Yes They Can. Now if They Only Knew…
Yes they can beat New Jersey. Yes they can score multiple times on Brodeur. They can do this if they acknowledge the fact that they have the drive to do it–and by ‘acknowledge’ I don’t mean that the boys simply need to know it. They need to digest and internalize that knowledge.
The first task has been completed: Claude Julien recognized that the boys don\’t need more monotonous drills; he made sure they had some fun with the game in practice. Excellent strategic decision.
The second task: Make absolutely certain that they don’t forget that love for the game.
- Adrenaline + Endorphin = Energy.
- Energy brings hard work.
- Motivation brings high Adrenaline + Endorphin levels.
- \’Motivation\’ is the non-poetic, psychological term for passion.
- Love for the game feeds passion.
So make sure the boys never have the opportunity to forget for a second that hockey is what they love to death, and don’t forget that every player has a dream, whether secretly or publicly, to be the best. The only difference between the dreams of a 21 year-old player and those of a 31-year-old is that the older guy is more in danger of having been trained to think dreams are for kids: That dreaming is a time-waster. On the contrary. Dreaming is what keeps us alive.
Final step: Forever reiterate the first 2, and never forget that there are infinite ways to be the best at x. If you do only one thing better than any of your opponents, and your teammate also has mastery of his own particular genius, whatever it might be, and so on for every player on your team, then with some time, you will learn to use everyone else\’s idiosyncratic genius to win as a team. You do that by choreographing every move as a small element in a long series of moves that are individually insignificant, and yet come together to produce a graceful and assertive victory worthy of the name ‘art’. That’s the stuff that brings fans to their feet.
And that series of pieces, once put together through experience with your teammates, can never be replicated by any other team. By allowing each player to find his own identity, you ipso facto create an identity for the team, and it\’s an identity that doesn’t lose games because it’s built on the most significant strengths of each individual.
You know it’s the truth when it’s true almost by mere definition.