The number of beer league teammates you’ll likely play alongside over the course of your adult league career will be damn near endless. But the number of great teammates, who you want on your team for every session, tournament, and game is a much shorter list.
Here are 10 ways to be an invaluable beer league teammate!
Pay team dues on time
Let’s start before we even hit the ice for a game… Pay your team dues on time. Don’t make another adult front you cash for weeks on end. Bring cash or a check to your first game, or better yet, step into the 21st century and Venmo your teammate before the first game.
You’ll be forever loved if you make every game whether it’s an early 5:30 pm or a late-night 12:10 am game! Don’t be the reason your team is constantly stressing to find subs at the last possible minute. Being reliable in beer league hockey is arguably more important than being good!
We’re not suggesting you need to backcheck balls-to-the-wall every shift, but a solid backcheck provides a ton of support to our lonely defensemen and goalies who are repeatedly facing odd-man rushes. If you’re a player that does this lost art, you might just save a goal or create offense by forcing a turnover… not to mention your goalie will love you!
Don’t take head high slap shots
No one likes suiting up for a 10pm game only to have someone wind up for head high clappers. If you’re a player that can keep shots low and accurate, you’re not only a great teammate but your opponents appreciate it too. No one needs to show up to the 9:00 am business meeting with a scar from a head high slapshot… from beer league hockey.
Play goalie — no matter what skill level
Goalies are the most invaluable teammates… especially if they are good. However, if you play in an A level league and your goalie doesn’t show up, you can’t play. So even if you have to grab a D league goalie to fill in, they will be your most valuable teammate!
And goalies earn massive bonus points for being good and not complaining about how many 3-on-1’s they see!
Bring the beer
Bringing the beer for beer league… seems like a no-brainer. But every team has a player that always forgets beer on the night they’re responsible for postgame team beers.
Whatever you do, don’t be that guy!
If you do bring beer and you splurge for either a variety pack or craft beer, bonus points. And major bonus points if some sort of parking lot grill/tv situation is going on!
Remember clear tape
If you’re the guy that is prepared and gracious enough to always have a spare roll or two of clear and doesn’t mind sharing, you’re an instant legend.
Don’t be a tape mooch!
Bring funny stories about junior, college, or pro hockey
Nothing beats locker room stories and how wild juniors, college, or college hockey can be during post-game beers.
Like the time in the ACHA when you had a Russian teammate score three goals in the first period and after his third goal, he tells the coach he’s done playing. Then the assistant coach has to find the Russian in the stands to score the GWG in OT and win 4-3.
Lead the team in scoring
It’s hard not to love the player that creates the team’s offense!
Maybe you played high-level juniors or maybe college, either way, you’re the player that is the leading scorer by 20 goals and 34 assists (and your league doesn’t even keep stats but there’s always one guy on every team that does…). When you aren’t at the game your team doesn’t have much of a chance.
Sub when needed
One of the most underrated ways you can be invaluable in beer league…being a sub.
Being a sub can be tough sometimes. You go to a new team and dressing room…perhaps even a new rink. However, with you being there allows the team to play the game and more importantly have some sort of a bench too. Even if you’re subbing in up a skill level, everyone is glad to have you and if you’re subbing in down a level or two, it’s always fun to just set everyone up for points!