The Two Most Important Keys To Success – Part 2
Two Things You Have Some Ability To Control – Individual Skills & Attitude
In Part 1, I wrote about the importance of individual hockey skills as a key to a player’s success. Now about the need for the correct attitude and state of mind.
Now I’m a pretty old guy and it appears that over the last couple of generations, things have changed. When I was a young lad in school, there was a system of respect and discipline in place. We had a healthy respect for our teachers and fear of getting in trouble. Our parents supported this and if we got in trouble at school; we hoped that our parents wouldn’t find out.
In this new modern age generation of education and parenting it seems that it’s all about; protecting kids from the cruel outside world, giving your children everything, and maintaining their self-esteem no matter what. In order to achieve this we’ve moved to a world where; every child passes from one grade to the next regardless (testing and exams can be way too stressful) and every child gets a trophy and the score doesn’t matter.
Well, in my opinion that’s just not the way the real world works. I can pretty much guarantee you it won’t work that way in your hockey career if you choose to progress to a higher level. As I wrote in Part 1, even the dumbest coach figures out which players are making a positive contribution to winning during the play of the game and deploys his player assets accordingly because a coach not only wants to win; he absolutey needs to win.
Parents – You Have A Lot To Do With This
A True Story
Once upon a time there was a young hockey player who showed much promise. He played at the elite level and regularly attended a quality hockey school to continue to improve his skills. He was average in stature but displayed considerable skill that showed in his performance and contribution on the ice. When the time came he was a high draft pick to Major Junior A and was expected to be a high draft pick to the NHL. In the course of time however, his stock as a player dropped.
Now all you had to do is stand beside this player’s father (the main force in this family) during a game and listen to his ongoing commentary. This was the constant prattle; “the coach is an idiot”, “he should be getting more ice time”, “his line-mates don’t know how to give or take a pass”, “he should be playing centre because he’s a natural centre”; and on and on.
Now it doesn’t take much to realize that the father was saying the same things to his hockey playing son. Also, it doesn’t take much to realize the effect this would have on the attitude of the son and the effect it would have on his play.
Ultimately; although he was drafted to the NHL, he dropped far down in the draft and in the end, he never played a single game in the NHL.
If You’re Not Getting The Ice Time You Think You Deserve
Make The Coach Look Like A Fool
Life just isn’t perfect. The coaches are not perfect. The referees are not perfect. The ice surface is not perfect. Your hockey playing son is not perfect. You have to learn how to deal with this reality. What you need to do if you’re not getting the ice time you think you deserve is to turn the emotion into energy devoted to your performance. (Now I’m not saying become a puck hog. I am saying do all the right things; make the best possible decisions and make a maximum contribution. There is no other good choice.) Make the coach look like a fool. Make the coach realize that you deserve more ice time. Make everyone on the stands watching be aware of your effort, talent and contribution. Make the coach realize how much you are able to contribute to the team’s success.
The Puck Has No Memory
State Of Mind
Now this is a big, important and somewhat complicated topic and I’ll be writing a lot more about this in the future, but I thought I would touch on it a bit now.
The puck has no memory. It’s just a dumb piece of rubber. It doesn’t know what you’ve done before and doesn’t care.
The problem is that human beings have memories and they also have fears.
As much I admit it is difficult to do, an athlete in competition (in this case a hockey player) needs to have the following state of mind; regardless of how good or how bad your last shift, you need to try to make your next shift the best of your life.
The Two Most Important Keys To Success
In the next blog I’ll talk about coaching in minor hockey to better help you understand the beast you’re dealing with.
There’s a lot more to come
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