On September 28, 2020, John Cooper, head coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning, told the world “Sometimes in failure, you find success.” He is certainly right. For the past five seasons, the talented Tampa Bay Lightning have experienced a parade of disappointments and failures. But now, they are the Stanley Cup Champions. Just last year they were favored to win the Stanley Cup, but got swept in the first round of the playoffs. The sweep shocked the hockey world and devastated the players and fans. They had suffered a terrible defeat. But what made them so resilient? What did Coach Cooper mean by finding success in failure? If we could bottle the lessons learned from the Lightning’s success, perhaps we could all become a little more resilient.
What are the 7C’s of Resilience?
In order to understand Tampa Bay’s resiliency, you should get familiar with the 7 Cs of resilience: competence, confidence, connection, character, contribution, coping, and control.
Lightning GM Julien BriseBois told the press, “Once you get to the playoffs, the difference in talent between the teams is minimal. It really does come down to resiliency.” His insightful words tell us that the Lightning felt competent in their abilities and valued building resiliency. Believing in their skills was a great start to becoming more resilient. Competence is the belief that you are capable of successfully completing a particular task and the humility to know when you should ask for help. We can all learn from Tampa Bay, the most resilient team.
Confidence is key, just ask Lightning player Tyler Seguin who said, “We believe in each other. We’ve got a confident group.” Confidence let the Lightning look at setbacks as stops along the way to success; and we should too. We can all learn to be more confident in ourselves to become more resilient.
The next C is Connection. Connection is crucial on your journey to resiliency and the road to victory. The Lightning had a connection among teammates that drove them to success. A standout example of the team’s strong connection comes from what Steven Stamkos said of teammate and best friend Victor Hedman, “What can you say? We’ve been together since Day 1, and to go through all the ups and downs, this is what you play for… This is one of the best feelings in the world, and I’m so thankful that I get to share this moment with Heddy.” Strong connections create resilience champions, who rise from defeat to enjoy victory.
As the Lightning fought through the playoffs, they relied on their determination, hard work, and humility. The character of each player created a resilient team that could find success in their failure. We should let the Lightning inspire us to reflect on and develop our character.
When the Lightning returned home to Tampa Bay, they were greeted by overwhelming love and cheer as fans praised and celebrated the champions. “We’re excited to share this with Tampa,” Alex Killorn, Tampa Bay center, told the fans, who were celebrating along with the team. As Floridians struggle through the pandemic, the Lightning brought some life to the state. The success of the Lightning provided happiness and light in this challenging time. We can give back to others. It does matter not what you are contributing towards, any form builds resilience, so find a way to give back that is meaningful to you!
One of the few guarantees in life is each of us will face setbacks, challenges, and stress; you may even be stressed out today. The Tampa Bay Lightning are no strangers to this, but they are familiar with sixth C, Coping. When asked about team losses, top defenseman Victor Hedman proudly responded, “We’re a resilient group. We know how to respond to adversity.” Hedman reminds us of the importance of positive coping strategies. So, whether it’s meditating, working out, or petting your dog, you should find what works for you and equip yourself with as many positive coping strategies as possible!
The final C is Control. As much as we would like, we cannot control everything. If we could, we wouldn’t have to worry about challenges, setbacks, and losing playoff hockey games. Tampa Bay Lightning forward, Yanni Gourde, knows a thing about control. When asked about the other team, he told reporters, “You just got to go out there and play our best, try to win that particular game and go from there.” This resilient team shows us what happens when we embrace what we can control.
We all can strive to find success in our failures, just as the Tampa Bay Lightning has. We too can have our setbacks be milestones on our journey towards success.