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Behind the Bench, June 3rd– Junior Hockey News

Published: Tuesday, 2 Jun 2020  
By: Michael Moore,


Okay, so the world is a mess and there are some really important issues at play. We at Victorious hope that all of you are and continue to remain safe. We are all different. No two are the same. We encourage all of you to remember and practice the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Let’s get after it. This week Coach Littler wants to share his notes about Chemistry and Culture from The Daily Coach.

The Daily Coach, Apr 28

Chemistry is how people relate to one another.
Culture is how they behave for the common good.

“The best way to build team chemistry is the way Adolph Rupp used to substitute when they fouled out.”
 — Dean Smith, Hall-of-Fame North Carolina Coach
Sports fans were excited to finally have something to watch on television this past weekend as the NFL Draft provided some excitement and entertainment. An actual live event for our viewing pleasure was beautiful to watch and provided a rare glimpse of the human element behind sports franchises — as many of the leaders of organizations were able to include their families in the selection process.   
When the draft ended, these leaders were asked to explain their selection process and to discuss the new additions to the team. It's human nature for some to make glowing remarks about a draft pick and even to oversell the picks to a skeptical media. It's also human nature to predict a fantastic future for each player. Everyone wants a new soundbite, everyone wants an explanation, and most of all, everyone wants to hear positive words about the potential of their latest selection. 

But that's where the problem begins.  

They occur in business and other industries when the new talent arrives or when quarterly earnings are announced.

Leaders often oversell, saying things to help make the situation look more promising, somewhat neglecting the people  already on the team.

Every second of praise directed toward a new player is a subtle but noticeable attack on a current player. The messaging after an influx of new talent must be a team message, not an individual one.   
When the player evaluation conversation focuses on the overall team
— not specific to one player —
it allows the leader to separate the culture from chemistry.

Many believe culture and chemistry go hand in hand, but they don't. 

Teams can have a winning culture, but the chemistry between personnel can vary and not always be relatable.  Chemistry is how people relate to one another. Culture is how they behave for the common good. When coaches claim “Our chemistry stinks,” what they're saying is their culture is terrible.    
Most think overselling a player can only mildly impact the chemistry within the team — that it won't have a major effect on how people relate. But that’s short-sighted thinking. It often does alter the culture because someone new, someone who has never played for the team, is getting recognized above those who have.  
Culture comes before chemistry, and if you're using high praise toward one player in hopes that it will motivate another, then all you're doing is hurting your culture. We use the "chemistry" word between people to trigger a specific reaction because we want to achieve a particular result or outcome; yet, all it does is destroy our culture.  We kill our team with each word of praise about someone who has not done anything for our team yet.  

When you add new people to your group or team, they will impact the culture for better or for worse. Only later can you determine how that chemistry works. 

What does your Profile look like? Update your page and let everyone know what you are you doing this week, what are you doing to get better? Keep them updated! Don't have a profile yet? Go get one, it's completely free. #GetKnown

We want to hear from you. If there are any questions, concerns, or if you just want to have a conversation, please feel free to contact us directly. Good Luck and Great Hockey!

Thank you,
Team VHC

Author: Michael Moore from
Michael is a professional hockey scout and advisor with Victorious Hockey helping North America’s top hockey prospects fulfill their ultimate playing potential.

* Disclaimer: This site may contain advice, opinions and statements from various authors and information providers. Views expressed in this article reflect the personal opinion of the author, Michael Moore, and not necessarily the views of does not represent or endorse the accuracy or reliability of any advice, opinion, statement or other info provided in the article, or from any other member of this site.
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