The Mayhem Family Handbook
Where Passion and Performance Collide
Table of Contents
- 2022-2023 Facilities. 5
- Program Descriptions. 6
- Training Programs. 6
- Private and Small Group Lessons. 6
- Skills Clinics. 6
- Travel Teams. 7
- Tryout Protocol: Always Earned Never Given. 7
- Age Classifications (9/1/22-12/31/22) 7
- Website Player Profiles. 12
- Social Media Accounts. 12
- Team Snap. 12
- Team Parents & Volunteers. 12
- MAYHEM Social Media Acceptable Use Policy.. 13
- Mayhem’s Role in Your Recruiting Process. 13
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 15
- Injuries. 15
- Commitment. 15
- Coaching Decisions. 15
- Tryouts. 15
- Uniforms & Equipment. 15
- Rules & Regulations.
The Main Line Field Hockey Club (“Mayhem”) is the FIRST field hockey club to offer advanced skills development in the heart of the Main Line of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Mayhem opened its doors in order to give local athletes an opportunity to train at an elite level in a positive and supportive environment in 2015, led by strong and ambitious female leaders. “The Mayhem Difference” is firmly rooted in the belief that training to become the best field hockey player you can be should never feel like “work”.
Mayhem is more than just field hockey. It’s about empowering young women on and off the field by building confidence through field hockey that will change their lives. And it’s about coaches who are not only experts in their craft, but who serve as role models that young athletes can relate to both personally and athletically.
The Main Line Field Hockey Club strives to provide a safe, fun-filled, educational, and healthy experience in field hockey and fitness for participants of all ages and abilities.
- Safety and health of the participants at all times;
- Education of the participants in values that matter on and off the field; and
- Fun for the participants.
It is in the utmost interest of the Club to instill a community that respects and treasures all races, genders, religions, ethnicities, sexual orientations, religions and ages to help build a brighter future for generations to come.
Head Coach & Owner Alexandra McMahan (nee Malatesta) enjoyed a distinguished high school and collegiate field hockey career playing at the Division-1 level for the University of Richmond and for the multiple U.S. Junior National Teams before “hanging-up her stick for good” to attend law school at the University of Pittsburgh. Nearly six years later, and well-into her litigation practice at a local law firm, Alex realized something was missing… Mayhem.
Mayhem, originally known as “Main Line Mayhem”, was founded in January 2015 to give roughly twenty local middle school field players an opportunity to compete in tournaments after a series of Sunday Spring Training Sessions. Three years later, those same Sunday Spring Training Sessions would provide skills training for over 350 athletes while 20+ travel teams competed in tournaments all over the easter coast, many of whom are proud to be known as some of the “original members” of club from only three years prior.
As per our mission statement, The Main Line Field Hockey Club, LLC, was founded “to provide a safe, fun-filled, educational, and healthy experience in field hockey and fitness for participants of all ages and abilities.” Mayhem takes pride in being a respected and much-loved member of the community, and a home for athletes known not just for their athletic prowess, but of their strong character and leadership skills. No matter what skills are taught on the field, our primary goals are to instill a great work ethic, pride and confidence in oneself, sense of belonging, and desire to do what is right. These goals will make the participants successful where it counts most: in the real world.
When you are a Mayhem field hockey athlete, giving-up is the only sure way to fail. Athletes cannot reach their potential (athletically, academically or personally) without having experienced obstacles that feel insurmountable. Whether an athlete is benched, injured, falling behind in school, cut, trying to find her social niche or regretting her career path, our goal is to instill in our strong female athletes the value of perseverance. Mayhem strives to teach discipline and preparation to always “try again” by creating opportunities for everybody to be a member of our community at some level, to be known by name and respected by their adult coaches, to be encouraged and rewarded for their improvement, and to work with parents to end unhealthy levels of pressure and anxiety.
To this end, it is not only the players, but the hand-selected coaches who are the most important aspect of this process. Because of the close relationship the coaches form with their athletes, it’s imperative that all members are enthusiastic, educated, observant, and hardworking. In as much as we can, Mayhem will provide the environment and tools to allow the coaches to achieve these goals, which all stem from adherence to the Mayhem Parent & Athlete Codes of Conduct.
A year-around commitment is not required to participate in any one of the three travel team seasons, but tryouts get progressively more competitive as most athletes train together from October through May starting in 6th grade. However, once an athlete has “affiliated” with the Main Line Field Hockey Club for one travel team season, she will not be permitted to play for any other club until the open enrollment period the following August. No transfer requests will be granted between September and June.
- Fall Season (September – November)
- Travel Teams: Showcase Teams & Home Teams
- Fall FUNdamentals Training Program
- Drop-in Skills Specialty Clinics Open to the Public
- Exclusive Travel Team Clinics with Coach Alex
- Private/ Small Group Lessons
- Winter Season- Indoor (November – February)
- Travel Teams: Showcase Teams & Home Teams
- Mayhem Rising Skills Training Program
- Exclusive Travel Team Clinics with Coach Alex
- Small Group Lessons
- Spring Season (April – May)
- Travel Teams: Showcase & Home Teams
- Junior Premier Outdoor League Teams
- Local Tournament Teams
- Recruiting Showcase Tournament Teams
- Spring Training Program
- Drop-in Specialty Skills Clinics open to the Public
- Exclusive Travel Team Clinics with Coach Alex
- Private & Small Group Lessons
- Summer Season (June-August)
- Private & Small Group Lessons
- Power Crew Conditioning & Skills Training
- Drop-in Specialty Skills Clinics open to the Public
- Participation in Local Summer Leagues
- Summer Camps
MAYHEM officially has a HOME! The MAC is MAYHEMs home base and we are thrilled to have this space be for our athletes, coaches and families. Currently, Mayhem leases field space based on season and availability. The following are common venues for practices and clinics. Please check your schedule to ensure the venue for a particular event as Mayhem sometimes have to juggle within a season (i.e. when the host location is using their facility).
MAYHEM Athletic Center (MAC) – Conshohocken, PA
1032 Conshohocken Road, Conshohocken, PA 19428
- Fall travel teams
- Winter training
- Winter tournaments
- Spring travel teams;
- Spring training program
- Summer training
Academy of Notre Dame– Villanova
560 Sproul Rd, Villanova, PA 19085
- Fall travel teams; and
- Spring travel teams;
- Spring training program
The Proving Grounds – Conshohocken
Villanova Astroturf Field- 707 Conshohocken Rd, Conshohocken, PA 19428
- Select spring travel teams; and
- Elite spring training program
Mayhem’s skills training programs are offered seasonally year-around to athletes of all ages, experience levels, and club affiliations. Depending on the skill and age level of each small group within the training program, training sessions will progressively cover a wide variety of skills ranging from ball carrying position to reverse chips, from offensive elimination skills to defensive strategies, etc. These seventy-five minute sessions are informative but fun, as they are often accompanied by blasting dance music and plenty of time to scrimmage. Training programs are meant to introduce new athletes to the Mayhem environment and to the enthusiastic coaching staff, while providing an opportunity for current club members to improve their technique and to play with and against new people.
Private and small group training is the best way to improve an athlete’s skills at her own pace. Experience Mayhem’s coaching philosophy at its very source by working directly with the Mayhem Owner, Alex, in a laid-back environment (often replete with fluffy dogs), while learning elite-level stick work, offensive elimination skills, advanced passing and shooting techniques and fundamental defensive skills. Private and small group training is for current (or prospective) club members only and are available upon request, subject to availability. Lessons are held at Alex’s house on either her outdoor, or indoor, AstroTurf field. All ages and skill levels are welcome and parents are encouraged to attend!
Mayhem’s 75-minute skills clinics are the perfect way to focus on one or two skills in a fun and high-paced environment. The clinic focuses change weekly and cover a wide variety of skills. Whether the skill is fundamental, such as 1 v. 1 defense, or for the next level, such as a reverse chip shot, the low player-to-coach ratio combined with our loud, high-paced, energetic atmosphere, is sure to leave every player with a new trick up her sleeve and of course—a smile.
Mayhem offers travel team opportunities throughout the year for elite athletes who can fully commit to weekly team practices and tournaments during the season. Athletes interested in playing for a Mayhem Travel Team must register and attend tryouts.
All athletes invited to formally join Mayhem must be fully committed to the club’s principles of hard work, dedication, team work, and sportsmanship. Other than school field hockey in the fall, the expectation for travel team players is that their Mayhem team be their top athletic priority. The general rule of thumb is that only one unexcused absence is permitted without incurring consequences, per 7 practices. See Mayhem Parent & Athlete Codes of Conduct, below.
Tryouts are necessary for building competitive teams. Mayhem does not automatically “grandfather-in” teams who have played together the season prior. Rather, Mayhem holds tryouts each season to offer both new and returning athletes a fresh opportunity to earn a spot.
During tryouts, players are painstakingly evaluated by multiple coaches based on their technical skills (such as stick skills, ball speed, vision, positional-skills, decision-making, athleticism and fitness) and intangible assets (hustle, work ethic, aggressiveness, attitude), then later discussed thoroughly and carefully until a decision is reached by a majority of coaches as to the most beneficial placement for that athlete.
Travel team placements are final and binding. An athlete and/or her family may not ask to be placed on a specific team for any reason. Depending on the season and the amount of players trying out, tryouts may be used to place athletes on a travel team “squad” and then later placed on a roster once practices begin during that season (e.g., athletes who were placed on a fall travel team after the June tryouts will not know their team’s roster until mid-October). A non-fundable deposit is required within 48 hours of being notified of your tryout results; if a player later withdraws from that program after she learns of her team placement, she will be asked to leave the Club entirely.
Mayhem age guidelines differ slightly from those of USFHA. At times, players may play up, but under no circumstances can a player play down a level. USFHA’s age cut-off deadline of January 1st dictates the age groups Mayhem athletes play in the fall leading-up to the deadline, that winter, and the following spring. Mayhem currently offers activities in the following age categories:
U-10 (9 or under as of 1/1/23);
U-12 (11 or under as of 1/1/23);
U-14 (13 or under as of 1/1/23);
U-16 (15 or under as of 1/1/23);
U-19 (18 or under as of 1/1/23);
USFHA age brackets go by the year of birth and have nothing to do with school grade. The “U” stands for Under. A player’s age group for the fall/winter/spring club seasons is determined by what age they are at the beginning of the calendar year. For example, a player that turns 14 in December 2022 is considered U16 for the Fall of 2022, the Winter of 2022-2023, and the Spring of 2023.
Throughout the year, Mayhem teams attend a number of tournaments. Mayhem is fortunately located to the extent that many tournaments are local and do not require overnight stays, however, Mayhem also competes in regional and national tournaments. Some of these require overnight stays in “Team Hotels”. When joining one of these teams, it is imperative that the cost of select “Team Hotels” is taken into consideration, as the team is almost always required to stay in the same 1 or 2 hotels. Team Parents, responsible for vetting and booking these hotels, make every effort possible to choose hotels that offer a solid range in pricing for a quality hotel.
USFHA Stay to Play Rule
For some national events, USFHA imposes a “Stay to Play” rule. This rule means that all players and families must stay in a USFHA approved hotel and usually be booked through their provider. Hotel rewards points are often not applicable without special accommodation.
Players traveling without a Parent or Legal Guardians
Mayhem understands that parents have significant personal and professional commitments and cannot attend all events. When it comes to overnight tournaments, Mayhem requires that at least one parent or guardian accompany all players under 18 years of age. In the absence of a parent or guardian, the parents must make arrangements with another temporary adult guardian and advise Mayhem coaching staff of the arrangements. Mayhem coaches and personnel cannot be the guardian for any players, supervise players during non-team sanctioned events, nor provide transportation.
Punctuality & Team Time
The rules for punctuality for Mayhem events is straightforward. For practices, players are expected to arrive 15 minutes before the start time. If the coaches are occupied, the players should start warming up and stretching on their own. For games, players are expected to arrive 45 minutes before the start of the first game, remain with their teams between games (not their families), and 30 minutes prior to every subsequent game that day.
Each of the three major seasons concludes with a national tournament opportunity. It is Mayhem’s goal to qualify for and participate in these extremely competitive tournaments. These tournaments expose our players to some of the best competition that the sport has to offer at their age level and often offers significant ng opportunities for visibility by college recruiters. If your daughter is invited to play for one of the travel teams, it is important that both player and parents read and understand that the expected level of commitment for both practices and these tournaments are expected to be top priority.
The United States Field Hockey Association is the national governing body over field hockey in the U.S. In addition to being responsible for the Women’s and Men’s national field hockey teams, USFHA runs the major regional and national tournaments throughout the year, the Futures training programs, as well as maintains and governs rule and safety issues in the sport.
Since USFHA is our governing body and Mayhem competes in many regional and national tournaments, all Mayhem players must be registered as a member of USFHA and have Mayhem, and ONLY Mayhem, as their affiliated club.
- Seasonal Team Descriptions
Fall Travel Teams
Unlike some other elite club sports, Mayhem encourages girls to play for their school teams. As such, Mayhem makes all attempts to avoid conflicts during the school playing season by scheduling fall travel team practices on Sunday afternoons at the Academy of Notre Dame. Tryouts for the fall teams are held in June, but final rosters are not set until practices have begun in October. The fall season concludes with a local tournament either in mid-November (home teams) or over Thanksgiving in either Florida, Virginia, or California (Showcase teams). Acceptance of your position on an Away Team roster is a major commitment both financially and time-wise, and often requires the purchase of airfare and hotels 4-5 months in advance.
Winter Indoor Teams
Indoor field hockey is a fast and furious way to improve your stick skills, quickness and decision-making ability during the off-season. There is no better way to stay active during the winter and to keep your field hockey skills in-check by playing this exciting game of 5 v. 5, usually played on a plastic sport court tiles lined by wooden sideboards.
Winter indoor team practices are two hours at the same time every week and can be scheduled for any time during the week between 4PM-10PM, Sunday-Friday. The Travel Teams will attend 3-5 local tournaments in preparation for USFHA National Indoor Tournament (note- not all travel teams will be invited to attend or to attempt to qualify for the NIT). The Indoor travel team season is an intensive commitment. The dates for tournaments and practices will be given to players and parents at the end of the summer. The acceptance of taking a place on a team means you are committing to a full season with your team. Each team only contains 9-10 players, so attendance is crucial.
For additional playing-time opportunities, athletes may sign-up to participate on “HOUSE TEAMS” entered in tournaments at the Mayhem Athletic Center that correspond with the athlete’s age group. The end goal of the season for each team to qualify for or be invited to the National Indoor Tournament at USA field hockey’s Olympic training site in Lancaster, PA (Spooky Nook).
Spring Travel Teams
The Spring Travel Team season is the culmination of the club travel team circuit during the past field hockey year. The Spring Teams consist of our most qualified and committed club players from each age division. Only athletes that played on one of Mayhem’s fall and/or winter travel teams or who participated in the Mayhem Rising Indoor Skills Training Program are invited to try-out due to the high-level of the tournaments our teams attend in the spring. Depending on team assignments, practices are once or twice a week and can be weeknights and/or weekends in preparation for 2-3 tournaments. Players not placed on a spring travel team are invited to train with their Mayhem peers in Mayhem’s Spring Training Program (elite or regular site).
The top teams in some age brackets will compete in the Regional Club Championships in May/June with the goal of qualifying for the National Club Championships held in July. Hosting locations for these events vary by year. See more detailed information under Tournaments section of this guide. The dates for these tournaments will be given to players and parents. The acceptance of taking a place on a team means you are committing to a full season with your team.
The Mayhem Leadership program is designed to give select 8th-12th grade athletes the opportunity to shadow and assist the Mayhem coaching staff in order to learn key skills needed to teach and motivate young athletes. Leaders will be taught to be self-assured when speaking in public, to have empathy and social attentiveness when athletes are struggling to learn, to deliver persuasive instruction in appealing ways to a specific (young) audience, and finally, to be endlessly positive, despite daunting tasks at hand. Mayhem leaders will assist Mayhem coaches in the U10, U12 & U14 programs by demonstrating and instructing skills in group and individual settings, coaching scrimmages, refereeing, interacting and giving direction to athletes and parents, and being pro-active in handling administrative and equipment needs. Leaders will be included in coaching staff discussions regarding daily operations and will be given an evaluation of their leadership skills at the end of the season. Applications for the Leadership Program will be accepted at the beginning of every season, snippets of which will be used to post the leader’s biographies on our website.
Mayhem wears custom reversible uniforms provided by BSN. When Mayhem is “Home,” we wear our yellow jersey with white socks, black skirt, and when Mayhem is “Away,” we wear our black jersey with black socks and black skirt. All players are required to purchase the full uniform: jersey, skirt, shin guard socks, warm-up t-shirt or long-sleeve shirt of the year. All uniforms should be clean and ironed prior to the start of a tournament.
The Mayhem practice uniforms includes your Mayhem black/white or gray/white pinnie and black, grey or pink shorts/skirt (preferably that say Mayhem). Your first Mayhem pinnie will be provided to you upon entering the club; additional pinnies can be purchased on our team store. There are no restrictions on your shinguard sock of choice.
At the beginning of each season, Mayhem will open a spirit wear store with a local sportswear provider. The spirit wear not only helps with club branding but also helps to create introductions with fellow club members they may encounter in the area. Mayhem athletes should look neat and professional at Mayhem tournaments—i.e. spirit wear should be fitted appropriately to the size of the athlete (for example, an XS athlete should not be wearing her Dad’s XXL sweat shirt at the venue, even if it does say “Mayhem”).
It is expected that players wear Mayhem branded gear to practices and events. Mayhem athletes may not wear clothing advertising other organizations or geographic locations (e.g. colleges, high schools, or beach towns), but are permitted to wear generic clothing that matches Mayhem’s color wheel—black, white, grey, yellow, or pink.
Mandatory for every MAYHEM training event, game and/or tournament are the following items:
- Stick: Outdoor stick (fall and spring) AND Indoor stick (winter). For more information about choosing a stick, see FAQ’s, below.
- Mouth guard (goalies included);
- Shin guards: Hard shell shin guards recommended for best protection (no soft, roll-up pads or ½ coverage soccer shin guards);
- Turf Cleats: Used for outdoor field hockey in the fall and spring– grass soccer cleats are not permitted on ANY turf surface, and not only can damage the turf, but can contribute to knee injuries;
- Court Shoes: All shoes must be flats- no turf shoes are allowed on an indoor court (hard, basketball) surface. Mayhem recommends “Mizzuno” court shoes to help combat slipping. .
- Protective Gloves for Winter Indoor: Thick, padded (‘transformer-style’) gloves for BOTH hands are required for all winter indoor travel team members.
Mayhem’s primary resource is our website www.mainlinefieldhockey.com. The vast majority of Mayhem events, scheduling, tournaments and other related activities will be published on our website. Additional, information and reminders will also be sent to our e-mail lists which are pulled from the website player profile information.
All team families should create an account on the Mayhem website. Most event, team, and tournament registrations, along with accompanying payments will be processed through the site and profiles for each of your players will need to be created. Additionally, the Mayhem e-mail list is extracted from the player/family profiles from the website.
Mayhem will also send out reminder and highlight information via our social media accounts:
Facebook (Mayhem Field Hockey)
Twitter (Main Line Mayhem)
All parents with players on a travel team should download and create a Team Snap account. The application is free and is compatible with most major devices and mobile operating systems. Team Snap will be used to forward practice, game and tournament dates, times and locations, as well as corresponding reminders. Although your daughters may play on different teams each season, their Team Snap profile will just easily be assigned to the new team coach the next season.
When viewing the Team Snap event, the home team will be listed first. This tells you that the players should be wearing their Yellow uniforms. This way they will be dressed in the correct uniform when arriving before their first game.
For travel and tournament teams, Mayhem usually asks for a parent for each team to volunteer to assist with information sharing, travel coordination and social event planning. When each team has a parent coordinator, this is usually not a major time commitments and it allows the Mayhem coaches to focus on skills development and game planning.
In fact, without the help of some of our Team Parents, this Handbook never would have existed! Eternal thanks to all who contributed to this extensive labor of love.
Mayhem highly encourages our players and parents to share pictures on social media but wants to ensure that all content is appropriate and good natured. Negative comments are not acceptable in any venue, however, the vast audience that social media allows makes it all the more important to ensure appropriate content and comments. This includes negative or disparaging comments about opposition players, clubs, and game officials. All negative content, postings and behavior is a reflection upon the reputation of our club. Mayhem finds that team accomplishments are favored over individual statistics being posted when tagging any of the Mayhem social media accounts.
If a Mayhem-affiliated athlete is found using social media in a manner that is counterintuitive to the Mission of the Club, including for bullying or other forms of unhealthy social pressure, the athlete’s parents will be immediately notified and, at the sole discretion of the Club Owner, sanctions may be imposed, including, but not limited to, removal from the Club.
There are hundreds of schools across the country that offer opportunities for continuing to play field hockey at various levels: Intramural, Club or NCAA Division-1, 2, or 3. The role of Mayhem in this process has three very important facets: preparation, guidance, and exposure. Athletes will also be given the additional opportunity to participate in Mayhem’s Recruiting & Collegiate Development Program.
Mayhem’s goal is to help you reach your potential. While our job is to teach you all of the skill-related tools that Mayhem have to offer, we are as equally concerned with developing the WHOLE player: reinforcing the values of discipline, time management, preparation, work ethic, selflessness, and coachability— all of which are critical to figuring out where your potential can take you. How you choose to exercise these values on and off the field shows not only in your performance on the field, but in the time you spend conditioning in the off-season, practicing your stick skills, playing with your school team, fueling your body, and spending your free time. All of these decisions are crucial aspects to your development and ability to perform at the next level.
Mayhem Coaches are hired based on their ability to relate to, express, and guide our athletes on the collegiate recruiting process based on their own experiences. When your daughter is a member of Mayhem, these high-level collegiate players are literally at your daughter’s fingertips several times per week and are ready and willing to evaluate her strengths and weaknesses, help her determine what level is the right for her, and available to discuss how their college team’s program, academics or level of play could fit that athlete. Regardless of what coach you approach, your family should be prepared with a list of criteria that the athlete is looking for in a school and already know which schools may align with your interests in all aspects: financially (assume no scholarship opportunities exist), academic admittance criteria (assume no athletic help through admissions), type of campus, distance from home, academic majors of interest, NCAA ranking, etc.
Once your family has formed a realistic list of schools, the real work begins. Mayhem’s Owner or Director of Recruiting & Collegiate Development will meet with your family to provide feedback on your target lists, share insight on the athlete’s development and potential as shown over multiple seasons of playing with Mayhem, and provide guidance on how to initiate and continue a relationship with your college prospects; the rest is in your hands.
- Never lose focus on your grades, and as importantly, your test scores;
- Be patient and expect this process to be TEDIOUS and test your resilience— it could take years to received reciprocated interest and it may not be at the level, or from the program, you originally intended;
- Treat every piece of writing like a job application— parents should proof read everything, but in NO WAY should parents draft, re-write, send or sign these emails. If an athlete is not old enough to communicate responsibly through email, she is not old enough to be recruited.
Athletes are exposed to college recruiters at the U16 and U19 level of showcase tournaments, college’s 7v. 7 play-days and clinics, your high school field hockey games, college camps, through the USFHA Futures program, at USFHA National tournaments, and by sending out highlight videos (yes, Mayhem produces its own highlight videos for our athletes!). While Mayhem tries to pass-on every collegiate event to its members via email or social media, it is your responsibility to be pro-active. Every college field hockey team has a webpage or social media account that lists all of their upcoming camps/clinics. If you are interested in a school and want to be exposed to their program, you must put in the time to research the opportunities and attend an on-campus field hockey event. If you have made a high-level club team that will attend a recruiting showcase or National tournament, you should email your target schools with your game schedule ahead of time (NOT the night before!) so that they might get the opportunity to catch a game. But, keep in mind, when Mayhem attends tournaments/showcases at this competitive level, we are playing to win. Regardless of the level your daughter aspires to reach, the athletes who are most contributing to the overall success of the team at that moment will be on the field.
Recruiting & Collegiate Development Program
Mayhem is the first, and only Club in Pennsylvania to have specialty programs and events designed specifically to work closely with Mayhem Club families on their athlete’s journey through the Recruiting & Collegiate Development (“RCD”) process. The RCD program is an additional concierge/a-la-carte-style service that ensures the supervision, navigation and guidance of Mayhem staff members over registered athletes’ recruitment journey. There are various packages available for athletes at every stage– from just beginning to explore the concept of playing after high school, to “sealing the deal” their Junior or Senior year—all of which are based upon extensive feedback and communication between the Mayhem staff and the family.
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- How should a parent relay issues such as injuries, academic, or social conflicts to Mayhem coaching staff?
- Any issues regarding physical injuries should be immediately reported to the Mayhem coaching staff to ensure that the player is evaluated and able to participate prior to any Mayhem event. Information regarding concussion diagnosis, treatment, and protocol can be found on Mayhem’s website at <https://www.mainlinefieldhockey.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Concussion-Protocol.pdf>. We welcome conversation with parents regarding any social, emotional, or academic issues that your daughter may dealing with in school, at home, or on the team. This may well enable us to use a different approach in coaching your daughter.
- Can my daughter play another sport while playing for Mayhem?
- Mayhem acknowledges that having players be involved in multiple athletic and/or extracurricular activities is important, however, when trying-out for a travel team, your daughter is not only taking the place of somebody else, but is making a commitment to a team, and that team is depending on your daughter to show up to practice, games, and team events. We expect that Mayhem be their top athletic priority when involved on our teams, subject only to school in-season field hockey.
- Why did the coach substitute the goalie for a field player near the end of the game?
- At times when a team is down a goal or two they will pull the goalie in the last few minutes to allow for an extra field player in an attempt to score a tying goal. This may be either a regular player or a player who will wear a goalie jersey but not all the pads. This second scenario allows that player to use their feet in the defensive zone as a goalie would but she can quickly transition to a defender or attacker.
- I paid the same amount as everybody else on the team, why isn’t my daughter receiving equal playing time in games?
- While the vast majority of every travel team season is focused on development and gaining game-time experience, and while it is every coach’s core intent to give her players equal playing time, no athlete is ever able to perform at her 100%, 100% of the time. Therefore, at a certain age, or at particular tournaments and/or during crucial games in those tournaments, the strategy shifts to a “play-to-win” mentality: the players who are contributing to the overall success of the team at that moment in time, will be on the field.
- How should a parent approach the issue of playing time or positions to a coach?
- All Mayhem personnel are highly qualified coaches who have played college level field hockey. They are extremely experienced and make position assignments and playing time decisions based on the needs of the team. As such, Mayhem does NOT encourage parental interaction on these topics. Mayhem DOES encourage your daughter to be a self-advocate and to speak to a coach at the appropriate time before or after practice to address playing time or other issues— team or persona— that may arise. We want to instill self-confidence in young women to be able to speak for themselves. For more information regarding appropriate topics and methods of communication, see Parent & Athlete Codes of Conduct, below.
Q: What can my daughter expect at tryouts?
A: We recognize that tryouts, regardless of Mayhem’s relaxed atmosphere, are a constant source of stress and anxiety for athletes of all ages and levels. For this reason, we keep our tryouts small and intimate, often playing music, running a few simple drills, then spending a majority of the time doing what every athlete enjoys the most—scrimmaging. Meanwhile, multiple coaches are evaluating the athletes based on their technical ability and intangible skills, including: as stick skills, ball speed, vision, positional-skills, decision-making, athleticism, fitness, hustle, work ethic, aggressiveness, attitude and teamwork. Every athlete is thoroughly discussed during a later coaches’ meeting and carefully placed in an environment that the coaches feel would serve her best interests at this point in their development. For more information about the Tryout Protocol, see page 7.
Q: What do I say to my daughter if she is devastated about not making the team she expected to make?
A: As a young athlete, it is very difficult to keep perspective that this moment in time is not the end of the world, nor does it define the overall trajectory of her athletic career. A successful athletic career is built upon triumphs and challenges, because if you are never challenged, you will never know how much more you are capable of. Encourage your daughters to process setbacks in healthy ways—yes, it’s okay to be upset—but not for long. Successful athletes must be self-motivated, hardworking, and must learn the value of perseverance. Giving-up is never an option for an athlete. Encourage your daughter to evaluate her own personal preparation and come-up with game plan for how she is going to get better, faster, and stronger this season.
- Can my daughter be placed on a team with her friends?
- Maybe! But factors such as social networks, schools, or even grade levels (within the same age group), past experiences with the club, are never taken into consideration when putting together a team. Teams are formed based on performance during tryouts, and nothing else.
Q: What else can my daughter do to get better outside of Mayhem events?
- There are four major aspects of field hockey that your daughter can work on by herself without any additional equipment, that everybody has room to improve on: stick work (easily practiced on a carpet) and speed/ fitness. If you are going to invest in any additional piece of equipment, get a hitting board so athletes can practice hitting and receiving at a fast pace.
- My daughter wants to participate in the X season, but I’m afraid she’ll burn out- what should I do?
- Participating in another season of field hockey does not determine whether a player will burn out; factors that lead to burn out include an athlete’s personality, the pressure she puts on herself or perceives from others to be “good” at what she does, whether she chose field hockey freely or followed in somebody’s footsteps, her involvement (or lack thereof) in other non-field hockey related activities, whether she has fun at practice and still enjoys learning, and the method and personality of the coaching she receives. Contact Coach Alex for an honest personal assessment of whether your daughter is at risk.
UNIFORMS & EQUIPMENT
- Does my daughter have to buy all the Mayhem gear?
- Absolutely not. While we encourage all players to show their Mayhem spirit, we only require the purchase of Mayhem uniforms and practice pinnies. However, when at tournaments, athletes may not wear clothing advertising other institutions or geographic areas (i.e. high schools, colleges, or beach towns), but generic clothing in the Mayhem colors of black, white, grey, yellow, or pink, are permitted.
- I noticed players changing uniforms on the sidelines in-between games. Can’t they use locker rooms?
- In many cases at tournaments, there isn’t much time between games. Therefore, Mayhem d encourage players to wear athletic-style undergarments for games. These are not only better for absorbing sweat but are also less revealing when quickly changing between games.
- Does my daughter need a $400 stick?
- Field hockey stick cost anywhere from a $30 beginner stick to a $400 elite stick. There are many factors to consider before spending money on a stick. Some of these factors include their level of play (beginner or advanced), the type of player/position, or their preference for material. Sticks also vary in size so your daughter’s physical growth should be considered before investing heavily in a stick. Please consult a coach before spending a lot of money. A good field hockey store will have the girls try many sticks before investing in a higher end stick. Also consider that if they are going to play indoor, that requires a different stick.
- Why don’t the players in club games wear eye protection while they are required to wear eye protection while playing for school?
- Most Pennsylvania school games are governed by the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (“PIAA”) which has adopted the National Federation of State High School Associations (“NFHS”) rule mandating the wearing of protective eyewear in all field hockey games. Mayhem and club field hockey follow the rules issued by U.S. Field Hockey Association (USFHA) which does NOT require protective eyewear and has also banned the wearing of cage-style protective eyewear. Only “Bangers-style” clear, flush-mount, soft-plastic protective eye wear can be used at Mayhem events, but they are not mandatory. It is a difference of opinion and the NFHS decision specifically notes that serious eye injuries in field hockey are rare.
Parental Code of Conduct
The Main Line Field Hockey Club (“Mayhem”) has implemented the following Parental Code of Conduct for the important message it holds about the proper role of parents in supporting their child in sports and for the sake of preserving Mayhem’s uniquely welcoming and safe environment. Parents should read, understand, sign and return the signature page to Coach Alex McMahan prior to the start of practice.
The essential elements of character-building and ethics in sports are embodied in the concept of sportsmanship and six core principles:
- Caring; and
- Good Citizenship
The highest potential of sports is achieved when competition reflects these “six pillars of character.”
MAYHEM THREE STRIKE RULE
Mayhem implements a “three strike rule” for any parent guilty of improper conduct as specified in this Code, at any game, practice, or outside communication with a coach, which I recognize could result in:
- the loss of playing time for your child;
- removal from a tournament by venue security; and/or
- the ultimate dismissal of your family from the Club
I THEREFORE AGREE:
I will not force my child to participate in field hockey and will encourage her to follow any and all interests she may have, athletic or other.
I will remember that children participate to have fun and that the game is for youth, not adults.
I will inform the coach of any physical disability, injury or ailment that may affect the safety of my child or the safety of others. I also am familiar with, and will adhere to, Mayhem’s Concussion Protocol, found on Mayhem’s website at: https://www.mainlinefieldhockey.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Concussion-Protocol.pdf.
I (and my guests) will be a positive role model for my child and encourage sportsmanship by showing respect, self-control and courtesy, and by demonstrating positive support for all players, coaches, officials and spectators at every game, practice or other sporting event.
I (and my guests) will not engage in any kind of unsportsmanlike conduct with any official, coach, player, or parent such as booing and taunting; refusing to shake hands; or using profane language or gestures.
I will not encourage any behaviors or practices that would endanger the health and wellbeing of the athletes.
I will teach my child to play by the rules of the game and of the Club, and to resolve conflicts without resorting to bullying-like behaviors or hostility.
I will demand that my child treat other players, coaches, officials and spectators with respect regardless of race, creed, color, sex or ability.
I will teach my child that doing one’s best is more important than winning, so that my child will never feel defeated by the outcome of a game or her performance.
I will praise my child for competing fairly and trying hard, and make my child feel like a winner every time.
I will never ridicule or yell at my child or other participants for making a mistake or losing a competition.
I will emphasize skill development and practices and how they benefit my child over winning. I will also de-emphasize games and competition in the lower age groups.
I will promote the emotional and physical wellbeing of the athletes ahead of any personal desire I may have for my child to win or be the best.
I will respect the officials and their authority during games and will never question, discuss, or confront coaches at the game field, and will take time to speak with coaches at an agreed upon time and place.
I will demand a sports environment for my child that is free from drugs, tobacco, and alcohol and I will refrain from their use at all sports events.
I will refrain from coaching my child or other players during games and practices, unless I am one of the official coaches of the team.
Parent Affirmation of Code of Conduct
I, ____________________ (parent of athlete- please print), have thoroughly read and understand the Main Line Field Hockey Athlete & Parent Code of Conduct and am aware of the expectations and potential repercussions for violation of these rules. I agree to support the Main Line Field Hockey Club by following the Parent Code of Conduct and by helping to reinforce the Athlete’s Code with my daughter, on and off the field.
Signature______________ Date: _________
Please print and return this affirmation prior to beginning practice; you should retain a copy of the Codes for your records.
Athlete Code of Conduct
Participating and representing The Main Line Field Hockey Club (“the Club”) is a privilege that I accept with a full sense of responsibility. Violation of the Code of Conduct may have serious consequences, including, but not limited to, dismissal from the Club.
Have a positive attitude: be willing and eager to learn and adapt to change. Work hard, stay focused, be respectful of your coaches and your teammates, set goals for yourself and always try to do a little better each time you come to practice. Bad attitudes, eye-rolling, laziness and/or egos will not be tolerated.
COMMUNICATION WITH COACHES
Communication with coaches during the season regarding an athlete’s athletic performance is strictly reserved for the athletes. You may approach your coaches before/during/after practice in person or email your coach with any questions or concerns. Athletes are expected to keep their parents honestly up to date on their progress and the feedback they receive from the coaching staff, themselves.
Report all injuries (especially symptoms arising as a result of a collision) to your coach immediately. If you are injured and unable to play 100% for your school team Monday thru Friday, you must be honest with the Mayhem coaching staff so adjustments can be made. Your safety is our utmost priority. All athletes should be familiar with, and will adhere to, Mayhem’s Concussion Protocol, found on Mayhem’s website at: https://www.mainlinefieldhockey.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Concussion-Protocol.pdf.
ARRIVE ON TIME
Athletes should arrive 15 minutes before all practices or games dressed and ready to warm-up. Make sure your ride is prompt in picking you up so that coaches are not obligated to stay beyond competition hours.
Athletes are expected to be able to manage their academic affairs in a manner that allows them to continue to be successful in the classroom without compromising their commitment to their team. It is expected that weekend social activities be sacrificed in order to alleviate the burden of homework, studying, or preparation of long-term projects, to avoid last-minute cram sessions during practice hours.
ABSENCES FROM PRACTICE
Each offense will be dealt with separately and according to the seriousness of the offense at the coach’s discretion. Players must realize the difficulty of making a serious commitment to both a school and activities, and the fact that they have taken the spot in a highly coveted program to the disappointment of many other athletes not as fortunate.
Excused: Excused absences include, but are not limited to, in-season school athletic conflicts, illness resulting in a fever or inability to leave the house, fixed recruiting trips or events, or family loss/ funeral; only the latter does not require 3rd party verification.
Unexcused: One unexcused absence is permitted per 8 practices if attendance is otherwise perfect. Extracurricular clubs/activities, work schedules, appointments, family and social events should be arranged around your club field hockey schedule.
EQUIPMENT & TEAM GEAR
To be prepared for practice or games you must always have your Mayhem pinnie, shin guards, mouth guard, turf cleats and/or sneakers on-hand. Failure to have proper practice uniform or safety equipment constitutes an UNEXCUED ABSENSE. Uniforms must be neat, ironed and complete for games.
The use of foul language, “trash talking,” talking-back to coaches or referees, and overall poor citizenship such as booing or refusing to shake hands, are absolutely prohibited. Such is unbecoming of a good athlete and a Main Line Field Hockey Club player. Each offense will be dealt with separately and according to the seriousness of the offense.
Athlete Affirmation of Code of Conduct
I, ____________________ (athlete’s name- please print), have thoroughly read and understand the Main Line Field Hockey Athlete Code of Conduct and agree to abide by the rules as set forth above, as well as those instilled in practice by the coaching staff.
Signature: ____________ Date: _________
Please print and return this affirmation prior to beginning practice; you should retain a copy of the Codes for your records.