The Ottawa Senators are past the half way mark of the 56 games season and many of the pundits are speaking about the expectations of this group. But here’s a question for you? What exactly are expectations and what are they based on?
An expectation is a future result based on past experiences. BTW they are very dangerous. Why? Because they bring you into a mindset of Shangrila, where everything is perfect and works out. Unfortunately competition is not like is not like that. Competition is an ever changing environment in which one team adjusts quicker and faster than the other. However, that does not equate to winning. all it gives you is another opportunity to compete for that next moment.
Last night Thomas Chabot made a pass that hits the shaft of a stick and the result was a transition for the opposition to switch from defense to offense. The EXPECTATION by the fans and the media was he should have been able to complete that pass. Great competitors take what they have and make the most out of the situation .The problem with expectations is this – on the outside, everybody cheers you on for talking about them, but when they do not work out it can really affect the athlete. Chabot is a stud NHL defenseman who is making great money now, but in two years he will either be a bargain or will want to get out of Ottawa because the fans and media have made him their new escape goat, just like Wade Redden, Bobby Ryan, and Jason Spezza. The fact that DJ smith is playing him 30 plus minutes is causing mental and physical fatigue, which IMO lead to the turnover. This game once again was on Smith and Dorion. All of a sudden it has become so important to win ( expectation) instead of teaching them how to compete every night ( Player Development) .
Doc Bhrett McCabe explains it beautifully. “As a coach or competitor, you need to replace expectations with demands, intentions, and purpose going into every moment with full intention to execute. I have no idea how the outcome will go, but I’m going to fight like hell to make it the best that I can. I’m going to maximize what I have every day and not stop until I get it.” Now, I am sure that Dorion and Smith will not understand this because they will say “we are in the business of winning”. What they do not understand is this year is a free spot on the Bingo card. No one, expects you to win! So why are you so focused on it. Play and teach this young group of talent into a team.
As a wise man once said, “Hell what do I know”.
Until next time!
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