Player Erik Gudbranson was recently drafted to the Florida Panthers as the third overall draft pick. While his size and speed impressed a lot of scouts, coach Dale Tallon explained that he chose Gudbranson for his “impeccable character”, which was one of the most important attributes he was looking for. What exactly is “character”? In this case, it probably refers to one who possesses integrity. Someone who sticks to a moral code of ethics and has honor. Why do you think that an NHL coach would value such traits? What could you learn from this?
Be a Team Player
Hockey is a team sport. I once heard each player only touches the puck for about 45 seconds on average during a game. I don’t know if that statement is true or not, but it sounds about right. The point is, just because a guy can toe drag and dangle his way around the ice doesn’t mean he will be a good linemate. I think we’ve all had a teammate that is so focused on pulling a killer move, he never lifts his head to look for a pass. This can be very frustrating, and often leads to a lack of unity. Do you want to know the secret to beating any team? Get them upset at one another. When a team loses cohesiveness, they lose games. In the movie Miracle, Herb Brooks tells his players that the name on the front of the jersey is a lot more important than the one on the back.
Joining a Team
Not all of us play on the level where a coach hand picks his team. Often times you may find yourself in a situation where you have to form your own team. You may be faced with the decision to join a team full of skilled players or a team who plays unselfishly. Hopefully they are the same and you get the best of both worlds. If you have the opportunity to form a team, try out for a team, or join a team try to remember the examples above and make the right choice for you.