Murray, on accountability

Here, Terry Murray talks about the balance between pushing his young players to win without breaking their spirits. He outlines how he intends to deal with young players on a day-to-day basis and how he thinks he can best help them improve…

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Question: What are your expectations for this season? I’m sure you want to go 82-0 but you also don’t want the young guys to get discouraged if things don’t go well. How fine is that line?

MURRAY: It’s a very fine line. When you’re looking at a team, a young group of guys in general, the development process is a fine line that you walk every day. You want to give positive feedback and it’s important, as a coach, how you respond after every game. You can tear down a lot of stuff very quickly, that you worked for a month to build, if you don’t deal with situations the right way. I believe that if you walk into a locker room after a game, and it’s been a difficult night, you need to be careful what you say there. If you’re not saying something that’s going to help the players and help the team, then you’re better off just saying, `OK guys, we’ll meet tomorrow. Practice is at whatever time,’ rather than doing anything else.

The feedback and the review of games is going to be consistent, and that feedback that I’ve been talking about is going to be there daily. If we don’t have a meeting with the team on a review every day, it certainly will be there the day after. To me, that’s the process you need to go through and you need to be careful of. You watch the game, and as a coach you can watch a game three or four times and you can pick out all the negative stuff and talk to the team about it, or you can go the other way and say, `Guys, we’re doing this a lot better than what we did two weeks ago, and this is what we will continue to build on.’ So that’s the approach that I’m taking, and that’s the approach that I’ve been through in the past with other teams, and it works. We’ll reinforce all the good stuff and, mind you, still hold players accountable whenever things are not right.

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  • anthony

    Acountability?

    This is not a veteran team. I have no problem with holding players acoountable when they’ve been around long enough (i.e. Detroit, New jersey, or Quackville).
    But when you have a team comprising of players that haven’t been in the league for more than 2-3 years, a more tolerant approach must be taken. This is now the youngest team in the league and you don’t want to do things that might cause spirits to break.

    Marc Crawford was holding players accountable by screaming and yelling at everything – and that got him fired.

    Unfortunately, there’s gonna be some serious growing pains here. Hopefully not.

  • wavesinair

    Ok, great. He talked about the fine line, but he didn’t answer the other question. “What are your expectations for this season?” I know, read between the lines. I did.

  • Harry

    Anthony, How do you know that got him fired?

  • Daniel

    I am not bashing our very own Barry Zuckerkorn here but I would like to point out a couple flaws in his logic:

    “holding players acoountable [sic] when they’ve been around long enough…”
    Holding players accountable at every stage of their careers is a positive development. Teaching young players a philosophy of personal and group accountability now will help influence their evolution as players. I doubt a young Steve Yzerman was given mulligan’s for every bad game or missed assignment while skating for Detroit. He most likely had it engrained into his psyche from day one.

    “Crawford was holding players accountable by screaming and yelling…”
    The above is a teaching style, not a philosophy. There is a big difference.

  • me

    hey anthony, did you read this part?

    `Guys, we’re doing this a lot better than what we did two weeks ago, and this is what we will continue to build on.’ So that’s the approach that I’m taking, and that’s the approach that I’ve been through in the past with other teams, and it works. We’ll reinforce all the good stuff and, mind you, still hold players accountable whenever things are not right

  • Tim

    Rich,

    As always thanks for your hard work!

    What is your take on accountablity? Is it something that you get from being in the league for a while, or is it something that is your responsibility to the team when you sign your contract?

    My take, is that as a professional athlete, you have a responsibility from day one, no matter how long you’ve been in the league or team. It’s one of the thing that makes you a professional. Sure there’s a learning curve, and young players aren’t expected to be all-stars their first years, but to be responsible, and accountable for what they do on and off the ice, to me that’s expected.

    God would the season just start already! I’m jones’n BIG TIME for some hockey!

  • Andrew

    “I’m sure you want to go 82-0…”

    82-0 would be nice, but 98-0 would be better ;)

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