Tin Cup

There is a classic line in the movie Tin Cup when the lead character Roy Mcilroy utters the line “it was a defining moment, and when a defining moment comes along either you define the moment or the moment defines you.”

The NHL season starts this week, so I guess in the next couple of weeks we will be seeing a few defining moments. The off season is a time to fix your weaknesses personnel wise, tactically, and mentally. The preseason is the time to start the process of building your on ice product.

 Dr. Bhrett McCabe has worked with many top performing athletes and Coaches. As a two time NCAA National Champion in baseball, he understands the mind of the athlete. He has some very insightful thoughts on why the process is so important and why some succeed and other fail. His insights have guided me professionally and with my golf game. The results are there, but it takes time.

The 6 Reasons Why “The Process” Is So Important:

  • The process is determined prior to starting, and can be adjusted but not changed. It’s developed with the purpose of succeeding, so the psychological investment into the plan is highest at the onset. The hard thing is to stick with it when time has passed, but to also understand that adjustments will have to be made. That’s normal.
    • It’s created based on strengths – and working on those strengths – to improve. Great teams and processes are always built around strengths. It makes no sense for a plan to be built to correct weaknesses and simply ignore the strengths.
    • Trusting in the process during competition provides the ability to overcome weaknesses. When the pressure of competition mounts, the plan and process sustain, not fold.
    • Great processes incorporate every facet of the organization, not just the ones in the spotlight. The best work happens behind the scenes in activities that provide support for the overall mission. Players must understand that their commitment to the process is guided by many people.
    • The process requires unrelenting commitment, and most players don’t have the fortitude to stick with it. We live and compete in a world of shortened attention spans, and it’s often hard for young men and women to hold on for months before they see results. The younger the athlete, the shorter the attention span, so it’s important that athletes and coaches resist any urge to abandon their process.
    • It provides teams with a cause bigger than themselves. When they buy into a process, they buy into a perceived advantage to succeed.

There will be defining moments for General Manager and Coach. They could be in a week, a month or three months. Will the moment define them and their team or will they define the moment. Can they still motivate themselves physically and mentally to compete. It is easy to compete when you’re winning, but can you do it when the outcome is not good.

Most NHL teams do the same things in the way they operate their programs. Every program has better facilities than they did twenty years ago, and the science of coaching has improved so much that essentially every coach has better coaching tools every year.  Successful programs have vision and commitment to the elements that contribute to the implementation and execution of the plan to win. Those who consistently win simply do it better than everyone else. It’s just sacrifice, effort, and a mindset on the part of everyone in the program to just get it done.

That is the defining moment.

Until next time!


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