Last week the St. Louis Blues and Toronto Raptors won their sports titles. The Blues waited 52 years to win their first Stanley Cup, while the Toronto Raptors won their first NBA championship in 24 years. Both teams, believe it or not defied the odds in winning their championship title. The key to their success was that they fought as a team, not individual accolades.
In the post game six interview coach Nick Nurse was asked the following question: “There was so much that happened between the last year’s off season and where you’re sitting right now. Can you talk about what it means to have gone through all that becoming first-year head coach and after all the changes in the off-season getting Kawhi Leonard, culminating in the city’s first championship for Toronto.”
Coach Nurse response: “Yeah. It was a heck of a 12 months. And I don’t know, I just try to take things as they come. Didn’t look too far ahead. Obviously when we made some a additions to the team, we thought we could be good, but we had no idea what the health status was and all those things. Again, you just got to go take the guys you got and go play and manage it the best you can. And then look at the opponents and try to figure out a way to beat them.”
” It was a great group, though. They really played together. I thought they really fought hard, they were tough-minded. Two months of playoff basketball, they never seemed tired to me. Mentally they kept wanting film sessions, they kept wanting to walk through things, they kept wanting to keep learning and improving. And I think that was a big key because we had to do that in the playoff run because we really hadn’t had all that much time together.”
The Raptors had no “lottery pick” players on the roster. The Raptors are a true cobbled together team. The team played with heart and soul with one thing on their minds, winning an NBA title.
St. Louis Blues
Going back to New Year’s Day, the St. Louis Blues were not even in the discussion for being in contention for the playoffs. The team was in absolutely last place. Making it to Game 7 with a chance to win the Stanley Cup wasn’t on anyone’s radar except for the St. Louis Blues.
Goalie Jordan Binnington, wasn’t even with the team in a backup capacity. He was playing with the AHL San Antonio Rampage, the St Louis Blues farm team. Coach Berube wasn’t with the team until late November of 2018. Coach worked on motivating his players by no pressing the envelope.
He looked to all of them and ask them to play as a team not as individuals. Sounds like a similar motivation speech by Herb Brooks. One of the impressive points in all of the his coaching tactics was that he allowed them to make mistakes. Then he encouraged them to learn and move onto the next game. This all leads to the raising of the Lord Stanley’s Cup.
Notre Dame Football
Last season, Notre Dame Football built on the strengths of its post season play in the Citrus Bowl. Momentum is as important as team chemistry. Team chemistry was a big part of this teams reason for success last year. Losing in the Cotton Bowl was a learning experience for involved on the team.
As the team leadership learned and improved upon its 2017 record of 4-8. As long as you learn from your mistakes and work to get better, losing can be a very good tool. You just can’t make the same mistakes.
The 2019 team of the Fighting Irish is poised to comeback and return to the playoffs. The seeds planted by Team 130 have been cultivated by the players like Julian Love, Drue Tranquill, Nick Weishar, Justin Yoon and Alex Bars. QB Ian Book is ready to get back to business and pick up where the team left off. Team 131’s season will soon be upon us and expectations are high, and the continuation of team chemistry will get this team back into contention for a National Championship title.
Cheers and Go Irish! ☘🏈⚡