The Butterfly Effect by Coach D. Eisler

"The Butterfly Effect Every action that occurs (both on and off the ice) has a ripple effect beyond the action itself.

This is what is popularly known as the “butterfly effect” which describes the phenomena of how a butterfly flapping its wings in Brazil can cause a hurricane in China. It doesn’t matter how minuscule the initial action is, the resulting outcome can be much larger.

“It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.” - John Wooden

The hard forecheck. A defenseman clogging up the passing lane with their stick. The goalie clearing the puck hard up the wall. Every time a defenseman doesn't tie up a stick in front of the net, it could be the difference in the game. Every time the winger turns to catch the pass on their forehand because it's more comfortable, it could be the difference in the game. Every time a player encourages a teammate after he comes up short, it could be the difference in the game. In a dynamic system like hockey, the result of the tiniest action can be massive.



Just like the butterfly effect can magnify the impact of a player’s action on the ice, it can also apply to team's culture. A tiny action if improperly handled can completely undermine team cohesion and unity. It can ruin a season. It can douse the fire and passion for the game a player once held.


Jim Schwartz, former personnel scout for Bill Belichick often said “Anything that touches the team is important.” This speaks to the immense importance of small things that occur both on and off the field of play. Teams are constantly being “touched” by people – staff members, coaches, teachers, agents, scouts, family, social media and so on.


Bill Belichick was maniacal about doing the little things right because he knew that every little thing had the potential to swing a game and even a season.


In sports, the margins between winning and losing are incredibly thin. And the butterfly effect tells us that the potential impact of a small action can be massive. Players that consistently do the little things can change the outcome of the game. A team that makes a point of always doing the little things will control the outcome of their season. Play big by doing the little things.


Looking forward to seeing you all very soon at one of the rinks. Until then, fold the laundry, sweep the porch, put away the dishes when they're dry - those little things make a big difference too."  ~Coach Derek Eisler

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