Minor Hockey Team Managers
Minor hockey is a great way to get children involved in positive activities, make new friends, and instill in them the importance of teamwork and sacrifice. However, we know that a minor hockey team consists of the players, coaching staff, and a manager. This may lead some to ask the question, what does a minor hockey manager do?
A minor hockey team manager deals with the logistical and interpersonal workings of the team. These include scheduling, booking, financial expenditure, communication, and mediating the concerns between parents and coaches. A youth hockey team manager is the unsung hero of the whole operation.
This article will explain in detail what exactly the position of youth hockey team manager entails. We will go over their obligations and responsibilities and examine the necessary skills to be effective in the role. Lastly, we will go over the salary of a hockey team manager and discuss how vital their position is to the organization as a whole, so keep reading.
A hockey team manager is a person who manages the team that they work for in every regard, outside of coaching the players on their in-game performance. This means that every task aside from coaching duties falls on them.
Without a doubt, managers bear the most responsibility of any member of the franchise. They have the broadest range of obligations, and therefore, they require the most significant amount of versatility and the most multifaceted skill-sets.
Managers work tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure that everything comes together, and because of this, their importance is often not well understood. Managers do not always receive the praise they rightfully deserve from the fans, as it is easy to overlook their importance when they are focused solely on the game itself.
Managers are well connected within the league’s greater structure, and they have the resources to acquire what the team needs. They are the people who know how to get stuff done, and for that reason, they hold a position of great importance.
Team managers may also have to look after their team’s roster and work with the coach to accommodate trades, injuries, and substitutions. When a player suffers an injury, the team manager will be required to follow up with the doctor and ensure that they are doing everything possible to cater to the player’s health and recovery.
Youth hockey team managers are under extraordinary amounts of pressure, and one miscalculation on their part can lead to massive repercussions, which they will undoubtedly be blamed for.
Put simply, a manager’s job is to make sure everyone is happy and that the trains run on time.
Managers are a part of all sports and for a good reason. They provide their athletes with the assurance that everything is taken care of, which allows them to focus solely on training and performing well. Still, hockey team managers differ from the managers in other sports in a few distinct ways.
In individual sports such as boxing and tennis, an athlete’s manager can concentrate the entirety of their focus on that one person. Conversely, in team sports like hockey, the general manager must possess the ability to manage a large number of athletes while still providing each one of them with the assurance and the belief that their individual needs and concerns are being heard, absent of the broader context of the team.
Now that we have outlined in a general sense what a hockey team manager is, we can start to unpack the more specific duties that their job entails.
It is impossible to sum up all of the tasks that a team manager may perform, as their job is unpredictable by nature, and they must be prepared to handle any situation that may arise. However, we can break down their areas of responsibility into three main groups: the logistical, the financial, and the interpersonal.
Logistics can be simply defined as the coordination efforts needed to unify many different factors in an orderly operational manner.
The logistical duties of a youth hockey manager will account for the majority of their efforts. These include:
- Booking arenas
- Ordering jerseys
- Organizing transportation for away-games when necessary
- Contractual and legal documentation for each player on the team
- Working with the league and other team managers to coordinate games, tournaments, and scheduling
- Keeping track of the profiling of the players on the team, including such information as their name, date of birth, emergency contact information, availability, injury status/history, etc.
It requires a particular type of person to be an effective youth hockey team manager, and because of the immense responsibility, not everyone can fill these shoes.
A hockey team manager will have to check texts, emails and answer phone calls continually. There are no days off for the most part, and it is a job that you take home with you.
In addition to planning, booking, and scheduling, a youth hockey manager will typically be required to balance the team’s budget to fund all of their necessities.
Certain fundraisers may need to be hosted, such as dinners or outings, to raise money for team expenses like jerseys, travel, and hotel accommodations when out of town. The team manager would, of course, be responsible for organizing these events as well.
A youth hockey manager will be required to make the most of the resources at their disposal, which frequently means prioritizing what is essential and allocating the budget to these areas accordingly.
Balancing the books will be a big difference-maker in a team’s failure or success because players need to have their needs met to perform to the best of their ability and without a handicap.
Another critical role of a youth hockey manager is to facilitate discourse between parents and coaches. The manager will send emails to parents regarding updates to the schedule, rules, concerns, and other important information. They will likewise hear parents’ concerns or inquiries and convey them to coaches to build a strong rapport.
The players’ parents will look to the team manager for vital information, and therefore, they must feel that the manager is responsible, involved, and trustworthy. If a youth hockey team manager cannot demonstrate to parents that they are willing to go the extra mile for their child, they risk losing support for their team.
Building trust can take time in any relationship, especially when dealing with the children of parents who are very protective. In order to become a reputable hockey team manager in the youth division, it is necessary to befriend both the parents and the team’s players in a genuine and convincing way.
When dealing with parents and athletes, always be patient, calm, considerate, and take the time to learn their personality and what they respond well to. It is also good practice to regularly consult with each player on a one-on-one basis and address any concerns they may have regarding how things are going.
It may also be a good idea to reference our article on building an ideal coaching philosophy and using it as a starting point.
At this point in the article, we have come to understand the different areas in which a youth hockey manager is required to perform. We can now explore the prerequisite skills necessary to qualify for the job.
A youth hockey manager’s required skills can be conveniently divided into two categories, hard skills and soft skills.
Both of these categories are equally important in the grand scheme of the job, but they are distinct from one another, and both are required to be an effective manager.
The more a team manager is apt in the following skills, the more likely they are to perform their duties well and lead their team to victory.
It may also be worthwhile to read our guide on how to be a good youth hockey coach, as many of the traits between the two positions would be quite similar.
Hard skills can be simply defined as objective skills. In other words, hard skills are indisputable and can usually be backed up with certifications or verifiable means.
Examples of hard skills are the ability to speak another language fluently, the ability to wire a plug, or the ability to fly an aircraft.
The relevant hard skills which a youth hockey manager should possess are:
- Past managerial experience
- Financing skills
- Human resources management
While not all teams will deem these skills necessary in an absolute sense, you will surely be lost with the role of team manager without at least some prior background in these fields.
As project managers, team coordinators, human resource managers, city planning, or event organizers, people who have worked as project managers will have a distinct advantage when transitioning over to youth hockey team management, as these fields have many common overlapping qualities.
Contrary to hard skills, which are objectively demonstrable, soft skills are the skills that are subjectively present in an individual’s character and are not immediately evident. Soft skills can otherwise refer to personality traits and ethical work habits.
The soft skills that are necessary to perform well as a youth hockey team manager are:
Just about any positive trait that a person possesses can be perceived as a valuable asset to a team and will fall in this category.
In closing this discussion on hard and soft skills related to hockey team management, the latter is likely to be even more valuable when managing a youth team than would be the case when managing an adult or professional team. This is due to the added element of the youth manager having to communicate with parents and care for the young players regularly. They lack procedural experience and require additional guidance.
Conflict resolution is another skill that is necessary for a youth hockey manager. Hockey is a very serious sport which is highly competitive and as such can become emotional at times. Players may lash out at coaches, coaches at players, players at other players, parents at their child’s teammates, and every different possible combination you can imagine.
A skilled manager will know how to diffuse these situations and realign the orientation of their team towards reciprocity and a common goal of achieving victory. To do this, players may need to be verbally motivated and insist on putting their own selfishness aside and think in collective terms.
A hockey team manager must be able to keep their cool under pressure and appease people while still doing all the things necessary to provide for the players and fans.
Without a hockey team manager, it is safe to say that nothing would get done, and the entire team would be unable to perform. This is mentioned in our article on how to start a youth hockey program.
The main reason why a team could not function in the absence of a manager is that the manager takes stress off of the players and the coaches, allowing them to focus solely on their task of winning games.
For a team to maximize its cohesiveness and harness its full potential on the ice, it requires focus, and that focus comes from not having additional concerns during the lead up to a game. Drama and turmoil off the ice can cause mental fatigue on the players and coaches and result in poor performance. This is where having a quality team manager pays dividends.
The manager takes on stress so that the rest of the team doesn’t have to. When the players and coach are confident of their manager’s ability, it allows them to put their concerns to rest and redirect the entirety of their energy into practice and performance.
One of the most significant investments a team can ever make is to recruit a highly skilled manager to take care of their needs. It truly makes all the difference.
When it comes to youth hockey teams, usually only one manager will be tasked with handling all things managerial. Still, when we talk of hockey team management at the professional level, the management role is fragmented into separate areas of responsibility. Multiple managers are required to make it all work.
The two types of managers typically found on a professional level hockey team’s roster are a GM or general manager and an equipment manager.
Equipment managers deal strictly in equipment like hockey sticks, gloves, jerseys, and pads. If you are new to minor hockey and looking to purchase a quality pair of gloves, consider checking out these STX Stallion gloves. For the price, they cannot be beaten.
Because youth hockey team managers are left to cover such a wide array of preparations all by themselves, they may invoke parents’ help to contribute in subtle but meaningful ways to provide relief for themselves.
Parents who enroll their children in youth hockey programs are generally high-investment parents, to begin with, and as such are happy to oblige with any request on the part of the team manager.
In some cases, a youth hockey team may divide the work between two managers so that it may lessen the load and provide relief, in turn, allowing the team operations to run more smoothly.
In this article—if we have shown anything—it is that a youth hockey team manager is a highly talented, hardworking, and exceptional individual. If that wasn’t enough, consider the fact that most of these unsung heroes work for their team on a non-profit voluntary basis.
Their children are more often than not active or past players in the league, and the typical youth hockey manager will work another job full-time. This means that they are travelling, calling, engaging in meetings in their spare time, and micromanaging every aspect of the league. It is a wonder that these extraordinary individuals even find time to sleep.
At the highest level of the sport, a general manager can earn upwards of a million dollars per season. Still, in the National Hockey League, GMs are incredibly competitive to secure jobs on teams, and poor performance can quickly see a manager demoted to the minor leagues.
Some youth hockey teams at the top of their class and have prospects capable of reaching the next level may seek to hire a more coveted manager and compensate them financially for the role. This allows the coaches and players to cultivate their skills uninterrupted by all other burdens and prepare them for the next stage of their career.
If you are a parent of a youth hockey player, it will be beneficial to build a productive relationship with their team’s manager and offer them your help in whatever way you can. They will surely be grateful for the extra support.
This article aims to clearly define what it is that a minor hockey team’s manager does.
The truth of the matter is that it would be easier to ask what they don’t do, but there are certain tasks that they encounter more frequently. These include booking arenas, scheduling games, accounting for paperwork, looking after equipment, communicating with parents, and working closely alongside the team’s coach.
We can confidently assert that a team would be totally incapable of performing if it is not for a reliable team manager.