One letter that epitomises each and every player's desire in a game. But in the corny words of Highlander, 'there can be only one' in the end. I started to think about this letter yesterday evening and I realised how obtaining that in a column on the stats sheet is not just about playing well during the 60 minutes. Getting a W in essence requires thorough preparation which is something that my previous team didn't seem to understand.
The key ingredients to W are: result, earning and caring. You cannot obtain a W without doing these things before a game. In essence the preparation for a game starts from Tuesday night when we get off the ice at training. After that it is up to each and every player to prepare for the games individually. The unfortunate thing of playing at this level is that there really aren't other chances for training. Everything after a team training is up to you and it pains me to say that a lot of guys don't understand that. Though the vast majority of the more experienced players come prepared to game days, there are still individuals who drag the team down, because they are not prepared and they have not carried anything from trainings to the locker room on a game day.
Result, earning and caring. Three simple things you need to do before you can ever dream of a W. To obtain that W you also need Wisdom. In hockey the key to wisdom is relatively simple and I suppose you can apply it to other aspects of life as well. The key to wisdom is setting yourself a goal for tomorrow. If your goal is to win and play a good game and all your actions leading up to the game serves that goal and that you will be a good player then you will accomplish your results, earning and caring. It is after that when you can really talk about winning.
In the end, we play this game because we love it and we don't enjoy being in the losing end of a game, but if we are, then you need to bring it back to the drawing board and work on the things that let you down and make sure that every player is playing for the same goals, rather than for an individual. The old saying of the name on the front of the shirt is more important than the one on the back has never had a more prominent ring to it.