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In The News

How to approach playoff hockey from a player’s perspective

Bernie ParentRead the original article on Philly.com.

It is imperative that you approach the game psychologically, keeping in mind all of the accomplishments, the learning experiences, and the mistakes you’ve made throughout the season. You have to reprogram all of these things into your mind, making the playoffs your only focus.

Sadly, your family, your friends and the rest of the world do not exist. All that exists is you and your teammates. Taking this approach going into playoff hockey will definitely help you achieve success. Looking back at our championship seasons, that is how we lived. We would eat, sleep, and breathe hockey; nothing else. We focused only on the ultimate goal 24/7, and the entire team had to be on that same level or it never would have worked.

During the season, you have to allow yourself to get a little distracted. It eases the pressure of playing 80 games. But during the playoffs, every game is crucial. You only have 4 games to win … or 4 games to lose. Make them count. You can’t let your opponent gain momentum. There is no room or time for slacking and distraction.

When we played against Boston in 1974, Boston should have won in 4 games. That’s just how good they were. But they weren’t focused like us, and we built up our confidence, gained momentum, and ultimately beat them.

Thursday night’s game boasts two good teams, the Flyers and the Rangers. And I think the competition is fair.

The media makes a big deal about the Flyers not winning in New York, but guess what? Before we won the first Cup, we never won in Boston. The attitude that you’re going to take is crucial. Anything can happen, and we have a good core of strong players that never quit. This team has proven time and time again that quitting is not an option. Everyone thought Giroux was crazy for saying that the Flyers would make it to the playoffs this year, but they have proved the naysayers wrong once again. Bobby Clarke, one of the greatest leaders to ever play the game, helped adopt the “never quit” philosophy. And he’s never left the team.

One of the best things about playoff hockey? The crowd. In Philadelphia, we have the best crowd in the National Hockey League; different than any other city that I’ve ever played in, no doubt. And I’m not just saying that because I had the best years of my career there. We have the best fans, hands down. But it’s different during the playoffs, and they’ve moved a step up from where they were during the regular season. They’re excited, they’re louder. It’s do or die in these 4 games, and the fans feel that. The fans take ownership with what’s transpiring on the ice. They are a part of the game and ready to support you as a player. In turn, the players feed off of the crowd’s energy and elevate their production. It really makes a big difference.

You only have so many years to be successful in professional sports. Make it count. Focus and tenacity on behalf of the entire Flyers organization will bring victory.

Twitter: @BernieParent | Facebook: Fan Page | www.legendssportsmarketing.com | www.bernieparent.net

I Don’t Have a Clue

Bernie ParentRead the original article on Philly.com.

I don’t have a clue about most of the things that are happening in my life. I just don’t. You may spend time planning where you want to be and what you want to do, but you really have no clue how that plan is going to pan out.

Ask a lot of successful people. They had a purpose, a vision, but they had no clue how they were going to get there. For example, when I was younger, my vision was to play in the National Hockey League, but I had absolutely no clue how to get there. It was shown to me day in and day out. People get frustrated because there’s never a direct line to what you want to achieve. It’s never that easy. To get to St. Louis, you have to pass through Pittsburgh. You keep your purpose in reach, but you have no idea what the ride will be like.

Things happen. People come into your life. And if you wake up without a clue as to how you’re going to reach your purpose, stay away from your negative thoughts. Be ready for the positive things that life will bring you today. If you pay attention to the things happening around you in your life, you will be shown the way.

When I would step on the ice for every game, they sang the National Anthem, and my vision was winning. It could be 5-2, we might lose, we might win, might be a tie, might be a fight, might be a penalty, etc. And I didn’t have a clue what was going to happen. The same scenario can be applied to everyday life.

When I leave Cherry Hill, N.J., I’m heading back down to the shore. The shore is my destination. I plan the route I’m going to take, but I don’t have a clue how it’s going to work out. There could be an accident, there could be traffic, I could be delayed, all sorts of things. You know where you want to go, but there could be a whole bunch of deviations and detours that were unexpected for multiple different reasons. But the detour could lead you to unique situations, so enjoy the ride.

Setbacks can be good. What about when I got traded from the Flyers to Toronto? I had no clue how this situation would pan out for me. But it was the best thing that ever happened to me. I got to spend two great years with my mentor, Jacques Plante, learning everything I had to learn about goaltending before I went back to Philadelphia. I made the best of that situation, and it ultimately got me closer to my purpose.

“I don’t have a clue,” is a cousin to risk and fear. You don’t know how this decision you’re about to make will affect your life, but you take the risk anyway and make the best of every situation and see where it leads you. You face that fear of the unknown. But guess what? If you let your fear paralyze you and remove you from taking risks, you won’t get any closer to your purpose.

The people who play it safe in life are often unhappy with how their lives have turned out.

I was talking to a fan at the game the other day, and she was talking about buying a home in Florida … but she was hesitant. She was giving every excuse and reason not to go through with it. I told her, “If that’s the way you feel, then don’t get it.” But I told her to reprogram her thoughts, think of that beautiful house in Florida, the beautiful weather, and if you keep that positive attitude, everything will work out. She has no idea how this will pan out, but her vision will get her there one way or another if she stays positive. All it takes is one step.

You may not have a clue, but pay attention to your vision, because it will be shown to you.

Twitter: @BernieParent | Facebook: Fan Page | www.legendssportsmarketing.com | www.bernieparent.net


Stanley Cup Stolen

NBC Sports reports that the Stanley Cup has been stolen

as of March 28th, 2014

Fred Shero statue fitting for true Philadelphia legend

Bernie ParentSee the original article on Philly.com.

Tomorrow, a statue to immortalize the great coach Fred Shero will be placed outside of Xfinity Live! at 11th and Pattison, not far from where the statue of Bobby Clarke and myself stands.

We’ve had a lot of incredible coaches in Philadelphia sports, but Freddy brought back-to-back championships to this great city. No one has accomplished this feat in the city of Philadelphia. Ever.

To define Fred Shero, do I look at him as the coach? The visionary? The disciplinarian? There are so many great qualities that he has carried with him with his legacy.

Playing under him was an honor. He allowed us to be what made us great individual athletes, yet he was disciplined, repetitious, and systematic. His power was his belief in us fitting into the system, and we had such confidence in him, that we fell in line admirably. He created a symmetry that was unparalleled in the National Hockey League, but most importantly, in the locker room, behind closed doors. He was on to something.

He had a great vision and a great mind for hockey. Fred Shero, the visionary, was ahead of his time (and ahead of other coaches). In practice, at times, he would throw in unorthodox methods and drills to keep us on our toes, like practicing with tennis balls instead of pucks. But his vision really became a reality when we started to notice that it was almost as if he could see the game before it had been played; how our opponents would react to different plays and situations; and he prepared us for that. He studied our opponents hard, and adapted his defensive philosophy to accommodate each playmaker, and offensively fed off of the opponent’s defensive weaknesses.

In the three years that he was my coach, I never heard him raise his voice to a player … ever. It just wasn’t the way he conducted himself. He was a great communicator. He didn’t have to yell to get his message across. And if there was an issue, it would be discussed privately in his office; and we respected that. He made each player feel they were a crucial part of each game, even if they didn’t have much playing time. Each player knew that they could make or break a game at any given moment.

(Fun fact: Most people don’t know that Freddy was the first coach in the league to bring assistant coaches behind the bench and into the game. I bet you didn’t know that.)

Off the ice? There was an unwritten rule that after a game, especially on the road, if you walked into a bar and Freddy was already there, you had to spend your night drinking elsewhere, and he would do the same. I think he needed the separation between his personal and professional life, and we obviously respected his wishes and moved along to another bar down the street. But in all actuality, we would race to get out of the locker room after a game fast enough to reach the closest bar before he could.

We didn’t have a curfew. I don’t even think Freddy knew the meaning of curfew. He knew the Broad Street Bullies were a wild bunch. It takes one to know one.

Whenever Freddy’s name is mentioned, I always remember that he always put everyone else before himself. He helped others. He truly wanted to make others happy. It wasn’t “what can the people do for Freddy?” It was, “What can Freddy do for the people.” He was a very unselfish individual.

And I’ll leave off by telling this final story. The Broad Street Bullies name all started when the Saint Louis Blues kicked our asses the first time we got into the playoffs. That’s when Mr. Snider slammed his fist onto the table and said, “We’ll never be embarrassed like this again.” Keith Allen acquired some fighters, and we became our legacy.

In 1973-1974, after we were labeled the Broad Street Bullies, Freddy came up with this crazy idea that I’ll never forget. I was sitting in the locker room in my stall, facing the hallway. Directly across from where I was sitting, I could see Freddy’s office door. It opened, and out came Freddy with a man trailing behind him. Freddy walked in first, and a shrink walked in after. I guess Freddy thought it would be a good idea to bring him to the practices so the guys could share their thoughts and concerns. I looked them both in the eye, and they stopped walking. They both looked back at me, I looked at the shrink and I said, “You: Get the f*** out of here.” They turned around, Freddy opened the door, and they walked right out. We never saw the shrink again. It just wasn’t the place for him, not with this group of guys.

Freddy’s statue goes up tomorrow, and I’m proud to have witnessed his induction into the Hall of Fame, and now this? This statue will be standing in the heart of Philadelphia as a reminder to all fans back then, all fans now, and all fans to come, that Fred Shero was truly the best coach one of the best human beings this city has and ever will see. He never wanted to be in the spotlight for his accomplishments, but enough is enough. This statue is just another testament to Freddy’s famous line, “We win tonight, we walk together forever.”

It’s a beautiful thing.



Twitter: @BernieParent | Facebook: Fan Page | www.legendssportsmarketing.com | www.bernieparent.net

Get fit to be the best you can be

Bernie ParentRead the original article on Philly.com.

Saturday is March 1st. It’s time to get in shape for the summer! It’s been a long winter (and it’s not over yet). This brutal winter has kept many of us indoors and stagnant. It has been easier to put our resolutions on hold than to face this cold. Let’s make the goals and decisions necessary to get in shape.

How many people don’t get to enjoy summer activities because they don’t feel comfortable with themselves? How many of you are missing great opportunities to do things with friends and family because of your own restrictions?

Ask yourself, if it was July 1st, and your kids wanted to go to the beach, would you feel good? Luckily for most of us, it’s not July 1st, and we still have four months to get in gear. Lets work to make sure we can’t give ourselves or our friends and family any excuses to not enjoy ourselves.

I’m lucky to be 68 and in shape. The healthier and happier you feel, the more good things happen for you.

When I need to get in shape and jumpstart my routine, I cut out sugar, carbohydrates and gluten. The best way to kick these three things to the curb? Google what each of these do to your body, and hopefully you never look back. Understanding the effects that sugar, carbs, and gluten have on your body will make cutting them out easier and all the more necessary. Feed your body, not your appetite. Eat for health, not for comfort.

Once you’ve successfully gotten your diet on track, exercise is next. It keeps you motivated, especially this time of year. For example, if you get up in the morning and you’re down on yourself, you will only keep going in circles. You have to have a purpose, and that goes for anything in life. I’m going hunting in Colorado in seven months. Every day, I wake up to a picture of the place we’re going to hunt. It becomes my motivation and purpose to eat right, stay in top shape, and prepare for this trip.

If your purpose is to make it to the beach with your kids this summer, put a picture of the beach in plain view of where you lay your head to rest at night and you will wake up to be reminded of your purpose every day. From there, you will make your goals to eat right and get in shape in order to achieve that purpose.

And maybe you’re not worried about the way you look. What you’re really worried about is the way you feel. And you can most certainly change that.

In reality, your purpose could be anything. Maybe you have a project coming up in the next couple months, or maybe you’re building something. Define it. Desire it. It will give you the energy to wake up every day and chase it. You have something to look forward to. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. As long as you keep it in sight and set attainable goals to reach it, you can do anything.

Twitter: @BernieParent | Facebook: Fan Page | www.legendssportsmarketing.com | www.bernieparent.net