Heading into game two of a three game division championship series with a one-game lead in our pocket, I laid awake for well over an hour last night running through our first victory in my head. A win secured by hustle, determination and some great goaltending. Game two will require more of the same. Here again at 6am this morning, I beaten the clock to the strike of 5 to rehearse my pre and post-game comments; wanting to deliver simple, consistent messages around maintaining the momentum which has propelled us to this point. I chuckle to myself as the coach of a Bantam A level girls team wondering what it must be like for coaches at much higher levels when it comes down to crunch time. Those guys either don’t sleep at all or more likely reached their lofty posts based on the volume of ice coursing through their veins. I’m betting it’s a little of both as few could quell the ever-present human factor.
Superstition is nearly keeping me from posting this brief reflection, however, my young charges’ efforts over the past few weeks have supplied me and I believe them with ample confidence to advance to the final round, which seemed pretty distant before we started our little playoff run. Proof again that success, confidence and momentum go a long way in any sport, as they do in life.
Going back to pre-season tryouts (seemingly ages ago), I advised my squad’s then hopefuls that being nervous was a positive sign marking the importance of their personal task and desire to reach their goal of making the team. Another sage life lesson – If you’re not a little nervous, it doesn’t matter enough to you. So though we’re not presently competing for the Stanley Cup or an Olympic gold medal, I should heed my own advice and be pleased with the few dreamless hours I’ve been giving up of late.