( Photo Toronto Sun)
This past week produced some great material for our Player Development Module revisions on Personal Accountability and Role Awareness. In Sunday’s Grey Cup game, a fumble late in the 4th quarter by a Calgary Stampeder player turned into a 109 yard touchdown for the Toronto Argonauts and a Grey Cup victory. Following the loss, several Stampeder players were unforgiving in their comments regarding the fumble, throwing their teammate under the bus for his failure to protect the ball.
On Thursday night in Edmonton, the winning goal resulted from an unfortunate turn of bad luck for Oiler's defenseman Kris Russell. With a 1:05 remaining in the game, Kris Russell inadvertently cleared the puck into his own net past a surprised Laurent Brossoit givng the Leafs a 5-4 lead. An open net goal a short while later turned the night into a 6-4 win for the Leafs.
Oiler players did not blame Kris for the loss. They used the opportunity to focus on what a great teammates he is. Kris is a player's player. He has a lot of currency in the bank of goodwill, earning the respect and trust of his teammates, coaches, peers and media because of his high level of personal accountability. He knows his job, does his job courageously, doesn't blame others when things go wrong, nor does he run for cover when it is time to face the music.
Laurent Brossoit's comments are a great example for young players. When asked about the goal, he assumed part of the blame. Brossoit said it took him by surprise. "I didn't see it on a Toronto stick," he said. "But at the same time, I could have been a little sharper, I could have been a bit more ready. Especially with a minute left.." Who knows what would have happened if he made the save?
Mr. Brossoit, and Mr. Russell, thank you for your lessons on Personal Accountability and to the Oiler players for clearly demonstrating that while players have positional roles, they also have equally important roles as teammates.
There's a great video of Steve Young, the NFL Hall of Fame quarterback speaking about accountability. The link is below.