Minor Bantams Get PreGame Talk from OHL Commisioner & CHL President David Branch!, News, Minor Bantam, 2014-2015 (York-Simcoe Express)

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Minor Bantams Get PreGame Talk from OHL Commisioner & CHL President David Branch!
Submitted By Mark Brisley on Monday, December 1, 2014
The boys got a great surprise Sunday evening while getting ready for our tilt against the Oshawa Generals when Coach Gregg brought OHL Commissioner and Canadian Hockey League President David Branch into the room for some pregame remarks. He left the boys with some awesome insights into the game of hockey, staying together as a team and what type of player and athlete has the best chance of going further in the sport. 

His message was direct and simple and certainly reinforced what the boys have been hearing all season. Here are some direct excerpts from his message:
  • Play the game for the right reasons; do it because you love it and want it, not for someone else.
  • You are getting to play a sport you love at the highest level
  • Skill alone, or being the leading scorer is not enough to get you to the next level. It starts and finishes with heart, determination, preparation and the will to do whatever it takes for the team to succeed.
  • Understand what it takes to be a team; you may find yourself someday going from playing special teams and getting top minutes per game to filling a role that the coaches feel are best for the success of the team. (he made a great comparison to the selection of the Canadian Junior Team chosen this morning. They have to pick a final list of 22 players from 60 teams across Canada, all of whom are superstars on their Jr. teams but may be asked to fill a specific role on the National squad...and they will do it happily just to be on that team!)
  • Realize how special the dressing room is and the time they get to spend with teammates. He pointed out what many that have played sports at a high level usually say; when the game is over for you it's the room and the time off ice with your teammates you miss the most.
  • When you are in the room with your teammates and coaches, shut out all the noise and distractions you face from friends, parents and focus on the game and your responsibilities in it. You will have good games and bad games, the only one that matters is the next game.
  • His most emphatic point to each player...'Understand your role, accept it and execute. No team can be successful if this isn't the case for all 17 players.'

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