Thanks Parent Bench Reps (PBR)

Posted: September 18, 2013 in Uncategorized

Thanks to all of those who volunteered to be Parent Bench Reps now the fun begins.

The parent bench reps may not have any on ice responsibilities but they are an important part of the IP program. The on ice instructors count on the parents reps to:

1. Pick up your jerseys and socks and establish a team identity-This will require a team name, a sign for the change room door and some “team culture”. For many of these players and parents this is their first time as part of a team sport. A huge part of hockey involves the “off ice culture”  

2.  Take attendance and monitor the emotions. Please let the head instructor know when attendance or emotions are  an issue. Players and parents differ in not only their experience with hockey  but  in their comfort level. It is critical that the instructors know when players and for that matter parents are unhappy so we can talk over the situation so that minor problems don’t “grow legs” and get blown out of proportion.

3. Help players get their equipment on – especially skates, mouth guards and neck guards on. This will also include making minor repairs to the helmets. Each team has 20 players so there is not much room in the change room for parents with strollers or other siblings. THIS IS A SAFETY ISSUE players fingers can be very badly injured by being stepped on. It will be even more important in January during our mini games when two teams will be in a single dressing room. Parents need to be reminded to be there 20 – 30 minutes before the scheduled time. Most parents will find it easier to bring their players dressed except for their helmet and skates. No players are allowed on the ice without full gear. I will have a bag of loaner equipment (helmet, gloves, elbow pads, shin pads, 2 sticks) that bench reps can access. I also have a trainer kit with first aid supplies, helmet repair parts and new mouth guards parents can purchase for $10. First aid is not the responsibility of the parent reps. The on ice head instructor and their staff  will serve as trainers in the rare event that there is an injury.

4. Make sure that all player’s gear is labelled with their name. The parent rep should bring all gear left in the dressing room so they can “reappear” the following outing.

5. Make sure that each player brings a water bottle to the outing with their name on it. These bottles are to be taken to the bench by the parent reps and brought away at the end off the practice or game.

5. Adjust skates during the practice. Some players will find their skates too tight or not tight enough – (the Goldilocks dilemma)

6. Be another set of eyes watching the practice or game. Even though we will have 10 instructors on the ice –  sometimes events will occur that instructors will not see. The three most common issues are players pushing or tripping each other, players who get hurt and players who are crying for some reason.

7. Talk to the head instructor about what is happening on ice and what is going to occur in the next week or so. There are two obvious reasons for this. First, parent reps are the obvious first link in communication between the parents and the instructors. Second, many of the parent reps will be next year’s Novice coaches as players move up to Novice from IP so it would be beneficial for you to understand what was done in IP. The props used in IP work every bit as well in Novice , or Atom or….

8. Pass on information to the parents and players. I hope everyone adds a link to the blog so it will automatically send it to their email BUT if they don’t then PBR are the way to get information out. Since we will skip ice clears after the first and third sessions there won’t be a lot of time to talk with parents between practices. That is why every parent will get a business card with not only the blog but also my gmail address on it. 

9. Plan  at least a few “social events” for team bonding for both the players and their fans. This is the off ice culture that is so important. Since our practice times are already posted on the NMHA website so planning a team breakfast at Broadways ( or the like) is pretty straightforward.If you plan a meal at Broadways make sure you tell them it is NMHA IP .

10. Help parents decide on whether to participate in ” Fun days ” that leagues around us will sponsor in the new year. These are fairly expensive but is as close to a tournament as an IP can participate in. You are not allowed to attend any before January and no more than two are allowed.

11. Help the on ice instructors (from the bench) in our evaluation of player skills using the “report card” that I just published on the website.

12. Help plan the final “Fun tournament” in mid April 

13. Offer insights into the on going development of the IP program this year as well as suggestions for next year. I really do want to know what YOU think!

So let’s get started!

This Saturday IP2 will be on ice at Merivale 11 – 4

I will be helping IP1 from 7 – 11 …so I should be really warmed up!


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