Early on in my sales career as a financial services professional those words were spoken to a group of us at a sales meeting. This is exactly where the Florida Panthers find themselves right now.
For those of us who have played organized sports at any level you know that there are some games that you just don’t “have it”. That game where your legs feel as though they’re stuck in cement. Your head is pounding as though a freight train is running through it. Your mind says move, but your body says no. In addition to the physical side, there’s also the mental aspect of it. You just don’t feel like playing, or your thoughts are wandering elsewhere. Or maybe you just aren’t mentally strong enough to handle the grind every night. Don’t lie, we’ve all felt some of this at one point or another. To play your best each and every game is virtually impossible for any athlete, especially when you’re talking about doing it a minimum of 82 times a year. The highly skilled and the most talented players never look as though they’re struggling, because they’re that much better than every one else. When a team has no superstar to lead the way however, or be the catalyst, the pressure rests on everyone.
However, and this is not an excuse article, losing should never be the result of one player having an off night. In hockey you dress 20 players, and while one of them, the backup goaltender, doesn’t do much, the other 19 are responsible for the outcome of the game. An early goal such as last night’s at 13 seconds in, can often set the tone for the balance of the evening. That feeling of “oh no” sets in.
We can’t possible know what’s going through the players minds right now, and you can’t possibly think that they don’t want to win, or that they don’y care. Not this Florida Panther team. Maybe in year’s past but the character in this room this season is far superior to any we’ve had here in a long time. The problem is that on some nights, this team must be absolutely perfect. That’s not easy. Some night’s they catch a break. Other night’s like Tuesday, everything is off. Maybe it’s time for some motivation. Not for them, but for you. So many people are ready to jump off the boat. Sure, we’re mad, upset, and frustrated, and want the team to play the way it did in the first part of the season. But with all the time remaining it’s a little too early to give up don’t you think?
Give this team a chance to work through this.
There are exactly 30 games remaining in the regular season. That’s 60 points up for grabs. Currently the Panthers have 59, so even if they split, and win 15 and get 8 additional points as a result of an overtime/shootout loss, that’s 38 points putting them at 97 for the season. Very likely enough to make the playoffs and potentially enough to win the Southeast division. It won’t be easy, and it shouldn’t be. For those of you who’ve not experience a playoff race before, welcome to that world. For those of you who have, you know the best part of the season is upon us.
A very successful hockey coach once said this before his team played an important playoff game that they ended up winning: “Playing tense is debilitating, playing with intensity is invigorating”. This team needs to channel their energy properly and work as a team, not as a bunch of individuals. When they do, they win. It’s that simple.
For your enjoyment today, maybe one of these video’s will make you feel better about the balance of the season. Cause remember, “It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it”.
A few motivators:
Careful this one has a couple naughty words:
Taken from a great movie:
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