Games are often won and lost before a team steps on the ice. – Barry Smith, Director of Player Development with the Chicago Blackhawks.
Team Dynamics – definition: The behavioral relationship between members of a group that are assigned connected tasks within an organization. Dynamics are affected by roles, responsibilities and interaction, and have a direct result on productivity – i.e. how a team reacts, behaves and performs.
Every game night we sit on our cold perches inside arenas, or in the comfort of our own homes in armchairs, recliners or couches and critique the games we watch – a coterie of Armchair GMs or Armchair Coaches. It always seems so easy. As a group, Armchair Coaches can be a delusional lot — over estimating, over emphasizing any credit or penalties to our own teams. This seems fairly easy, but let’s be honest with ourselves – in reality, professional hockey is a complex dynamic.
Teams can falter, and often do, on their way through a season – and sadly for many fans not all teams make it into the playoffs. It is the nebulous and ever changing elements that confound us, amaze us and make us fall into the depths of despair; and teams themselves fall into this same trap. It’s human nature. That is why team dynamics are fascinating and that is also why it is sometimes difficult to judge a particular player’s performance on only one team.
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