Player behaviours for a safer game

Malcolm Sutherland

Malcolm Sutherland is a coach, physical educator, sport pedagogist, and SME in sports development, sports safety and injury prevention. As an athlete and player safety expert Malcolm has developed prevention tools and a program to control serious injury in sport.

He is a Chartered Professional Coach holding designation with Coaches of Canada. In hockey specifically, Malcolm is now active as a sought after development coach working internationally and nationally. Malcolm has coached at every level from professional minor leagues, varsity as well as junior and AAA levels of minor hockey.

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Each attribute and recommended behaviour in this story benefits safety, player development and on-ice performance.
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The first article in this series for The Coaches Site featured advice and recommendations for coaches for the prevention of serious injury in our game. In this article, advice, activities and specific steps are outlined for players. Coincidently, this article and this series of articles mirror discussions by the NHL Board of Governors in Florida (9-Dec-2021) and Kim Davis, NHL Senior Executive Vice President of Social Impact, Growth Initiatives and Legislative Affairs report entitled “Respect Hockey – Committing Ourselves to the Game’s Greatest Values.
The advice in this piece acts as both a guide and a challenge to players. It is meant to directly engage them and help them recognize their responsibilities as a player. They may struggle with these actions a bit because of the commitment, accountability and dedication required. But, if they can dedicate and take responsibility for the outcome – a safer game for themselves and others – everyone will benefit. Fortunately, each attribute and recommended behaviour also benefits player development and on-ice performance. It is expected that players may also stumble on the notion they can play safely and all out, to the best of their abilities. After all, shouldn’t they “play on the edge” instead of concerning themselves with safety?

Each attribute and recommended behaviour in this story benefits safety, player development and on-ice performance . . .

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