Last week, Saskatchewan Shockers coach Myron Beasley saw his team’s season heading down the drain. After opening the season with a surprise 2-1 win over Michigan, the Shockers had dropped their next six games in a row. Beasley felt his team’s spirits drooping, as their hopes of improving on last year’s dismal 11-48-1 record flickered.
“I knew I needed to do something to shake things up,” said Beasley.
First, Beasley needed to find a target for his team to shoot for. “I wanted it to be ambitious but achievable,” said the Shockers coach. “Taking the division lead would be awesome, but we’re not there yet. On the other hand, back-to-back wins aren’t enough.” He decided that a .500 record would be a suitable benchmark.
With that decided, he needed to think of a good incentive. SHL rules forbid coaches from offering players cash bonuses or gifts outside of their contracts, so that was out. A team trip to Las Vegas was nixed by Shockers owner Heinz Doofenshmirtz. So Beasley concocted an unorthodox alternative.
“I told ‘em that if they could get to .500, they’d get to meet Dr. Coconut,” the coach said. At first, the response was less than enthusiastic. “I think they were worried that maybe Dr. Coconut was my nickname for my junk or something,” Beasley admitted.
The coach then explained what he meant: If the team could reach the .500 mark, Beasley would don a coconut bra and grass skirt and dance in front of the team.
“I’m not allowed to give them dancing girls if they win,” said Beasley. “But I could give them Dr. Coconut.”
The coach figured that he might have to fulfill his promise in a month or two, if the team did well. Little did he realize that the Shockers were about to take off.
The day after Beasley made his pledge, Saskatchewan recorded a shocking 3-2 win over Anchorage. That was the beginning of a 5-0-1 streak that brought the Shockers up to the .500 mark.
“Wow, I didn’t realize Dr. Coconut was such a powerful incentive,” the coach remarked.
But after the Shockers recorded another win over Anchorage on Tuesday to raise their record to 6-6-1, Beasley remained true to his word. As the players gathered in a circle cheering, the coach emerged from his office, wearing the grass skirt, coconut bra, and a head mirror (“because he’s a doctor, after all”). He proceeded to sway his hips to the tune of “Timber” by Ke$ha as his players cheered wildly.
“I got to admit, Coach has got some moves,” said LW Troy Chamberlain.
Beasley laughed as he recalled the scene. “Was it a high-school motivational tactic? Yeah, maybe,” he said. “But sometimes that’s what you need. And it worked!”
The Shockers proceeded to drop their next two games after meeting Dr. Coconut. Beasley vigorously denied that there was a connection, and vowed that should the team make it back to .500 this season, he will dance again.
“Stay loose and have fun, that’s my motto,” said Beasley.
Shockers C Napoleon Beasley, the coach’s son, was asked if he found his father’s dance routine awkward or embarrassing. “Well, sure, a little,” said the younger Beasley. “But my dad’s always been weird, so I’m used to it by now.”