In the days since the U.S. Women won the Gold Medal, I’ve probably watched Jocelyn Lamoureux-Davidson’s shootout goal 50-60 times. It’s mesmerizing to review, from her slow approach to the initial deception (with the dropped shoulder) to the sweeping backhand to forehand motion. In the following days, I found a variety of articles about the team, the players and their battle for USA Hockey’s first Gold Medal in the 20 years since the Nagano Games of 1998. Having spent time around many of the players in recent years, I can speak to their work ethic, humility, character and desire to help grow the sport, particularly with young girls.
One of the articles I found the morning after the game was about the time and effort it took to master the “Oops, I Did it Again” move. As someone who is constantly reading about and observing best practices related to performance, one line from Coach Peter Elander stands out, who introduced the move to Lamoureux-Davidson.
“Six years ago, she wasn’t good at it,” Elander said.
In looking at her career backwards, six years ago was between the 2010 and 2014 Olympics. She was on both teams that won Silver Medals in Vancouver and Sochi respectively. This strikes me as something indicative of an elite performer. As an Olympian in the prime of her career she sought a new challenge and, according to her coach, wasn’t initially adept to master it. Through time, repetitions and (I assume) methodical progress this move looked easy on the biggest stage under enormous pressure.
Perhaps a quote from Jocelyn’s sister, Monique, gives insight into the team’s mindset and preparation.
“We played this game in our minds a thousand times and we’ve won it every single way possible,” said Monique Lamoureux-Morando, who scored the tying goal in the third period. No one thought this Gold Medal would come down to anything but a U.S. / Canada grudge match and it sounds like visualization and the pursuit of mastery played a big role in securing the win!
Gold Medal Photo – thanks to Charles Deluvio!