ELEVEN LESSONS FOR ATHLETES OF ALL SPORTS FROM A LEADER
By Enio Sacilotto
This interview with Colby Armstrong and Steven Stamkos was aired a few days before game one (June 14) of this year’s 2022 Stanley Cup final between the Colorado Avalanche and the Tamp Bay Lightning. Steven Stamkos, the captain of the Lightning, will appear in his 4th Stanley Cup final this year. Watch the interview at the end of this article.
There are many takeaways from this 5-minute interview that we can learn:
1. Winning a championship in any sport is hard – Steve does not take anything for granted and respects his opponents; he acknowledges throughout the interview how hard it is to win.
2. He has had to overcome many obstacles, including injuries and mental setbacks. We don’t know what goes on behind the scenes and how physically gruelling being an NHL player is.
3. He expresses gratitude to people who have helped him along the way and for the playoff run the Lightning are on now. He acknowledges that what his team does is not normal; many athletes go through their careers and never win a cup.
4. Challenging work, perseverance, and a little luck are essential in winning a championship.
5. Respect is the basis for a positive coach-player relationship (especially for the captain).
6. Scoring goals is not the only way a player can help his team win. You can positively impact a game in many ways; an excellent defensive game, taking a hit to make a play, blocking a shot or winning a face-off. Young players don’t understand this; they want to be on the highlight reels and score the big goals. Maturing brings the understanding that a player has to do anything and everything possible to help his team win.
7. He is a true leader and does not compare himself to other great leaders. He is in the moment, focused on the task at hand – winning the Stanley Cup.
8. Blocking shots takes courage; it hurts, but it can and will energize the rest of the team. Blocking a shot is sometimes better than making a great play. The team that wins is the team that is willing to sacrifice and block the most shots.
9. As a leader, preaching with words is not enough; you must go out on the ice and get the job done. Doing what it takes gives your words meaning.
10. The Lightening embraces the challenge of being Stanley Cup Champions three years in a row.11. He consistently mentioned and closed the interview with. “give it your all, and let’s see what happens out there.”
Enio Sacilotto is President of International Hockey Camps and operates the Mental Edge High-Performance Training. Enio has 39 years of coaching experience (professional hockey in Europe and the Victoria Royals (WHL)). Currently, he coaches at the Burnaby Winter Club Hockey Academy and the Croatian National Men’s team. If you have questions or are interested in his services, contact Enio at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 604 255 4747. Website: www.coachenio.com.