The phrase “afraid to be great” is used in sports from time to time. It’s a description of a fragile culture.
Cultural changes for the better take time, whether it be in business, at home or in sport.
I was reminded of this as I watched the Toronto Maple Leafs let a 2-0 lead slip away in Los Angeles on Thursday night.
The Kings were 3-2 winners in a shootout. Toronto played well, but couldn’t get two points despite a two-goal lead. The shootout loss pushed the Leafs out of a playoff spot for the time being.
Luckily for Toronto, they have a coach who not only understands hockey, but culture. Mike Babcock has won at every level. In this day and age, understanding a modern athlete’s mindset is just as important as understanding how to run a power play.
Babcock was quick to say his team played well Thursday. Empowerment, when appropriate, will help this Toronto team win those games in the future.