Mike Malloy is a Turnersville, NJ native who is a returning player from the Bronze medal winning U18 Team USA Junior squad. Mike has been selected to wear the Assistant Captain’s badge for the U20 team that will be competing in Sheffield, UK this July at the 2016 ISBHF World Junior Ball Hockey Championships. Mike enjoys watching football when he’s not out on the dek leading the rush. He’s a big Chik-Fil-A fan and loves the great hockey movie Miracle. WIth all the talent on the Team USA U20 roster, hopefully Mike and his teammates won’t need a miracle to be successful in Sheffield. Mike spoke to us about the upcoming tournament.
Describe what it means for you to be named an Assistant Captain of this team?
It is an honor to be named a captain. I take great pride in being able to represent my country, and the fact that my coaches and teammates trust me enough to give me a letter means a lot. This game is my life, it’s my passion and I take it very serious making sure I work hard and hopefully that has an effect on the boys.
What are the responsibilities of a captain/alternate?
My responsibilities as a captain are to lead by example on and off the rink and to keep the boys focused on the ultimate goal, which won’t be a problem. Making sure the boys are all on the same page and staying calm and collective when we face adversity in the tournament. Attitude is key, so having an attitude you want everyone else to emulate. It’s important not to try and do and be things that I’m not, that’s not my role as a captain and I just need to stick to the things I’m strong at that make me a leader.
What are the keys to making sure your team will be as successful as it can be at the WJBHC?
The key to making sure we’re successful will be having the discipline to stick with our systems, not getting away from them when we’re down, and repetitions of special teams before we get over there. Preparation will be huge, both individually and as a team. We don’t have as much time together as we’d like so we need to make sure we’re all on the same page on the fundamentals. But the boys are ready, we’re coming together as a family and we want gold.
What style of leadership will you bring?
The style of leadership I bring is making sure I’m leading by example. I think as a captain you have to remember that you reflect your team, you need to stay positive. I’ll speak up when needed, but I’m not the most vocal guy in the room I think a lot of my leadership comes from the way I play. We have a lot of leadership on the team, and the guys know you don’t need to have a letter on your chest to be a leader. I have a good relationship with all the boys and earning their respect is something that is really important to me. You want to earn the boys’ respect and be a guy that’s reliable that anybody can look to when they need something.
Who do you credit for your success as both a person and a hockey player?
First and foremost, I have to credit my parents for the person I’ve become. They’ve both always been there for me and made sure I had a good head on my shoulders. My teammates have a lot to do with who I am as a player and a person. I’ve made some of my closest friends through hockey. The one person I’d say specifically is my dad. He’s been the most influential person in my life on and off the rink, my mentor and someone who I look up to, and is the reason for a lot of my success.
How do you prepare for games? Are there any superstitions you follow?
I like to prepare for games in my own world I guess you could say. I like to clear my head of everything else and get myself ready to go. I’ll go out before the game and stand against the boards outside of the rink and just watch the rink, imagine different situations and what I’d do in those situations and just get a feel before the game.
You previously played in an ISBHF Junior World Championship in 2014, how will that experience help you in Sheffield?
A good amount of the guys have experience playing in Slovakia two years ago so that will be an advantage that we have going over there. We know how the game is played and what we need to do to compete and come out on top. We can relay any knowledge we have of international play with the younger teams to try and help them out a little bit. Experience can be underrated, but it will be a strong asset of ours heading to Sheffield. The ‘A’ is just a letter on my jersey, we have a lot of leaders in the room and they all bring something to the table that will be valuable to us in the tournament.