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Published on October 3rd, 2012 | by DerbyLife

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Too Many Cooks in Derby?

When my coach closed out the season and muttered the phrase “rebuilding year” for our team—I cringed. For my team I think that phrase was a desperate excuse to make ourselves feel better for a subpar season and I just didn’t buy it. I get the term “ rebuilding year” and the fact that many teams do go through a year when they lose key members of their roster to other teams and cities. For us, it was the opposite. We gained 2 new transfers from All Star teams, we maintained the majority of our roster from the year before and we still managed to drop down the rankings. When I sit back and reflect on what the main reason for our decline I keep going back to one key component: lineups!

Lineups to me are like baking, every ingredient, every measurement and every step is calculated and scientific. This year our lineups were watered down, it was as if we threw a cook into a bakery. We had the mise en place, but our cooks (coaching committee) thought by throwing a little bit of this and a whisper of that, with a dollop of perspiration our team would rise. Wrong. We came up flat. Our players were not used properly. We all had weaknesses and strengths (as most teams do), but they were never used to complement each other, to create a complete unit, or a perfect dish, if you will.

So what am I getting at here? I’m not pointing fingers at those on our coaching committee–they did their best. I am pointing fingers at the skaters out there that see the recipe for disaster after the first lost bout and don’t speak up. A team elects a captain and a vice captain to lead the team. At times these individuals may hold qualities that scream leadership, but that doesn’t mean they come with the understanding of what makes a team strong and thrive together as a unit. For some this is a learning experience that gets better with time, for others they just don’t acknowledge the mixture and kind of throw things together. If you see this happening to your team speak up. You do practice 8-10+ hours a week to win, don’t you? If you are on the coaching committee–listen to your players, they work their asses off to win, and a player that may not possess the leadership skills that you possess may have suggestions for the perfect recipe.

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