Washington Capital’s “Grit” Problem

Washington Capital’s “Grit” Problem

When Skills Aren’t Enough

Skills can be taught, beaten into you or even funded through overly ambitious parents. If someone wants to master something, they can. It may take 2 months, it may take 20 years but eventually a player will develop skills. So what about passion, grit and drive?

Well, grit and passion can be fed and nurtured, but not taught. Each person is born with a certain capacity for emotion and drive and it’s triggered differently.

There are many ways to define passion. In the context of sports and personality profiling, it’s that ability to let go of perfection and play from a place of pure emotion; Trusting the unknown and allowing your game to evolve through a blind faith in the outcome.

Grit comes from a disregard of what “should” be and an acceptance of what “can” be.

#Grit comes from a disregard of what 'should' be & an acceptance of what 'can' be. Click To Tweet


Why Chemistry is King

Grit, while the degrees varies from player-to-player, is a contagion. Meaning it can spread rapidly and be highly impactful. Much like in many aspects of life, Grit is triggered and fueled by the masses; a shared energy, passion and desire for change and results.  That said, if you’re trying to trigger an emotional response from a large group, you need to have a balance of temperament. If everyone isn’t inherently compatible in how they view or approach obstacles there will be an organic divide and the impact of “Grit” will be diluted.

Understanding where people derive their passion from and how they view challenges is revealed in a their astrological birth chart. The placement of the Sun, Venus and Mars at the time of their birth all provide hints to their emotional make-up and also how intuitive they are from night-to-night.

The Case of the Capitals

Washington Capitals eliminated in game 6 by Pittsburgh Penguins in East Conf Finals 2016

After an outstanding regular season record of 56-18-8 the Washington Capitals headed into the Stanley Cup Play-offs favored to win. The pressure was on and everyone wanted to see Alex Ovechkin finally hold up the Cup. Mathematically the stats made sense. This team was stacked with skills and a seemingly emotional calm that, during the regular season was ideal for chipping away at the division standings.

So what happened? Astrologically it’s easy to see. The Caps roster was 36% Air Signs and only 8% Water Signs. They had a strong mix of smart, highly technical players but what they lacked was the emotional and borderline volatile hot heads. They needed to play with a less robotic and predictable fashion.

Their temperament as a team and chemistry was geared around “mastering the formula” and they did it. All season long. They had skills to spare. But when it counted the most, they didn’t have the emotional temperament to match the more balanced Pittsburgh roster.

Along came the Penguins with a season record of 48-26-8. Sure they had Sidney Crosby but the Caps were still largely favored to win this series. Pittsburgh’s secret weapon was their well allocated mix of Skills and Grit. (Remember…Grit and skills are not mutually exclusive – @japersrink) The Penguin’s Stanly Cup roster had almost the same allocation as the Caps in Earth and Fire signs (Grinders with Passion) but they had 16% more water sign players which were key to fueling the grit or emotions needed to surpass pure logic.

End of the Stanley-Cup-Day, the Penguins had a well balance roster of players who could transition in and out of roles as the energy of each night demanded. When they needed to be technical they had those players, when they needed emotion they had those players, when they needed strength and physicality they had it.

Building a roster of the right skill and temperament is the only way to win championships

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