Culture Check in your Association

By Tyler Hinds (@THinds3)

Hockey is a game that we cherish here in Canada, but sometimes our passion for the game we hold so dearly, creates a negative culture.

Let’s not lose sight of what’s really important within youth sport. A great question to ask yourself right now is what kind of culture does your minor hockey association have?

Is it one that…

  • Supports grassroots hockey development through the power of fun?
  • Provides equal opportunity to all members, regardless of rep or rec status?
  • Enforces the qualities of fair play, respect, and good sportsmanship?
  • Mentor’s kids to be good people, not just good hockey players?
  • Has members who speak positively about one another?
  • Recognizes that this experience will affect the future attitude, moral development, and community involvement of their players? 

Yes, many of these mission statements are written on the rink walls or the association website, but is this the reality? If you were to ask an association member about the internal culture, would they have the same answer? Are people buying into this mindset or are they more concerned about winning the "rat race" to the Show? 

Let’s stop just talking about it and reinforce a positive cultural movement.

It starts from the top

A culture change in an association starts with buy-in and commitment from the leaders, that is, all the executives. Getting behind a transparent program, like ProSmart, will connect all the above mission statements with your membership. Delegate one person as the champion of this initiative and leverage the value that this program will bring your community.

The influence of the coach

It’s no secret, coaches are the heartbeat of any association. They are the direct face-to-face contact with it’s parents and players. So, they alone will make or break a family’s experience. That same coach could potentially have a team for 13 years. We need to invest in these coaches by consistently offering them the best education and information.

Impact for families

Now let’s provide a massive value add to the families by having the coaches invite the members of their teams to the ProSmart Hockey Learning System. Every parent has confidence, regardless of the volunteer coach, that their child will receive the same on-ice instruction and acquire the same off-ice values as every other player.

What are you waiting for? Start your culture change today!


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