan
    Organization
    The Pelham Powell Drywall Midget AE Panthers were victorious this past weekend at the International Silver Stick AE Finals and came away with the Championship banner! The Panthers defeated the South Muskoka Bears in the final game Sunday ...
  • 15
    Jan
    Organization
    UPDATED ===  The PMHA would like to thank all of the organizing committee, timekeepers, volunteers and teams who made another Pelham Silver Finals tournament the largest one yet. We need to thank Larry, Alison, Ellen, Mike, Brett, Dave, Jerry, ...
  • 04
    Jan
    Organization
    The Niagara District Hockey League ran its first ever All Star event last evening in Grimsby. The goal of the night was to get players together from each of the centres who participate in the NDHL at each age group and share some friendly rivalry ...
Printed from pelhamminorhockey.com on Friday, February 23, 2018 at 7:37 AM