Want to Win—There Are No Little Things

Here is an article that hit home with me. Our team is at the tail end of a string of games during which we played hard, played strong, competed—we just didn’t win. There was a situation or two in every game where someone didn’t get the job done. The isolated situation could, and often is described as a little thing that led to the winning goal against.

The Simplest Detail is a December 1, 2009 post by Mike Tully on his site www.totalgameplan.com He gives us a great example for his point that ‘there are no little things’ if you want to get the job done.

Anyone who thinks that success is complicated should look at the Grey Cup final — the championship of the Canadian Football League.

Montreal won because Saskatchewan received a penalty for having 13 men on the field. Damon Duval missed a field goal that would have won the game, but got a second chance because of the penalty. Let that sink in for a moment: After weeks of training camp, a long season, and a bruising game, Saskatchewan lost a title because it could not put the right number of players on the field.

“It was a lack of communication … but it should have been recognized,” coach Ken Miller said about the critical penalty. “The disappointment of this loss is going to affect us as long as we’re on this planet. Total 100 percent disappointment.”

Saskatchewan’s pain can become your wisdom. No detail is too small. And never let yourself think that success is something magical or complicated. It’s not. As North Carolina women’s soccer coach Anson Dorrance is constantly preaching, it’s about doing things right every time.

Remember Thomas Keller, the world-class chef who said that no one step in cooking is particularly difficult?

All Saskatchewan had to do was count the number of players on the field. That doesn’t sound particularly difficult. But it didn’t get done. And the pain will linger a lifetime.

The StarPhoenix newspaper reported it this way:

“It’s not a moment thing; it’s a lifetime thing,” said Saskatchewan special-teams coach Kavis Reed, insisting that he, and not the unnamed extra player, should take the blame. “This is something I’ve got to live with for the rest of my life, and it’s something we have to live with for the rest of our lives. A mistake was made that essentially cost us the Grey Cup championship. I’ve got to shoulder that, I’ve got to live with that, I’ve got to replay that for the rest of my life.”

Never let that happen to you. There are no little things.

Most coaches will admire, and likely have feet the pain of the Saskatchewan special-teams coach. Getting things right every time may seem like an impossible task, but it should be a goal for all coaches and players.

A Special Team Skating Session with Graeme Townsend

We all like to do unique things for our players. Skating is one area where there are lots of products and people suggesting they can offer just such a thing. Well, we have a special guy for you and your team- Graeme Townsend.

I had the pleasure of coaching Graeme in the AHL. He was known as a team player and a heart and soul type; he was not known for his skating. Graeme has changed that.

He is the skating coach for the Toronto Maple Leafs and was in the same capacity with the San Jose Sharks. Graeme also played in the NHL with the Boston Bruins, New York Islanders, and Ottawa Senators.

We had Graeme, and his chief instructor Adam Nicholas, take over a team practice a couple of weeks ago. They demonstrated unique skating techniques that Graeme has perfected and uses with his NHL players.

It was a great session. Graeme and Adam had the full attention of our Quebec major junior players as they were worked through drills teaching different game specific skating techniques.

The session had a valuable motivational component as well. Graeme explained how he personally grew as a player and how these techniques he was presenting have helped others.

Our players were left with practical drills to take away from the session that they have enthusiastically incorporated into our daily practice sessions.

We are definitely having Graeme and Adam back to work with our players. We highly endorse Graeme and encourage you to do something special for yourself, or your team, and have Graeme become a part of what you do.

Go to www.thestridedoctor.com and check out the different camps that Graeme has available. This might be just the thing for you or your team. Here is more contact information:

Graeme Townsend- [email protected] or call 978.360.4244

Joe Hearn- [email protected] or call 207.577.0622