What Is A Players Only Meeting In Hockey?

Have you ever heard a sports analyst say the term players-only meeting and wondered what they were talking about? This term is quite literal as it refers to a meeting that contains only players, meaning there is no coaching staff or team personnel allowed into the meeting.

This may sound fairly normal but players only meeting usually only take place when the team really needs to communicate. In most cases, these meetings are going to be called when the team has not been playing well recently.

Since there are no coaching staff in these meetings they tend to go a little differently than most. Players who are not superstars are able to speak freely without fearing the judgement of the coach.

And though in most cases the players will speak respectfully, these meetings don’t have a coach enforcing rules. This means a player could speak their mind much more freely, oftentimes using much more colorful language.

What Is The Point Of Players Only Meetings?

Now that you understand what a players only meeting is, you may be wondering why they occur. Sure they usually happen when things are going bad but what exactly is the goal of a players-only meeting?

Read on to learn the main reasons these meetings tend to be called during the season.

Captain Wants To See A Change

One of the main reasons that a players-only meeting will be called is because the captain wants to see a change in his team. Meetings of only the players are almost always going to be called by the captain or his assistant captains.

Oftentimes a captain may have a different way of motivating his players than the coach would. Instead of reaming them out in practice the captain may want to sit down and talk with the players to motivate them.

This sort of players only meeting lets the captain state what he believes are the issues on the team and how they can fix them. This doesn’t always turn a team’s season around but there are many stories of meetings like these taking place months before a team gets hot and wins a championship.

Allowing The Players To Communicate Freely

Another reason that these meetings are called is to allow players to speak their minds. Losing in hockey can be frustrating and the more it happens the more frustrating it gets. At these times it is normal for players to want to lash out and complain.

Since a coach isn’t going to want to hear players complaining all practice a meeting is often the best way to clear the air.

Any player on the team can speak during these meetings and since it is only fellow players in the room they are much more likely to. This ultimately creates an easy way for teammates to say what is on their minds.

This improved communication amongst the team will often improve team chemistry and almost certainly lead to a better demeanour in the locker room.

Aligning Expectations And Goals For The Year

Another common reason that players-only meetings are held is to set up the teams goals for the year. Coming into each year players are going to have different expectations and goals for the coming season.

Oftentimes the captains will call a meeting to allow players to put these goals forward to the team. For example, the team may decide to set an end goal of making the playoffs the coming year.

If this goal is shared and agreed upon throughout the team then players may be committed to achieving it. This is why these types of players-only meetings are used in order to get these goals out into the open.

If the team can agree upon one or a few they may find themselves working more cohesively than they were before.

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