The hockey game is physical and intense; it requires athleticism, strength, and quick reflexes. To play hockey, you need to have vital mental and physiological aspects.
The hockey game is quite popular in the United States and has a considerable following. To get the fun part of the game, you need to know the meaning of the letters and numbers on the jerseys.
You might have noticed the “A,” and “C” letters on some players’ jerseys and are wondering what it means. Fans that have been following hockey for some time are familiar with the letters and know their meaning. So, let’s find out.
What Does the A Mean On Hockey Jersey?
The “A” on the hockey jersey stands for Alternate captains. The alternate captains (usually two or three) get the privileges of the captain. The coach has the right to designate the alternate captains only when the captain is not in uniform. In ice hockey, the team captain wears a sweater with the “C” letter. The captain is the only player with authority to speak with the game official.
The Roles Of The Hockey Captain
The hockey rules make the captain the only player that can speak to the referee about the rule interpretations. Anytime the captain is not on the ice, the alternative captain assumes the responsibilities.
The alternate captains assume the role when the captain is on the bench and can now speak to the game officials.
However, the hockey rule books do not specify the other roles of the hockey captain outside the hockey pitch. The captain has numerous other responsibilities to the team and team members.
Usually, the captain is the dressing room leader and represents the team management’s concerns. The captain also represents the team to the public by answering most fans and media questions.
In other teams, the captain is responsible for organizing the social functions of the team and does other on-ice functions like ceremonial face-offs or award presentations.
How The Hockey Captain Is Selected
No rules dictate how the captain is chosen. Some teams elect the captains through votes, and in other teams, it’s the coach or management that appoints the captain. However, in most teams, the captain is usually a veteran player.
The veteran players are usually leaders by default in the locker room and are chosen because of their leadership qualities. The captain is usually the star player or the leading scorer in other teams and can be young.
For example, Sidney Crosby, the captain of the Pittsburgh Penguins, became captain even before age 20. He became the fourth-youngest player to wear the captain jersey. Several other young players became captains, such as Connor McDavid for the Oilers.
The Qualities Of A Good Captain
As a hockey captain, you must have the ability to keep up with the physical game while remaining mentally and physically strong.
Captains do not get into bad habits, such as taking careless tackles that lead to penalties or daydreaming in the game.
The captain is the team’s pillar and needs to act accordingly to encourage team chemistry which promotes excellent teamwork. Here are the qualities that the hockey team captain should exhibit on and off the hockey ice pitch.
The captain should not judge the teammates according to the end season stats; they ensure they play to their best ability.
As the captain, you should be willing to allow someone else to take over when things aren’t working or the situation calls for it.
For example, a selfish player might see a slight chance and decide to take the shot while a much better option is. A selfless captain will pass in such a situation; this gives the team a better chance to score and win the game.
The selfness must extend outside the game; a captain can do several other things such as sticking around the young players or those with less experience and help with their practices and drills.
It’s the captain’s role to motivate the whole team to perform well. The captain does this by focusing on the team’s growth and learning. Overall, the growth and success of the teams are far more crucial than individual success.
Almost all the players have this quality, but it needs to be different for the captain. The captain is usually a veteran or one with the best skills and stats; however, as a captain, you need to be constantly working on improving your game.
The captain should show up in training and match days earlier to study the opponents, lead their team in essential drills, and correct mistakes. The captain’s most important role is to ensure the team gives the best efforts by motivating their teammates.
Avoid pessimism and negative comments since they are contagious and will affect the overall performance of the entire team. At certain times a player might take a bad shot; criticizing can make the player angry or lose confidence.
The player will start playing badly, and this will surely cost the team’s performance. A great team captain is aware of this and will do everything possible to ensure that the player plays well.
The captain can do this by focusing on the game’s positive aspects instead of the mistake. The captain can comment on the player’s excellent skating skill or the initial move. The captain then discusses the error while in training and helps the player improve on it.
Open To Corrections And Learn From Mistakes
Certain players try to perfect a specific technique, but it’s always not working. It often leads to frustration since they are unable to understand how the plan doesn’t work.
The captain knows that every time the player pulls that technique and fails, it will be a mistake that can be costly to the team. However, the captain should be able to adjust and learn how to overcome reacting to the mistake.
Other than this, mistakes such as a sloppy pass and poor footing can give the opponents the game-ending goal. The captain should not shout but analyze their mistake and those of other players.
If you want to correct individual mistakes, it’s better to talk to the player personally, or you can raise it during a break to the whole team for correction.
Humble and Strong
Here it’s about many things from celebrations to distraction. There is nothing wrong with celebrating a goal, but you need to know your emotional balance as the captain.
As a captain, you can have fun with your team members, victories are sweet, but the captain needs to maintain steadiness. On the other hand, if the game is challenging, the captain needs to motivate the players and prevent them from succumbing to emotion.
It can lead to things such as taking a foul penalty or picking up fights. The captain needs to know how to keep the players sharp and focused by staying calm too.
Channel the negative energy to motivate the team, and this will change the results. To get respect from your team members as a captain, you should never let emotions take the best of you.
Demonstrate Good Sportsmanship
The captain needs to treat the opponents on the field with respect. After the game, even if it was intense, you need to lead your teams into shaking hands with the opponents and congratulate them for their performances.
It would help if you made your team understand that respect is excellence. The fans are the most significant part of the game; there is no revenue and sponsorships without fans.
After the game, you can lead your team to salute or applaud the fans. However, there will be booing, insults, and taunts; you can ignore such and keep your teammate spirit in place by encouraging them.
Treat the Teammates with Respect
The captain might be the player with the best skills, stats, or a veteran; you need to respect your teammates despite all these qualities. It will make your teammate love you and follow your instructions.
Ensure you are familiar and close with your teams and learn the best ways to motivate them. You need to know the players’ traits to handle them right; each player reacts to motivation differently.
If you have any personal issue with a player about their performance, you need to discuss it directly. Don’t point out the player in public; the player might not love it and create issues.
The captain needs to ensure no team cliques; every team member needs to get equal treatment.
Hockey is a trendy game in America with many supporters. To enjoy the game, you need to understand various rules and even initials on the jersey.
The “C” on hockey jerseys stands for the captain, while the “A” on hockey jerseys is for Alternate captain. Being the captain or alternate captain is more than the extra initials on the jersey. The captain and alternate captain roles come with several responsibilities.