Got a feeling something’s not right? How to know if you’re on the wrong team.
By Warren Tabachnick
The Right Level of Play, or the Wrong Team?
Are you up to speed with the other players on the team? Does a missed pass or mistake you happen to make draw the ire of your teammates? Seriously, it’s rec hockey you’re playing but not everybody gets that. If you’re trying your best but it’s just not good enough, it could very well be you are on the wrong team and may be time to move on. No one needs to feel out of place in a beer league game at 10 o’clock at night.
On the flip side, if you’ve got some hockey skills under your belt and you’re a cut above your teammates—or even the players on the other teams in your league—it’s not a good look. Sure, zipping through your opponents like a hot knife through butter for that top-shelf goal may be good for your ego. But if you’re a standout hockey player, that’s another sure sign you are on the wrong team. Sooner or later you’ll become a target for your opponents to take pot shots at.
Whining and Finger Pointing
I’ve always said if I was looking to be yelled at by anyone, I’d stay home and start an argument with my wife. This is a game to be enjoyed. You’re out there to get a sweat going, take your mind off your troubles, maybe score a goal or an assist. But if you come up against complaints, that takes the fun out of the game.
As awesome a sport as hockey is, it can be a difficult and often frustrating game to play. An occasional comment on a misstep is to be expected. But no one deserves to be abused, especially doing something they love.
Winning versus Play Time
Everybody wants to win because, as we all know, losing sucks. Every team has its own culture, philosophy, and objectives. There are those teams that are win-at-all-cost, and then there are teams that are in it for the pure joy, camaraderie, and team spirit. In this scenario, real team players are happy to miss a shift for the greater good of the team, such as on a power play or penalty kill, or in the last few minutes of a crucial game.
But if your team places a greater emphasis on winning and you’re continuously being asked—or even forced—to ride the pine while your buddies are out on the ice, you definitely should consider changing your jersey. You’re not paying that kind of money to drag your butt to a late game on a work night, only to watch a bunch of beer league players. You’d be better off sitting on your nice, comfortable sofa, watching the pros on TV.
Have you had any of these experiences? We’d love to hear about them! Feel free to share your stories in the Comments section below.