The best way to get better at hockey is to show up and play as much as possible. Actually practicing skills with the goal of improving them not only helps a player to develop faster, but also prevents them from developing bad habits that might come from only playing in games or scrimmages. Plus, it’s a team sport. More than any other team sport, it’s important to know how your teammates play, their strengths and weaknesses, and what they are likely to do in a given situation. Hockey has so many variables, that knowing your teammates well enough to predict their movements in a split second gives your team a huge advantage. Knowing your opponents and being able to predict their movements is an even bigger advantage.

Professionals practice every day, usually multiple times per day. We don’t have that luxury. Many youth teams practice at least twice per week and encourage their players to go to summer clinics and camps. We don’t have that luxury either. But we do have one hour a week. That’s more than some adult women’s teams get.

To facilitate individual and team development, we have the following practice policy for both of our teams.

Attendance will be taken at every practice and logged on the schedule page. At the end of the season, we will have a raffle. The only way to get tickets for the raffle is by attending practice. One practice attended = one raffle ticket. This is intended as a way to motivate players to come to practice and to reward those who do attend.

If an individual has chronic attendance problems, they will be talked to about it. Appropriate consequences may be applied, up to and including being asked to leave the team. For the record, attendance has never been an issue to date.

Attendance is posted on the schedule page. We recommend checking it regularly to make sure your attendance is correct – humans do make mistakes and typos from time to time. If you were at a practice but marked absent, you can help us have confidence in your attendance that week by telling us about it right away, telling us what we did in practice that week to verify, and asking someone else who was there that week to vouch for you.