Let me introduce myself. My name is Randy Quakenbush; I am the head coach of the Revelstoke Grizzlies. I have been asked to share some of my thoughts, tell some behind the scene stories and introduce the Grizzlies players to you over the course of the season. Well anyone who knows me knows I always enjoy talking about our team. But writing about them is going to be something new.
So what is it like inside the dressing room of a Junior B hockey team? Well the answer to that question changes almost daily.
A hockey teams dressing room is a very special place. It is its home; a place destined for great celebration, or great sorrow.
Our room is full of history; full of character, full of air freshener. Politely termed “cozy,” it is treated with respect. I bet most of the players’ mothers would be pleasantly surprised at how neat and organized their sons can actually be. Rookies learn quickly, reminded by vets who are always ready to invoke a fine on those who don’t follow the rules.
The culture of a team is established in the dressing room. Pranks are played, stories told, systems taught and the bonds that change individuals into teammates are formed.
Our dressing room is full of traditions and superstitions, some that just make me shake my head. Hockey players can be a strange lot and most the goalies I know could have there picture posted by the word peculiar in the dictionary.
When we win, we have a chant, we award the game puck to a player and it is placed in the pyramid of success. The players pick a hardest worker and our victory song is played.
Before each game we have the “seventh man” (a minor hockey player) in our room, something that has made me be a little more careful with what I say in my last minute directions to the group.
I would say ours is a happy room. The guys genuinely like each other. And with a 12-4-1 record we are experiencing enough success to believe in ourselves; yet facing enough adversity to make us realize that we must work harder if we want to get better.
With an average age of 17.9 we are very young team. Our mantra is “Right here! Right Now!” We ask the players to live in the moment, to be willing to sacrifice for the team and to take a step towards a goal everyday.
Hope to see you at our next home game Nov. 16.