Promise: (noun) a declaration or assurance that one will do a particular thing or that a particular thing will happen.

Promise: (verb) assure someone that one will definitely do, give, or arrange something; undertake or declare that something will happen. Promise: (verb) give good grounds for expecting (a particular occurrence or situation)

Imagine making promises to your players. Imagine making promises to all of your players. Now imagine having all the talent in the world, but struggle to compete, and struggle to win.

In the sporting world, it’s hard to keep promises, there’s just too many variables, too much uncertainty.

Games played. Power play time. Penalty kill time. Time on ice. Even strength time on ice. End of game scenarios. The list is endless. Preferential treatment eliminates team dynamic, it eradicates character and pride.

Can you imagine being a coach in that environment where your GM is making promises to the players? You could have a ton of players that show great promise, but will never live up to because they are playing in those conditions.

Can you imagine being a coach that makes promises to players? Is that a winning atmosphere? Is growth and development on and off the ice going to happen in that environment?

Can you imagine being a player in that atmosphere? Whatever happened to earning your ice time? Whatever happened to a team first mentality? Whatever happened to upward mobility within the line up?

Whatever happened to holding entitled players accountable? Whatever happened to sitting a player down for an extended periods of time when they don’t pull their weight and fulfill their role?

When you make promises that you can’t keep, it spawns a culture of entitlement, a culture of selfishness, a culture of greed.

There’s a massive difference between promises and earning trust. There’s a massive difference between entitlement and role identity.

A culture of promises breeds individuality and selfishness. Promises don’t belong in the game of hockey, authenticity does.

The organization that recognizes, embraces and promotes character, pride and togetherness will dominate the team built on promises or shall I say broke promises or lies.

Dishonesty or authenticity? Promises don’t belong in the game of hockey, trust and hard work does.

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