I feel like this comes up a lot, but I also feel that it’s good to have a reminder every once in awhile, and it’s always inspiring to see something positive put into practice. I’m sure it wasn’t easy for coach Dallas Eakins when he was recently let go by the Edmonton Oilers, and there were likely a lot of emotions that came afterwards. But even in a difficult time (and taking the blame when it wasn’t entirely his), he chose to see it as a learning experience, recognizing some of the things that he may have done differently and taking something positive from his time in Edmonton.
“The thing that I take away from [last year] is patience. When I came in here, my long-term goal and we had spoken about it, is by the time we got into the new building, we’d be prepared to win a round or two. As much as your goal is that, you’re coaching the team to speed it up. I don’t want to be out of the playoffs for two to three years, I wanted to get going and we probably got ahead of ourselves system-wise and we should have probably went harder after the fundamentals of the game and that’s one thing I take out of it for myself. This group is growing and it’s going to mature. Unfortunately growing and maturity is going to take some time.”
“In the 18 months here, I feel like I’ve gotten about 10 years of experience of some of the stuff that we’ve had to deal with here internally, system-wise, fundamentally wise, the passion of the market, all those things,” Eakins said. “I’m going to look back at this, and as painful as it is to lose your job, I actually think I’m going to benefit greatly from this.”
To be able to pull something positive out of a painful experience is a lesson that helps us to grow, get stronger, and move forward. The things that challenge us can change us if we are able to look past the pain and find what it can teach us.
Game Plan: There are learning opportunities all around you, and you can learn from your experiences every day if you choose to see the lesson and let it change you.