Human Science

Sudbury Wolves celebrate their upset series win over the Belleville Bulls on April 27 at Sudbury Community Arena. Wolves coach Mike Foligno credits Rhonda Byrne's The Secret with helping inspire the Wolves to playoff success.

Wolves reveal 'Secret' to success; Inspirational film The Secret helped team exceed expectations in playoffs: Foligno

Bruce Heidman Local News - Wednesday, May 16, 2007 @ 09:00

The Sudbury Wolves used a little 'secret' to help them get to the OHL final.

Actually, it was The Secret - a motivational self-help book and movie created by Rhonda Byrne that claims people can attain whatever they want through positive thinking and visualization.

Wolves head coach/GM Mike Foligno said The Secret played a pivotal role in turning a sub-.500 regular season team into a playoff powerhouse.

Foligno's son, Wolves assistant captain Nick Foligno, gave him a copy of the movie and he watched it just before the start of the playoffs.

"I felt there was a lot of players on our team who didn't have the understanding of how you get the focus you need to attain (your) goals," Mike Foligno said.

"Throughout our lives we may have attained individual goals or been on teams that attained goals and never really have been able to grasp why.

"Then, I saw this."

He knew right away it was a tool he had to share with his team.

"I sat down and watched it with (Nick) and it dawned on me that this is well put together, well thought out and it is a secret," he said. "It works for ... everyone. It's the power of attraction. So what we needed was to get everyone on the same wavelength and get everyone in this organization to understand and get them believing in one common goal, and that is to create success within our organization.

" Foligno didn't show his players the movie right away, but talked to them about it for a while first.

"I kept teasing them, saying, 'boys, it's going to be OK, I've got The Secret,' and after a few days they started asking what the heck I was talking about," he said.

"We were able to put something together on a smaller scale for them to introduce it, then we let it sink in and then the playoffs started and we reminded them again and showed it to them again and it worked out.

"We kept referring back to the power of attraction, that thoughts become things."

The Secret became a mantra for the players. At home or on the road, the team would write, 'We have The Secret' on boards in every dressing room.

"We expanded on it with positive feedback and showing positive videos before every game ... and really built on the idea," Foligno said.

"Everybody wanted to be part of it and everyone wanted to keep this thing going. It was an amazing run and I think a lot of it had to do with the players believing in this power of attraction."

Wolves captain Marc Staal said the players didn't know what to think when they watched the movie.

"It was a good thing to get us going before games and during the week," he said. "When we first started we were kind of looking at each other saying 'what is this?' But when it ended it was pretty cool and most of the guys enjoyed it."

It didn't take long for Staal to become a believer.

"If everybody's positive and confident, then it helps in the room and on the ice," he said. "It got everybody in the same mind frame and wanting to win and being positive with each other all the time." Foligno said he thinks sports teams have used The Secret in the past. He wishes he had known about when he was a young player.

"I'm 48 years old and I've finally got The Secret," he said. "These players are fortunate they understand it and know how it works, and we will utilize it in every aspect of our lives from this point on." Foligno stressed he's not someone who has used self-help and spiritual books and movies in the past. But the power of The Secret was undeniable.

"When you think about it, we got an entire city to buy in and believe, and the players in that room wanted it to happen, they envisioned it," he said. "They thought about it and wanted to see how excited this community could get, and our fans were unbelievable, our fans bought in, and they had the vision, too."

The Secret has been featured on Oprah, Larry King and elsewhere since its release in 2006 and has spawned a host of websites, blogs and chat groups. There is also an official website,, with extra information on The Secret.

The Secret book and DVD topped best seller lists from the New York Times, Amazon and elsewhere during last Christmas, and continues to gain popularity.

"There's many powers out there - the power of action, of well-being, many powers to acquire and channel into," Foligno said. "I'm not a spiritual type or a healer. I'm a simple man, a traditionalist in a lot of ways, but I firmly believe in the power of attraction and the power we have to will something, and a lot of that comes from being prepared to do so.

"No matter what you're doing in life, if you think positively, you will make good things happen and be a part of good things," he added.

"That's what life is. It's meant to be thought of that way. Life is meant to be thought of in a fun way, a positive way, an uplifting way."

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