What Are You Working On To Be The Best You Can Be?
Don’t Be A One Trick Pony
With over 40 plus years of involvement in hockey including coaching, scouting teams & players and 15 years teaching hockey skills; there is one thing that has always stuck in my mind when I watch players in action.
For some reason most players develop a favorite move along with the skating and stick-handling skills to support that move. Probably they were fascinated by some move they saw a pro player do and dedicated themselves to learning it. It becomes their strength. It becomes their “go-to” move and their comfort zone.
But here’s the problem. I can guarantee you that after a year or so, everyone in the league will know your “go-to” move and for the most part shut you down.
You’ll Need To Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone
Under pressure everyone reverts to their comfort zone. Like it or not, that’s just what happens.
Learning and doing something new takes one out of their comfort zone. Learning something new feels different. The moves and skill sets don’t feel natural. You have to think about what you doing and the brain gets engaged. The need to engage the brain in itself inhibits fluid and skillful execution at the early stages or learning something new. But this is the process. This is what is required to learn something new and develop to the point where it is natural and it will not become natural without constant and many repetitions.
Hockey is played under pressure and under pressure everyone reverts to their comfort zone. It’s what you’ve practiced. It’s what you know. Under pressure it’s what you’ll revert to.
Think About It
Your strengths will always be your strengths, but what about your weaknesses?
You love the slap shot. You’ve practiced it constantly and you’re good at it and sometimes you score a goal. If you’re like most kids I’ve watched, you take probably take forever to set it up, glide in to the shot, transfer your weight to your front foot as you shoot, and veer to one side after the shot.
But do you have a wrist shot … a snap shot …. a backhand? Are you able to place the puck where you want? Can you shoot all types of shots while in stride from either foot and square up to the net for a potential rebound after shooting?
This just involves some aspects of shooting on net and nowhere near the full breadth of this subject. The full spectrum of skill sets that make up becoming a great hockey player is vast.
My advice to you is to figure out what your weaknesses are and begin to work on them. Think about it; your greatest opportunity to improve as a player is to work on your weaknesses.
When you’re at a practice or hockey school session; go with the purpose to work on a specific area of your weaknesses.
In my next blog I’ll go over some of my exprience and observations to provide some understanding of the process and challeges of working on new skills.
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