Members of the 2014 U.S. Olympic Women's Ice Hockey Team recently made a significant contribution to selected youth hockey associations across the country, sending 300 total sets of OneGoal starter equipment to the programs that helped shape and inspire their own hockey dreams.
Each player on the American roster was provided with 12 sets of equipment to donate to the youth hockey association of their choice. Each equipment set includes shin pads, shoulder pads, elbow pads, pants, gloves, a helmet with a cage, and a bag.
Today, more than 40,000 OneGoal starter equipment sets are in arenas and youth hockey associations nationwide to help families get started in hockey without the initial barrier of purchasing equipment. Total Hockey is a key partner with USA Hockey in the OneGoal equipment initiative.
"The Olympic dream began in many of these local hockey associations for our athletes and they never forget it," said Dave Ogrean, executive director of USA Hockey. "With the OneGoal program, they have an opportunity to help inspire a new generation of kids, while also saluting the people who helped them chase their Olympic dream."
Three-time U.S. Olympian Julie Chu donated to her childhood rink in Connecticut and remembered fondly the role it played in her development.
"It's truly my home rink, where I grew up and developed a love for the game," she said. "I'm so grateful for the time I spent playing there, and I love that I can give back to a place that has meant so much to me."
Minnesotan Anne Schleper, who will be playing in her first Olympic Winter Games, donated to a Minneapolis urban youth hockey association for which she served as a volunteer.
"Every time I had the opportunity to volunteer there, I was immediately filled with laughter and joy," she said. "I hope my donation becomes a great blessing to them and can help contribute to the wonderful standards they encourage every single day in their kids.
"Hockey gave me a way and a voice; all these kids need is an opportunity for the same."
|Kacey Bellamy||New England Junior Falcons Girls||Enfield, Conn.|
|Megan Bozek||Chicago Blackhawks Youth Hockey||Chicago, Ill.|
|Kate Buesser||Back Bay Indians||Wolfeboro, N.H.|
|Alex Carpenter||New Jersey Colonials||Morristown, N.J.|
|Lisa Chesson||Tomahawks Special Hockey||Chicago, Ill.|
|Julie Chu||Wonderland Wizards||Bridgeport, Conn.|
|Kendall Coyne||Chicago Blackhawks Youth Hockey||Chicago, Ill.|
|Brianna Decker||Wisconsin Amateur Hockey Association||Manitowoc, Wis.|
|Meghan Duggan||Danvers Youth Hockey||Danvers, Mass.|
|Jincy Dunne||St. Louis Cyclones / STL Lady Blues||St. Louis, Mo.|
|Lyndsey Fry||Coyotes Amateur Hockey Association / She Wolves||Scottsdale, Ariz.|
|Amanda Kessel||North Metro Youth Hockey Association||Minneapolis, Minn.|
|Hilary Knight||Sun Valley Youth Hockey||Sun Valley, Idaho|
|Jocelyne Lamoureux||Grand Forks Parks District Angels||Grand Forks, N.D.|
|Monique Lamoureux||Grand Forks Parks District Angels||Grand Forks, N.D.|
|Gigi Marvin||Warroad Youth Hockey||Warroad, Minn.|
|Brianne McLaughlin||Elyria Ice Hockey||Elyria, Ohio|
|Annie Pankowski||Anaheim Lady Ducks||Anaheim, Calif.|
|Michelle Picard||Taunton Brewins||Taunton, Mass.|
|Josephine Pucci||Ramapo Saints Youth Hockey||Monsey, N.Y.|
|Molly Schaus||East Coast Jumbos||Boston, Mass.|
|Anne Schleper||DinoMights||Minneapolis, Minn.|
|Kelli Stack||Parma Flyers Hockey Association||Parma, Ohio|
|Lee Stecklein||Roseville Area Youth Hockey Association||Roseville, Minn.|
|Jessie Vetter||Madison Patriots||Madison, Wis.|
According to NHL metrics, the average hockey shift lasts somewhere between 45 and 55 seconds. There’s inherent beauty and fluidity to line changes, as skaters come on and off the ice, looking to recharge after going full throttle for their teams.
Meanwhile, your NHL officiating peers are giving their all, too – regularly logging 4-5 miles a game. Those totals are even greater at your level, where you and your colleagues officiate multiple games a day, several times per week, on a seemingly never-ending calendar.
And, although we want to perform our best every game, everyone has both good days and bad – players and officials alike. To learn more about keeping burnout at bay, we went to the experts: longtime amateur hockey scheduler Larry Carrington and former NHL official Mark Faucette.
“There is so much more to officiating than meets the eye,” said Faucette, a 17-year NHL veteran. “It may look easy from the stands, but to maintain total control of a game along with the stress, slumps, supervisors, travel, and fitness regimen takes a very special kind of person.”
Get in shape (and stay there)
We all think we’re in “pretty good” shape, but the reality is, officials must be top athletes and in great condition – even at the youngest levels.
“Conditioning is very important—the deeper into the season, the more important it is,” Carrington said. “Burnout happens physically, mentally, and emotionally. An official who is in good condition will experience less physical burnout, and that will in turn help with the emotional and mental burnout.”
Faucette stresses following a workout routine that maxes yourself at least every other day. Neither player or official should plan to use games as a vehicle toward better physical fitness.
“Where we used to go to camp to get into shape, officials today are on summer conditioning regimens and are tested as soon as they come to camp,” he said. “Taking care of your body is a total focus for the good official.
“The players are so much stronger and faster now, so it’s imperative the officials keep the same pace.”
No, not balance on your skates (that’s a given). Rather, make sure to keep the big picture in mind, to work a manageable schedule that includes everything that’s important to you – family, friends, and time away from the rink.
Although it makes Carrington’s job as an assignor more difficult, he said it pays off in the long run.
“I encourage officials to take at least one weekend off to get away from hockey,” he said. “I certainly don't want to lose their services for a week, but the invigoration that it usually provides makes them a much more valuable asset over the course of the season.”
That’s huge in an industry where both mental and physical fatigue are commonplace.
“Every official runs into slumps, just as players do,” Faucette said. “You spend numerous hours alone as an official, and when things are not going good, where everything is negative, it can cause you duress.
“Positive thoughts and self-evaluations speed up recovery,” he continued. “So, instead of telling yourself, ‘I wonder what bad thing will happen tonight?’ say ‘I’m ready for anything – bring it on!’”
It’s No. 3 here, but should be No. 1 on your to-do list.
“I realize the officials are all trying hard, and mistakes are part of any sport by any participant,” said Faucette, who currently serves as supervisor of officials for USA Hockey, the NAHL director of player safety and the SPHL director of officiating. “That being said, the joy I get out of seeing a young official start out at ground level and making the big time one day is immeasurable.”
For most of you reading this, the “big time” might not be the end goal (and that’s OK). But wherever you are, there’s experience you’ve gained, as well as that to come – which both point back to why you first got involved in this great sport.
As an assignor, Carrington tries to get out of the office as much as he can and intentionally varies the schedules of his officials to help keep things fresh. He also encourages his more senior officials to lend a hand to those who aren’t as long in the tooth.
“Going to the rink and helping officials help themselves get better can be very invigorating,” he said. “Even a very good, very experienced official will often find it fun and relaxing to mentor some new official at a lower-level game where the stress levels aren’t nearly as high.”
But no matter where you officiate, Carrington emphasizes keeping one thing in mind: the love of the sport and those playing it today.
“If you’re not having fun, you shouldn’t be out there.”