Weathering the storm: advice on adversity from Petes alumni and coaches

There’s no denying we are living through tough times. The intense workload on our health care providers and front line workers, anxiety around the uncertainty of it all, and our inability to physically connect are testing our collective resiliency.

Familiar with leading groups through challenges each season are hockey coaches. Often, coaches double as life teachers and have the words their players were looking for or didn’t know they needed to hear.

The following are remarks by Petes alumni who have coached or gone on to coach at the highest level. These are their takes on adversity, what has helped their teams on the ice, and what they are currently leaning on to get through these difficult times. Take what you need from our leaders to reflect and find comfort in knowing we are in this together.

1. “We talk all the time about discipline in our dressing room and it is even more important now as we work through this new way of living. Our community discipline is being tested and we have to be up to the challenge no matter or circumstance. We can’t let our guard down for a second.”

– Dallas Eakins, Petes alumnus (’84-’88), Head Coach, Anaheim Ducks


2. “It is not a quote perhaps but what I always tell my guys is to always take pride in your job. Being a hockey player is not looked upon as being a job, but it is. A great one at that. So have pride in that and always try to perform at your highest level, just like one would expect a plumber, electrician or a Doctor to do.”

– Rob Murray, Petes Alumnus (’84-’87), Head Coach, Tulsa Oilers


3. “Do your best and the worst won’t happen.”

– Scotty Bowman, former Petes Head Coach (’58-’61), most winningest coach in NHL history


4. “I love this quote by Vivian Greene. ‘Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning how to dance in the rain.’ It is a good mind set for hockey with lots coming at you and ups and downs, so learning how to navigate through to succeed.  Also is very true in these times now.”

– Luke Richardson, Petes alumnus (’85-’87), Assistant Coach, Montreal Canadiens


5. “I always look at adversity as a gift because, out of it always comes lessons that can be useful toward making you better. We all have to deal with adversity at some point and, how we deal with it will define us!”

– Jeff Twohey, former Petes GM/Scout, Assistant Coach (’80-’10)


6. “This Winston Churchill quote is perfect for these times! He said this during war time but you can relate this today, ‘Never was so much owed by so many to so few.’ All the doctors nurses etc going everyday to work for others. Adversity happens and people do amazing things during it.”

– Rob Wilson, Petes Alumnus (’88-’89), Head Coach, Peterborough Petes

Rob Wilson coaching

7. “Obviously there is adversity to this, there are very serious aspects to what is going on right now and I’m optimistic we will come out the other end of it. I think when we look back we will think, ‘what have we learned from it all?’ And we need to take stock in that and be able to use it going forward. I’m really missing connecting with people and I’m hoping coming out of this, its not taken for granted, how much we enjoy that aspect of life. And with families, isn’t the business of life and families are pulled together and able to spend time together and get to know each other better and hopefully that as well is a positive that comes out of it that we don’t get back to such a busy life that we don’t have time to get together and have a meal.”

– Doug Jarvis, Petes Alumnus (’72-’75), former NHL Assistant Coach (’88-’18), NHL Ironman

Doug jarvis

8. “Through these stressful and difficult times, I think that it is really important for all of us to try and be that best person we can possibly be. This is when leadership and sacrifice is so important and not just at our government levels or from our front liners, but from each of us on a daily basis. Staying home, social distancing, caring for loved ones, helping others if you can, responsibly connecting with people and doing the right things makes us both ‘coachable players,’ and also good leaders. The state or province will open up, again, following the ‘Game Plan,’ and not by running off the track just because you have ‘isolation fatigue.’ As hockey examples have shown us so often, if everyone does their part to the best of their ability and all players, not just some or most, but all players follow the Game Plan, there is a very high percentage chance of great success.”

As a former coach who was fortunate enough to have a great organization of people around me during our championship years in 1977-78 and 1978-79 and players who showed great courage, sacrifice, discipline and leadership in order to achieve success, I ask you all to use those same skills that I know you have, so as to do your part, big or small, in helping defeat this Covid19 beast.

– Gary Green, former Petes Head Coach (’77-’79), youngest Head Coach in NHL history

Gary Green

9. “One quote I saw a long time ago that stayed with me was the following, ‘Tough times, don’t last, tough people do.’ Sometimes the situation dictates we just dig in, refuse to quit, stay upright, survive … be available and ready when better times arrive.

– Bob Gainey, Petes Alumnus (’71-’73), Hockey Hall of Famer, former NHL Head Coach (’90-’09) & General Manager

Bob Gainey

Our coaches remind us to have gratitude for our community and for those working on the front lines while taking pride in our role to flatten the curve. All of this, in combination with some grit and better understanding of what we truly value, will put us on the other side of this storm stronger than before.

The Peterborough Petes are proud to offer a limited edition #puckCOVID T-Shirt in support of the ongoing efforts to combat COVID-19. Proceeds from all sales of this shirt will be donated to the Peterborough Regional Health Centre (PRHC) Foundation in support of the PRHC’s COVID-19 response effort, which funds critical investments that the hospital must make in order to provide the best possible care to patients, and keep frontline healthcare teams safe. Every gift the PRHC receives will directly support the work of the hospital’s frontline healthcare professionals. Click here to purchase a #puckCOVID t-shirt.

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