It took me a long time to realize this, but there is a huge difference between taking action and just going through the motions.
From a hockey perspective, I think this concept totally fits.
How many of you have talked about all the things that you want to happen in your hockey career?
In other words, how many of you have sat down and talked about things like "being stronger and in better shape for next season by working out 5 days a week" or "if I stick handle for 15 minutes a day I'll become more confident with the puck" or "I'm going to shoot 100 extra pucks a day so I can score more goals next season".
If we're really being honest with ourselves then I would bet we've all heard things like that said before. Either we've said them our self, or your son or daughter or players we coach have all told us this.
Now, I'm not here to be negative in this post, because the positive is that at least you're starting to think about those things and are realizing that there is more you can be doing to get better. But, this is where going through the motions, compared to taking action really steps in.
How many of you have said things like that, but then never fully followed through?
I know this is on the internet but I would hope you all are being honest and raising your hand. I know I am.
The truth is, we've all been there and done that before. We've all had moments of clarity and motivation where we map out the things we want to do.
But then what happens is that the next day rolls around and we maybe don't feel quite as motivated, or we didn't sleep as well as normal the night before, or we need to go on YouTube and watch videos about the best way to set up a shooting lane in our basement...
I hope you're starting to see the point that I'm making...
It's really easy to make these grand plans about the things we want to do, but it's really hard to just start.
And if I've learned anything over the past 32 years, it's that nothing is ever perfect and if you can take action, and start, you're already ahead of 90% of everyone else.
I'll never forget a conversation I had with a player a couple of summers ago where he talked to me about wanting to work on his stickhandling and shooting everyday over the summer.
After that conversation, I remember him leaving excited and motivated about his possible improvement over the course of the summer.
When I saw him the next week, I asked him how his training at home was going. His response was exactly what I'm talking about here. To paraphrase, he said: "Well, I haven't started yet, because I'm waiting for one of those Green Biscuit stickhandling pucks to arrive that I ordered online, and I haven't started shooting pucks yet because I only have 5 or 10 pucks at my house, but this guy my dad knows said he has a big bucket of pucks that we can have. So whenever my dad sees him and I get the bucket, then I can start shooting. But hopefully I'll get started this week."
Like I said before, I'm not trying to be overly critical in this article. But, that paragraph above is the perfect example of what so many of us do...most of the time without even realizing it. We're in motion, but not actually taking action.
Making plans are great, but executing is where the real difference is made.
The only way to ever actually get results is through taking action. It doesn't have to be perfect and changes, and pivots, can be made along the way. But usually, the biggest hurdle is to simply get started.
If you can start taking action, stay consistent, and continue to work hard there's no way that you're not going to get better.
So the next time you sit down and think about what you want to achieve next with your hockey career, or life in general, start with figuring out what the quickest way to take action is going to be and start there.
Hard work and determination don't care what kind of stick you have, or what kind of fancy training tool you're looking to get.
Trust me, if you start taking action you'll see results.
Do you ever find yourself trying to make the perfect plan instead of just taking action? Comment below and let me know what you think.