Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up. – Thomas Edison
When the LA Kings made it into the 2012 playoffs as the 8th seed, they were considered to be no match for the President’s Trophy winning Vancouver Canucks. (And that’s not just me talking through my blue-and-green coloured glasses.) Looking back, analysts said that the Kings’ “lack of offense will be the death of them,” “stud Kings goalie Jonathan Quick may steal a game or two, but L.A. won’t score enough to keep pace over a full series,” and “Vancouver’s ability to get scoring from all four lines will prevail.” The Kings hadn’t won a series in over a decade, but they managed to beat the Canucks in five games and went on to win the Stanley Cup. They might have lacked depth in some areas, but they refused to give up and were able to capture that same quality to win again in 2014.
Leaving my Canucks out of it (because I can’t bear to bring up any more disappointing memories), we’ve seen time and time again that teams have defied others’ expectations and found what it takes to win. This season, few people expected the Flames, the Jets, or even the Senators to make it to the playoffs. If they had listened to those analyses, they could have counted themselves out and decided to try again next year with some better players and developing draft picks, but that’s not what hockey players do. They give everything they have because they believe that they have a chance. Why do we give up because we feel like someone else can do it better, or because we’re afraid of failing before we begin? Refuse to give up, because you never know how close you are or what you can achieve when you believe in yourself.
Game Plan: Remember those teams and players who defied expectations, who believed in themselves rather than the negative critics, who refused to give up. You have that same drive and motivation inside you, you just need to access it.