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Study Guide: How hockey players of foreign origin overcome the language barrier

Hockey is a sport that is big in North America. Millions of fans enjoy watching and playing it. Likewise, players from all around the world are making life-changing decisions to play hockey. Although many players from foreign lands are top athletes, a language barrier can be a problem. Nonetheless, these individuals always find ways of overcoming such obstacles. Keep reading this article to understand how hockey players of foreign origin overcome the language barrier.

Buddy system

Putting people together is usually an effective way of helping a person that does not speak English on a hockey team. In most cases, a coach will pair up a newcomer with someone who speaks the language well. Even if they barely understand each other, the pair will find creative ways of communicating.

For example, Artemi Panarin and Patrick Kane developed a fantastic relationship on the hockey rink. Patrick developed an excellent method of communicating with Artemi by speaking English with a Russian accent. Their relationship flourished so much that they each won an award in 2016. Nonetheless, the Chicago Blackhawks still hired an interpreter to translate essential details to Artemi. Beyond this example, many other teams adopt the buddy system approach to bridge the language gap between their players. In the long run, foreign players can overcome initial difficulties and come out of this experience stronger and more knowledgeable.

When faced with a need to exercise their foreign language knowledge, some people find that they lack the skills. As a foreigner, you may occasionally require translation services. In this case, selecting the right platform to work with can prove challenging. Therefore, you may look to the best online translation services for a comprehensive analysis of the best language translation websites. Each platform is carefully analyzed to provide customers with an objective view of each translation service.

Creating the right environment

Pairing up recruits that barely understand English with senior players is helpful. Beyond the buddy system, newcomers need to have a sense of belonging in a new environment. To achieve this, a hockey team should aim to create a welcoming atmosphere. The players must reach out to their teammates with the intent of understanding them. Also, efforts must be made to make newcomers comfortable in the dressing room.

There may be miscommunication at first. However, making an effort to understand the newcomers is vital. Likewise, many foreign players may appear shy due to culture shock. In such cases, reaching out to these individuals can make a huge difference. 

Foreign hockey players often come to a different country to study. In such a case, they may need help with assignments. As a local, you can help them or advise them on a good do my essay for me service. You can help them look up trustworthy writing platforms and offer your translation services when they are needed.

Interacting on the rink

Trying to establish communication with a player who does not understand English in training is one thing. However, interacting in the thick of things is a different ball game. Communication can be a problem even for coaches and teammates who speak the same language. Many experienced coaches try to gauge players’ reactions when explaining tactics and instructions. A vacant expression or a confused look usually indicates that the instructions are unclear. When this happens, a good coach will detect it and try to explain their thoughts again. In other cases, they may assign the captain or other teammates with a better perspective to clear up the air. In particular, foreigners with a poor understanding of the English language may need more attention through the following

  • Communicating with them through a teammate that speaks their language
  • Using an interpreter
  • Using established gameplay hand gestures
  • Providing a physical game plan to them

Hiring interpreters

Any serious team that recruits foreign players who understand little to no English will need to get interpreters if they want these individuals to feel comfortable. Since learning foreign languages is challenging, the job of an interpreter is to bridge the communication gap between the new guy, the coaches, and other players. Teams that decide against having a translator may miss out on talents or risk prolonging settling time. In their defence, some hockey teams choose not to hire an interpreter as a way of forcing foreign players to learn the language. Although this approach may work, there is a serious risk of isolating players who cannot cope with this method.

Team spirit

Most successful foreign hockey players have a sense of belonging within their teams. Teammates and coaches are largely responsible for welcoming non-English speakers into the team. In addition, newcomers must also try to connect with the team by exposing them to their culture, family, and way of life.

In Conclusion

For many foreign hockey players, overcoming the language barrier is a challenge. However, these individuals may find value in the buddy systems some teams create. Likewise, having a conducive environment is always helpful. The ability to interact on the rink is crucial to adapting to the new environment. Without interpreters, integrating into the team and learning English can be impossible. Finally, team spirit can help create understanding within a team of people from different backgrounds.

About the Author

Diane Sherron is a robust content writer. She is not afraid to create content in any niche. As a result, Diane has published hundreds of articles on multiple platforms. 

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