NHL Playoff Observations And What We Can Learn From Them

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Isn’t this one of the best times of the year?

The NHL playoffs are incredible.

I would argue with anyone that there is nothing else like it in the world of sports.

While I haven’t watched every game, I’ve watched a lot this year and wanted to write a quick article about my observations thus far (almost 2 weeks in).

The first thing that stands out is the speed of the game. We all know that hockey is trending into a faster, more skating driven game, but the playoffs really exemplify this.

Teams and players that can skate, and play with speed, are dominating thus far. And I think this only continues to prove the point that if you want to make it as a hockey player, you need to be working on your skating and your speed.

And it’s all positions. It used to be that if you were bigger and didn’t skate as well you played defense. That just isn’t the case anymore. In fact, most of the best defenseman are now also tremendous skaters.

The next thing that stands out is team depth.

Obviously, your best players need to be your best players to be successful, but I think the team that has the best depth as a group will be the team that hosts the cup this year.

I’ve actually been a huge believer of this for a long time. I have been saying the same thing for the past few years in that, if you don’t have four lines that can play in the playoffs, you’re not going to win. Simple as that.

The last item is special teams.

The bigger the game, the more important every little advantage is.

I’m a big believer that once you get down to the playoffs, every team is good and laying it on the line each night.

Because of this, the margin of error becomes even more razor thin and things like special teams are often the real difference makers.

If your special teams struggles in the playoffs, your season is probably going to be ending pretty soon.

So what are the takeaways from all this for players and coaches?

1) Understand and realize how the game is constantly evolving. Being able to play with pace and make decisions and plays at full speed is becoming the way to have success as a player and team.

2) Remember that every role on a team is vital to its success. If you’re a fourth liner, you need to realize that your job has a purpose to the overall success of the team. Like I’ve said countless times on this blog, there’s a reason you don’t have 4 first line centers. Everyone has a job, embrace it and be the best you can be at it.

3) And lastly, don’t forget to be constantly working on your skill development. The difference between good players and great players is usually the great players are able to execute the basic fundamentals of the game at a higher level than the good players. So those things include, stickhandling, passing, shooting, and even skating. And the best part to remember about all those skills, is they can all be constantly worked on and improved.

So, Continue to go after the things you want and make sure you’re putting in the work. Taking action is always more important than trying to make sure you’re working on the perfect drill. In fact, often simple is better. And finally, build good habits and always remember that nothing worth having comes easy.

What Do I Work On In The Off Season?

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“What should I be working on during the off season?”

It’s probably one of the questions that I get asked the most by players.

The reality is that every player is different so what works for one player is not going to work for another. I think that makes sense for most people, especially considering that you have players who play different positions and have entirely different skills sets.

With that in mind, I do think there are a few things that we can work on as players that are helpful across the board for players.

I’ve talked previously about how I think a big emphasis should be placed on skill development and repetition over the summer. I won’t get into that a ton since we just talked about it, but you can reference that other article here.

** One side note for something that I didn’t mention a ton in the previous article but fits along those same lines is skating. The game of hockey has truly turned into a game of skating. The reality is that if you want to be successful in hockey you have to be able to skate. The game is faster than ever and I think that every player should spend some time focusing on their skating. It’s another one of those skills that we can always improve upon, yet sometimes gets forgotten about when practicing during the season. The truth is, the better skater you are, the more opportunities you will create for yourself.

Another area that I think all players can benefit from is focusing on your work ethic.

If you ask most players, they will tell you that they work hard. In fact, as a coach, I’m yet to have a player tell me that they don’t work hard!

We all know that isn’t true and some players work a lot harder than others.

If you’re serious about getting better and want to keep improving, you need to make sure that you’re constantly trying to improve your work ethic.

Stick to a routine, figure out what you want to accomplish and work for, find an accountability partner or coach, push yourself to do things that are outside your comfort zone. These are just a few of the ways that you can improve your work ethic.

I truly believe that your work ethic is something that can be developed and trained.

I don’t believe it’s something you either have or you don’t. I completely think it is something that can be trained and instilled.

The last thing that I’ll mention for every player and the off season, is to rediscover that passion and love for the game.

We’ve all played through long seasons, or even disappointing seasons. Those years where as a team or individual it just didn’t seem to go the way that you wanted.

But, the off season is a time to refuel the batteries and refuel the passion and love that you have for the game.

This helps with both your attitude and energy at the rink.

It also helps build your confidence back up gives you that feeling of excitement every time that you get to head to the rink.

While we all have different areas that we can focus on with our off season training, I think there are a few areas that all players can count on to help get them going in the right direction for the next season coming up.

Good luck with your training this off season.

Are Private Lessons Worth It?

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Have you ever thought about getting private lessons?

As a player growing up, I never really thought much about private lessons. And with the exception of some skating lessons when I was really young, I never took private lessons. 

Since becoming a coach, the value that I think they can bring to a player is amazing. 

Now, I'm sure most of you are thinking this is a shameless plug for myself since I personally give private lessons. In fact, it's one of the ways that I provide for my family. But, in reality, private lessons can be an extremely valuable tool for some players and not necessary for others. 

I decided to write a post about this subject because it's a question that I get a lot as a coach. And as with everything I write on this blog, I want to be as honest and transparent as possible. 

The first obvious benefit to getting private lessons is the one on one time you get with a coach. The ability to really break down your strengths and weaknesses on an in depth level and then work on them. To really fine tune those individual skills that don't always get the focus needed in practice. 

The reality is that practices are team oriented first and individual oriented second. Private lessons allow us to reverse this priority and focus on those little details that often don't get the time required in practice. 

For example, if you struggle with handling rebounds on your backhand in front of the net, it's not possible to spend a lot of time in a team practice focusing on this detail. Of course you will get a few opportunities possibly in practice, or even a few minutes at the beginning or end, but simply not enough to really get the work in that you need. It's just not realistic to have 19 other guys stand around while you focus on one small detail. 

Things like this are what private lessons are made for. 

To focus on those details that are so important to success, but don't fit into a team practice plan. 

The next reason that I think private lessons are so valuable is because they focus on accountability. In a private lesson there's no place to hide, or blend in. All eyes are on you, the player. 

I think this is important because it will become pretty obvious really quick who is there for the right reasons. And when I say right reasons, I mean who is there to genuinely work and get better. Believe it or not, there are plenty of players who take private lessons but don't have the right mindset to really maximize their time.

Plain and simple, your boundaries are pushed (or should be getting pushed) and you should feel challenged every time you have a lesson. 

The last reason that I think private lessons are so valuable boils down to one simple word: confidence. 

I think it's always the forgotten idea when it comes to why private lessons are so valuable, but for me, it's the most important reason behind getting lessons. 

If you've been following this blog then you know how important I think confidence is, and how it's something that we should be working on everyday. 

The reality is that great hockey players are confident. And on the flip side, players that struggle lack confidence. 

To some, that may sound like a very generalized statement, but I actually think it's true in every situation. 

I've never met a player who struggles that is genuinely confident. I've come across a few that have tried to put up a confident front, but once you start to dig a bit, the real truth comes out. 

One of the biggest components of being confident is building off of small successes.

That's precisely what private lessons are all about. 

Each drill you do, or area of your game you focus on, is really ingraining that success inside of your brain, and in the process, making you more confident. 

In other words, the repetition and focus of private lessons is not only building that individual element to your game, it's also, more importantly, building your confidence in the process. 

From a coaching perspective, I think that aspect is the most rewarding part of giving private lessons. 

To see a players confidence continue to grow week after week is simply awesome. 

While I know I have went on for a bit about the value of private lesson and why I believe in them so much, I also acknowledge that they aren't for everyone. 

First and foremost, I'm a big believer that lessons are only a good idea if the player is actually interested in them. Way to often, parents want their kids to get better more than their son or daughter really wants too. In these situations, the reality is that money is being wasted and the player isn't getting a whole lot better. It's like anything in life, if you want to be good at something YOU have to want to work for it. That's what I love about hard work, it can't be faked. So my advice is that if your kid really isn't that interested, then don't waste your time or money. 

Speaking of money, it's only fair that I bring up the elephant in the room: the cost. Plain and simple, private lessons are a financial commitment. And while I completely think they are worth it if you can afford it, I also understand that everyone's financial situation is different. And if you can't afford it, that doesn't mean that you, or your son or daughter, can't have a successful hockey career. Lessons are simply an alternative option to work on individual skills. 

My last point feeds off the previous paragraph about money. If you think that one or two lessons is going to make a difference then you're also wasting your time and money. The truth is, private lessons work because they allow the small skills to be worked on and developed. These skills don't improve in an hour. They improve over the course of weeks and months of repeatedly working on the same habits. So if you really think that spending money on "one or two lessons for a quick pick me up" are worth it, I completely disagree. Save your money. 

Like I said at the beginning of this, I am biased towards lessons because they are a big part of my life. However, I also wouldn't endorse them as much as I do if I didn't believe in them and the results they offer. 

So if you're really looking for a way to build your confidence and elevate your game to another level by focusing on the small details in an environment where your work ethic and focus is put on the spot every time, then private lessons is something I highly suggest. 

I hope you found this perspective about private lessons interesting. I know it's a subject that gets talked about a lot, and hopefully this gives some answers to questions that you might have.

If you have any thoughts about the subject please let me know. Either send me an email directly or reply here in the comment section. 

One Of My Biggest Regrets As A Player...

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As I’ve said before on this blog, regrets suck.

No one ever wants them, but the reality is that most people have regrets about a few things in their life.

When it comes to hockey, I (thankfully) don’t have many regrets, but there is one thing that stands out quite a bit for me.

My individual skill development.

To put it simply, I regret not putting more time, effort, and work into improving my individual skills.

When I think back to my playing days that’s the one area that I had control over and could have done a lot more, but didn’t.

That’s not to say that I was lazy or didn’t work hard, it’s just simply pointing out the fact that I didn’t have a plan for how to get better when it was outside the season, or even just outside of regular practice.

My off seasons consisted of me playing pick up hockey and trying to gain weight and get stronger for the next season. While incredibly valuable, I wish I would have done more besides focus most of my energy in the gym.

I wish I would have had a plan to focus on improving my stick handling, puck control, and shot. Looking back, I know it would have helped my playing career immensely.

The other thing that eats at me a little bit is that it was all things that I could have worked on by myself or with limited space or resources.

I know it sounds cliche, but shooting 100 pucks a day would have really helped my game. Just like working on my hands would have.

In my time being a coach, it’s given me a different perspective and angle on the game.

It’s really hammered down the point that being really good at the simple skills of the game are incredibly valuable. Not only does it help on the ice from a skill standpoint, but it also dramatically helps the mental side of the game too.

The more confident you are with the puck on your stick, the more confident you’re going to be in general when it comes to the game. And like we’ve talked about before, confidence is vital to the success of hockey players.

The other crazy part of this (and I’m guilty of this too as a coach) is that as we get older, we start to focus so much of our practice time on team development that we forget to focus our time on the skill component.

It’s crazy that all the sudden we feel like we get to the Bantam age group and above and we don’t need to worry about our skills anymore because “we already learned how to do that.”

Our skills as hockey players are improved through repetition.

It makes sense when you stop and think about it.

If you want to shoot the puck better, you need to shoot more pucks.

If you want to handle the puck better, you need to work on your stick handling and body control.

I believe players that constantly become more skilled in their craft are going to make better overall hockey players, thus help make their teams better.

My job as a skills coach has only emphasized this point even more. I joke with players all the time that I haven’t played a competitive hockey game in over 10 years but I’m 10x better now than I used to be when I played.

Most of them give me a smirk and think I’m kidding, but it’s true.

The main reason is because my individual skill is so much better now then it ever was when I actually played.

Why is that?

Because I work on it everyday.

I’m lucky that I get to coach hockey and be on the ice everyday.

With being a skills coach I get to work on my passing, stick handling, and shooting everyday with clients and in turn my individual skill and confidence with the puck has never been better.

So what’s the point of all this?

You don’t have to reinvent the wheel with your training to get better.

Create a plan and trust the process of becoming as efficient as you can at mastering the basic skills of the game.

Dedicate yourself to shooting pucks, stick handling, and improving your skating and I guarantee you’ll be heading in the right direction.

Players, take the advice from me that you don’t need a ton of space or guidance on what you can be working on. If you want to be better, find a way to shoot more pucks and improve your hands.

Coaches, don’t forget about the skill development component of the game. We all get wrapped up in working on things like 2 on 1’s, but would it help your team more in long run if you had players that could handle the puck better, make better passes, and finish with better shots? Remember that hockey is a simple game, and the teams that can be the best at the simple habits are usually the most successful.

Keep working hard and focusing on the things you can control.

How To Deal With Not Getting Enough Ice Time

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It’s probably one of the questions that I get asked the most as a coach, why don’t I get more playing time?

The reality is that most players at some point in their hockey career are going to feel this way.

I dealt with this as a player, and the truth is, it’s never an easy hurdle to overcome.

But, over the years I’ve learned a lot (from being a player and now a coach) about the topic and I wanted to put something together that I wish I had when I was a player.

The truth is that most players when faced with this situation start down the path of playing the ‘pity game’. Coach doesn’t like me… Coach doesn’t know what he’s doing… Coach is unfair…

If we’re being honest with ourselves, we’ve all had those thoughts.

I know I did.

I got so wrapped up in worrying about that stuff that I’m sure it took away from my game. My attitude wasn’t great and I was wandering down a path of only worrying about me instead of the ‘we’ of my team.

So if you catch yourself going down this path, what should you do?

  1. Focus on the things you can control. I know this gets talked about a lot on this blog but I think this has been one of the biggest lessons I have learned in hockey, and life. Stop wasting time, and valuable energy, on things that don’t matter. Stop trying to analyze what’s going on in your coaches head and second guessing every decision that they make. That doesn’t mean that you’re going to like, agree, or understand everything that they do, but, it simply means that you shouldn’t be distracting yourself and wasting energy on things that you don’t have direct control over.

  2. How’s your attitude? Like I said up above, it’s easy to start spiraling down the path of negativity. But honestly, what’s that going to get you? Nothing. If you bring a bad attitude to the rink, do you honestly think that is going to help your team? Or, do you think bringing a negative attitude to the rink is going to make you’re coach think… “hey, this player has a really bad attitude, I think I should play him/her more…” It almost sounds funny when you read it, but think of about the last time you were frustrated with a coach or situation and how your attitude was. Was your attitude helping or hindering the success of your team?

  3. Are you putting in any extra work? If you’re unhappy with your ice time, are you willing to work harder and do the extra work to get better, or are you satisfied with simply complaining about the issue? We all want to think that we’re going the extra mile to get better, but the reality is that most players are not. To put it simply, it’s way easier to complain about a situation than actually put your head down, not complain, and work on your craft. What sort of things are you doing outside of your normal obligations (practices, workouts, meetings…) to get better? Ultimately, if it’s something that you really want then being willing to go the extra mile for it. I can guarantee you’ll never regret doing the extra work. Think about it this way, if you committed to shooting extra pucks everyday, or stickhandling for 20 minutes everyday at your house, do you think you would ever be able to go back and regret actually doing the work? No way, the only time you’re doing to have regrets is if you’re not willing to put in the work.

  4. Have a conversation with a coach. I know to some it seems daunting, but if you’re truly unhappy with your situation, then you should be willing to have a conversation about it. I’m yet to meet a coach that is unwilling to have a conversation with a player. With that being said, there are a few guidelines I would give any player going into that conversation. First, go in with the right attitude. Going in and saying “I think it’s unfair that I don’t get more ice time” is a lot different than going in and saying to a coach “I feel like I can do more to help the team be successful. What are you seeing, and what are things that I can work on to help contribute more to the team?” Ultimately, you’re saying the same thing, but option one is focused on YOU and your needs whereas option two is focused on the needs of your TEAM. That’s a big difference. The other piece of advice I have for players in this situation is to go into the conversation prepared to actually have a conversation. Trust me, I know that not every player is going to agree, or understand, the decisions that I make as a coach. And that’s ok! But if you’re genuine and truly want to help your team more, than being able to have a conversation will help you understand the situation and should hopefully leave you with a game plan of things to improve upon. Trust me, most coaches know it’s not an easy conversation for players to have, but we all respect the players that are willing to do it.

Like I said above, I’m sure at one point in your hockey career you’re going to be faced with the situation of wanting to get more ice time.

It can be a tough and frustrating time, but hopefully the advice above helps you focus on the right areas and prevents you from spiraling down the path of negativity.

Keep focusing on the things you can control and be willing to work for the things you want.

The Power Of The "Team"

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It never ceases to amaze me the power of a committed team.

In fact, I’ve come to the conclusion that on many levels, the best “team” is usually the one that wins.

Winning in hockey isn’t usually talent based. Assuming that you’re playing in an appropriate league and level for your age and skill, winning occurs for the best “team”.

The group of 20 players that can come together, work for each other, and put the needs of the “team” first are the ones that will celebrating at the end.

The reality is that we all want to play every other shift, play on special teams, and be counted on in crucial situations.

However, if we’re being honest with ourselves, we know that’s not possible.

Like I’ve said before, there’s a reason you don’t have 4 first line centers…

It takes all types of players with different skill sets and talents to create a winning team.

But, more importantly, it takes a group who is willing to put their personal wants and desires on the back burner and the needs of the “team” on the front.

And this becomes the challenge of every team. It won’t work with half the team on board with this. It only works if all 20 are willing to buy into this mentality.

I can promise you that the memories you’ll make from buying in and putting your team first will always outweigh the personal achievements you may achieve.

So my challenge to all of you reading this is to genuinely put your teams needs first and your personal needs second and see how your outlook can change.

Attitude Is Everything

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Isn’t it amazing how far a good attitude can take you in life?

The same can be said with hockey.

Having a good attitude plays such a crucial role to the success of a team, and you as an individual.

It’s another one of those things that sounds so simple, and easy in theory, yet can often times be one of the more challenging aspects to a season.

We all have good days and bad, and most teams go through slumps and struggles throughout the course of the season. How we react during those times often makes the biggest difference, and can make those slumps shorter, and fewer and far between.

Like we’ve talked about on here before, how you mentally go into a game is going to make a huge difference towards the outcome. In other words, if you go in thinking you have no chance of winning, then chances are you’re right.

So how do you ensure that you have the right attitude everyday at the rink?

  1. Be there for the right reasons. Love what you’re doing, but also know that everyday isn’t going to be perfect. And that’s ok. But, if you can remember all the reasons why you love the game, it makes it a lot easier to keep your attitude positive.

  2. Keep things in perspective. Think about all the work you’ve put into the game and how lucky you are to get the opportunity to play the game you love.

  3. Enjoy the feeling of being part of something bigger than yourself. As we’ve talked about before, hockey is the ultimate team game. And, there’s nothing better than having 15 or 20 of your friends all working towards the same goals and achieving success together. Each person has a role and a responsibility to your team and teammates, make sure you’re coming through for them. And having a great attitude is a big part of that.

  4. Make sure you’re having fun. Regardless of how old you are, the game needs to be fun. If you can find fun at the rink, then it’s always a good day. Even if things aren’t going your way on a particular day, find a way to incorporate some fun into the day. Whether in the locker room, on the bench, or on the ice there’s always a way to bring some fun to the rink.

Focus your time and energy on your attitude because it’s another one of those things that’t entirely in your control. You can control your attitude everyday. And from my experience, the days where you can have a great attitude are always more successful than the days that you don’t.

Keep pushing towards the things you want and loving the game of hockey.

The One Question We All Need To Ask Ourselves

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I think there’s a simple question that gets lost in the shuffle of hockey all the time.

We become so caught up in the routine that I think we forget to take a second and stop and think.

Do you actually want to do this?

I guess when you really stop and think about it, it’s a simple question to ask but a much harder question to answer for most.

It’s just like an onion where there are many layers. We all need to keep peeling back different sections to ultimately get to our answer.

I think it’s becoming all to common that players are getting to the realization that hockey at a high level is not something they are interested in pursuing anymore.

And you know what, that’s ok.

I think so many of us get caught up in the thinking that “I’ve been playing hockey for most of my life and the goal has always been to keep getting better, and making that higher team” that we forget to keep checking in with ourselves to see if that’s really what we want.

The truth is, I think a lot of players continue to play through their adolescence and teen years because it’s “simply what they do, and have always done.” And not necessarily because the love and drive of the game is what is fueling them to go to the rink everyday.

Or, they keep telling themselves that they want to play on that high level team, when in reality, they simply enjoy playing the game but don’t have the drive or desire to put in the necessary work to truly enjoy the experience.

The truth is, the higher in hockey you go, the more commitment, time, and sacrifice that it takes to be a part of it.

I think too often we don’t ask ourselves that simple question, and instead, just keep following our old routine, or trying to make our parents happy, or continue playing because that’s what our friends are doing.

The reality is, if your heart isn’t in it, then why are you doing it?

There’s no shame in coming to the realization that you don’t want to commit a huge chunk of your time, effort, and energy into something that your heart just isn’t passionate about.

That also doesn’t mean that you don’t still enjoy the game. It simply means that different areas of your life you are prioritizing more. And like I said above, that’s ok.

So I ask all of you to take a second and ask yourself the simple question, do you actually want to do this?

And if you do, then great that’s awesome. Keep grinding away and pursuing your dreams and committing to your team and teammates.

But if you don’t, that’s ok too.

And if you want to keep playing hockey, that’s awesome and I hope you find a level and team that meets your commitment level.

Because we should never feel pressured to play on a team where our heart isn’t in it.

The game is meant to be fun.

If you don’t want to commit to multiple practices, workouts, meetings, and games every week then don’t do it.

Ultimately, figure out what you want and find a situation that’s right for you.

The Mental Battle All Hockey Players Face

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Be honest with yourself, have you ever felt like you were going to lose before you even played the game?

I’m guessing that if you’re being completely honest with yourself, then everyone reading this will be able to answer ‘yes’.

Isn’t it crazy the mind games we play with ourselves from time to time?

Whether we look at the team we’re playing and assume they’re better, or maybe we’ve lost to them in the past, or maybe we know some of the players on the other team and know how talented they are, or maybe it’s just that they’re physically bigger…

Whatever it may be, we’ve all played the mental battle with ourselves and put ourselves behind the ball before the game even starts.

It’s amazing to me as a coach how often I see this and how much this truly dictates the outcome of the game.

I’m a firm believer that if you go into a situation expecting to lose, or fail, you’re probably going to.

However, on the flip side, if you go into the situation knowing, and expecting, to win you’re already ahead of the curve.

I’ve been fortunate enough over the years to coach some very good, and successful, hockey teams.

When people ask me about what made those teams different, this is usually one thing that I always bring up right away. Those teams had the confidence, and swagger, to walk into the rink every night knowing and expecting to win.

They didn’t care who we were playing, they looked at it as that team had to come play us.

It truly played to our advantage.

You could sense, and see the intimidation on the opposing teams in warmups and that only added to our teams confidence.

In fact, I used to talk with my assistant coaches about how you could tell what type of game it was going to be that night depending how the other team showed up to the rink.

You could get a sense if they were focused, excited, and ready for the challenge, or, if they were just there because they had to and hoping to survive the next few hours.

It always amazes me how the mind tricks we play on ourselves really effects so much in our performance.

So what do you do with all this?

First off, don’t beat yourself before you even get started. Hockey, and life, is a competitive venture where realistically you’re not going to win every night. But, if you go in without the expectation of winning, you’re almost always guaranteeing your outcome.

Rise up to the challenge. If you’re playing a great team, visualize the victory. Know in your heart that you’re going to leave it all on the ice, and remember, that’s why we play the game. Think of all the amazing underdog stories you’ve heard about in sports throughout your life. Why did those happen? Because a team of people came together with the belief that they would be able to create greatness for that night.

Be prepared. It sounds simple, but it’s so true. Control the things that are in your power to control and make sure that you’re doing everything in your power to give you the best chance at being successful. Know that it won’t be easy, but challenging and pushing our limits is what makes us grow and get better.


On the flip side, if you’re a great team use that confidence to your advantage. Have a great warmup, start quick, and don’t give teams lacking confidence a chance to recover and think they have a chance.

Remember that your mind is an incredibly powerful tool.

It can be used to help you, or hurt you.

Make sure that it’s helping prepare you for the challenges you face and always go into every battle with the optimism that greatness is going to happen in your favor.

So to sum everything up in one statement, don’t beat yourself before the game even starts.

Why You Should Take A Break

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I recently wrote about the importance of taking some time for self reflection during the season.

It’s important to take a step back and give yourself an honest assessment of how the season is going so far.

What is working?

What isn’t working and can be improved up?

While this is an incredibly valuable exercise to follow through with, there’s also another component that is incredibly valuable for success.

Taking a break.

While it sounds simple in theory, I think for some players and coaches, it’s a tough task to follow through with (myself included).

The truth is we all need to take breaks during the year where we forget about hockey for a day or two during the season.

Spend time with your family and friends and get out and experience life outside of hockey (yes, such a thing does exist, haha).

It’s important that we all do things like this for a couple reasons.

  1. It’s a way to clear your mind from the stresses that come with playing a competitive sport. For players, there’s the rigors of workouts, practices, and games. And on top of that there’s the mental strain of making sure that you’re ready to play and perform on a day to day basis. For coaches, it’s a way to escape the daily challenges of managing 20 plus players and personalities on a day to day basis. To go along with managing the scheduling and performance of your team.

  2. It allows you to change the routine and gain some perspective on the game. We’ve all heard the saying that “distance makes the heart grow fonder?” The same is true with hockey. It’s amazing what a few days away from the rink will do for you. For many, you’ll start to miss the rink and the routine after a few days and by the time you need to get back to work, your reinvigorated and can’t wait to get back on the ice and get back around your team.

So as the Christmas holiday rolls around, I hope you all get to take a brief break from hockey and spend some quality time away from the game.

Don’t worry, you’re not going to miss out or fall behind from taking a few days off.

If anything, you’ll come back with a new sense of energy and excitement after the holidays, and honestly, that’s incredibly valuable to a team.

So enjoy time with your family and friends and make 2019 the best year yet.

P.S. As a way of practicing what I preach, I will be taking the entire next week off from posting. I wish you all a happy and healthy holiday season and can’t thank you enough for the continued support of the past year.