I recently came across this great post by Justin Bourne. His post is about how you should handle playing with off-season pros but almost all of his points directly apply to your weekly pickup hockey game. I’ll highlight a few here with some weekly pickup hockey commentary….
DO try, DO Compete
It’s easy to slow down, layoff in pickup hockey but it ruins the game. The best games are the ones with a roster who continues to hold each other accountable to still go into the corners and keep the compete level up. It’s too easy to slump into the “ah it’s just pickup, who cares?” mindset. The answer is that all of us do. We care about competing and having a great game NOT the results or ‘winning team’, although some of us still care about that as well.
DON’T try too hard there, Hustles
His example here is great. If you push too hard in the wrong spots then you put other players at risk. In pickup we all need to commit to keeping us all healthy and sometimes that means laying off if you’re risking injuring yourself or other players.
DO try to score
Again, we’re here to compete including the goalies.
DON’T try to score through traffic
This is dependent on your skate but generally speaking, no one’s going be happy getting injured in pickup hockey from someone blindly trying to hammer pucks through crowds.
DON’T exceed a courteous shift length.
Oh, hellz yes! Obviously, if you’ve got your 20Skaters then you likely have nice even numbers and change in lines which allows peer pressure to keep this in line. There’s still always that guy who just can’t get to the bench almost every shift. We all know who you are.