In the movie Miracle on Ice, Coach Herb Brooks leads the USA national hockey team to win the Olympic gold medal. Prior to playing in the Olympic games, the USA team had a warmup game in which they didn’t play very hard. Following the game, Brooks had the players skate from end to end of the ice. The players did this several times after Brooks instructed them with a single word: “AGAIN.”

As I watched this scene in the movie, I realized how important ‘again’ is in our growth and development. We can sometimes believe that doing something once is enough.

I recall visiting with a school principal shortly after the covid year. He was expressing dissatisfaction about how his students had handled the challenges of that time. He shared that they had done a lesson with the students on resilience, but, faced with the challenges of covid, they didn’t manifest resilience.

After I asked him what the lesson entailed, he said they defined resilience and gave examples. I suggested that the kids would have been better off had they been sent outside for recess. My point was that no one develops resilience by knowing the dictionary definition and examples of resilience. The lesson for his students had neglected the Brooks principle of ‘again’. Kids learn to read because they do it again and again. They learn how to dribble a basketball because they do it again and again. Skills and habits only develop by practicing ‘again’.

What AGAIN caused for the USA hockey team was that it shifted their focus so that the name on the front of their jerseys became more important than the names on the back of their jerseys.

Are there things in your life or in the lives of others that you want to develop, but need to include the practice of again and again?

From our Top 20 team: Willow, Tom, and Kevin, who have practiced the principle of AGAIN.

Paul Bernabei
Top 20 Training