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Behind the Bench, August 19th Junior Hockey News

Published: Tuesday, 18 Aug 2020  
By: Michael Moore

How we doing guys?

We have been really busy at Victorious. Teams are finalizing roster opportunities and some players are getting pinched. If you have an offer from a Junior team please, by-all-means, get it signed and turned in. There is not much to hold out for. The program will be top-heavy this year as US born Midget Major and Junior A level players will likely not be permitted to enter Canada to play for their teams. That means the US system has the potential to flood Tier 1 down through Tier 3. The trickle down is going to leave players that have yet to sign pushed out. It is better to lock-in in to something now than it is to wait and be left in the cold. With the coming season as volatile as it is, the window of opportunity is shrinking and at a much faster rate than is typical.. If you do not have a plan in place then call your advisor ASAP. If you do not have an advisor -now is the time. Seriously, the chance to get with a Junior club for the coming season are evaporating and if you are not in advanced discussions (that is, have a contract in-hand) you will need the help of an advisor to get things accomplished before it is too late. 

Regardless of what happens, keep your head up. Always lead by the example you set and maintain a sense of poise and of dignity. Coach Littler's clipping for the week talks about the importance of this very concept. See below-

By Harvey Mackay

Grace under pressure—what an important attribute for anyone aspiring to be in a leadership role. I was researching the topic when I came across a simple five-question test developed by psychologist Donald A. Laird to measure a person's leadership potential:

         •        Can you take a reprimand without blowing up?

         •        Can you take a turndown without becoming discouraged?

         •        Can you laugh with others when the joke is on you?

         •        Can you keep your spirits up when things go wrong?

         •        Can you keep cool in emergencies?

If your answer is yes to all five questions, you're on your way to being a leader. Dr. Laird, however, singled out one great quality of a leader—poise.

"Poise is what makes you a master of situations, although we call some persons natural-born leaders, usually the poise of leadership is a trait that has to be developed, and anyone can develop poise a little bit at a time."
Dr. Laird said.

The way to develop poise, he says, is to destroy its enemies—

nervousness, anger and the habit of speaking before thinking.

It's easy to show poise when everything is going well. It's a lot tougher to maintain your poise when things are not going well. But the minute you lose your composure, the chances of defeat increase. You are giving the mental edge to your opponent.

If you maintain your composure, good things can happen.

Focus on what you can do or control.

Forget the past.

Look at pro football quarterbacks. The great ones, like Peyton Manning, don't ever lose their cool, even when they're behind with two minutes to go. They just keep their poise and often lead their team to victory.

Terry Bradshaw, the Hall-of-Fame quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers and now at TV analyst, said: "Quite often, the mark of an experienced quarterback—one who has poise—is the amount of time he holds on to the ball before releasing it. The quarterback who can be patient enough for lanes to open and receivers to clear will be more successful. I played a long time before I had poise, and I suffered for it, and so did my team."

It's similar for other professions.

President Ronald Reagan said: "I have learned that one of the most important rules in politics is poise—which means looking like an owl after you have behaved like a jackass."

Many of us live and work in hectic and pressure-ridden environments, so it's wise to remember the words of the psychiatrist who said to his assistant who was trying to answer two telephones at once.

"Miss Smith," he said, "just say we're terribly busy—not 'It's a madhouse here.'"

There's a story that circulates in the sales profession about a sales rep who was ready to demonstrate his company's state-of-the-art computer software to a group of important customers, when the screen went blurry and finally crashed. His efforts to re-establish a link to the office systems failed. He called tech support and every number he had available, but without luck.

Unfazed, he turned to his customers and said, "This has been a demonstration of our competitor's product. Next week, I'll show you what ours can do."

Now that's poise under pressure.

Travis Graham, the class valedictorian of the University of Tennessee Law School, promised to take only two minutes of the audience's time and he got to the heart of his thinking right away.

He began his remarks by acknowledging that he had had difficulty deciding what "wisdom" to impart to his fellow graduates. He said he had reviewed all the cases of law the class had studied and had found nothing that he felt was appropriate to such an important occasion.

At a loss for any inspiring thoughts, Travis sat at his kitchen table eating a student's breakfast of biscuits made from packaged dough. And there, right in front of him on the opened roll of refrigerated  biscuit dough, he spotted the belief that he knew he and his fellow graduates had in common and that he felt was worthy of the occasion. The package, he said, had this message, "Keep cool. But do not freeze."

And with that he thanked all assembled and returned to his seat, amid rousing applause.

Mackay's Moral: The hotter things get, the more important it is to keep your cool.


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Thank you,

Team VHC

Author: Michael Moore
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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