Ever have a tough hockey season?
I know I have.
I had a few as a player where we only won a few games all season. That was tough. It was tough some days to find the motivation to come to the rink. It was tough during those seasons to stay positive and find the good in the situation.
So naturally it begs the question of why when things get so tough does it become so easy to turn negative?
I think the answer is actually incredibly simple... it's easy.
Think about it for a minute, it’s easy to find an excuse and blame someone or something when things aren’t going the way you want.
In hockey, when things are tough for a player it’s easy to blame the coach or your teammates.
In college, I remember thinking to myself at times, "if the coach only gave me more ice time, or if so and so player would work harder and be more committed then we'd win more games, or if the coach would switch the style that we were playing and try something else..."
Looking back at it now, that was trying to take the easy way out.
Luckily for me, I realized at a fairly young age that excuses won't get you very far in life and hockey. If you want things to change you had better be willing to work your way out of it.
The only real way to make it through a tough season is to commit yourself even more to your cause and continue to scratch and claw until you get back to where you want to be.
Find the positive in a situation. No matter how small and minuscule it may be, I'm convinced that theres always some sort of positive or learning lesson that can be taken out of every situation. If you start to focus on those instead of the negative, things can start to change.
For me, one of my turning points came when I started to remember how fortunate I was to be playing NCAA hockey with an awesome group of players and getting a first class education and college experience in the process. When you look at it that way things could have definitely been a lot worse...
For me, the moral of this post is to find the opportunity in every situation.
That's really something I have tried to embrace the past few years. I feel like every year I get a bit older and the more I realize that we are faced with different opportunities everyday and what we do with those opportunities is what ultimately will develop and define us.
Everyday hockey presents itself with all sorts of opportunities. If things aren't going the way you want, don't dwell on the negative. Have some perspective and maturity to either find a positive or learn from the obstacles you're facing and commit to becoming better because of them.
As hockey players and people we always have a choice...we can be part of the problem or we can choose to be part of the solution.
What will you choose?