September 2019 Newsletter
The Oakland Raiders released prominent wide receiver Antonio Brown today. It is a move that happened largely because of one major reason – the player’s evident character issues.
The Brown release shows you can have all the talent in the world, but if you aren’t a person of character, your career is going to be a bumpy ride. It is going be filled with dysfunctional relationships, a lack of respect from your peers and a legacy of poor choices and wasted talent.
We have seen numerous talented hockey players not fulfill their true potential because of notable character issues. These issues are evident in a me-first attitude, bad body language, not giving enough respect to coaches and teammates and poor habits in practice.
The late Darcy Haugan, a friend of Ice Exposure President Kelly Friesen, was a man who evidently pursued character over talent. In 2017 he told us he had a forward trying out for his Humboldt Broncos who was clearly a top 10 talent at his fall camp. The player, however, was the last one on the ice at practice, first one off the ice after practice and had the worst body language on the team. Darcy went on to cut the player despite his high-end talent.
The Humboldt story is a testament to how coaches are looking for a lot more than just raw talent. Your talent may get you in the door, but character is required for a lengthy stay.
Here are five things players can do to show coaches they have character:
- First one on the ice, last one off it (pick up the pucks after practice)
- Look your coaches and teammates in the eye when they talk to you and vice versa
- Communicate with your coaches and teammates about how you want to do whatever it takes to help your team win
- Work hard on the defensive side of the game with a willingness to sacrifice your body by blocking shots and grinding in the tough areas
- Don’t sulk or have bad body language when your linemate makes a mistake, you get benched etc.