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You decide… Rise to the occasion or fall back on your training?



The Stage: Overtime, Quinnipiac versus Minnesota

Stakes… A National Championship Title.

The overtime for the national championship only lasted ten seconds, but it was hours of preparation in the making… practices that had a purpose - running skills and patterns that promote execution at a high rate.

To this end, below is a breakdown of the ten seconds of overtime with flashbacks to what it may have sounded like at practice throughout the season…

“Coach, we know this play… Do we need to go over it again? We just got it right.” “Yes… we have to do it until we can’t get it wrong. Habits and details men.”

Puck drops…

“Gotta win that battle on the draw! Do it again.”

Right winger steps in and pushes puck back to the defense.

“Block him out when you push it back… our D need time. Release quickly to post up. Run it again.”

Defense receives puck and settles back to give weak-side wing time to slash across.

“Defense… be a bit more patient… winger not there yet. Can’t get too wide either. You will lose your passing angle. Left wing… did you lock and release quick enough? Center… nice job with the hesitation and then the release to weak-side. Let’s try it again.”

Right wing posts up on the red line pulling strong side D up on him. “Good job posting up quickly, but did you call for it? Let’s make sure that D-man thinks we are going to you. Run it again.”

Puck carrying defenseman steps forward and puts puck on the tape of the left winger in stride.

“D-man… don’t stare at the streaking winger… he will be there. See him with your peripheral vision. Let’s go again.”

Left winger receives puck in stride and drives to net, throwing a perfect back-hand feed onto the tape of the center streaking down the weak-side. Coach skates over to the left winger and has a one-on-one talk with him… “That’s a tough play to make for a lefty on this side… are you sure you are the man for this job if it goes to the right side? Prove it to me… keep working on that backhand during skills time. Trust me… you will be happy you did.”

Center receives the pass, using his left leg to defend the stick of the opponent, and at full speed pulls puck in and deposits it into the open net.”

“Gotta bury that! Use your leg to protect… that’s why we work on it in skills… Do it again.”

National Champions.

You decide… rise to the occasion or fall back on your training?

Gotta love the process… mundane at times but so worth it in the end. Just ask Quinnipiac.


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