How many of you have ever used the excuse, "I'm tired today?"
I'm sure we all have at one time or another. And hockey is no different.
There are days when you aren't as excited to be at the rink, or you don't want to be there at all for that matter, but, you know you still have to be there.
You made the commitment and you know that simply not showing up is not an option.
We've all been there. Even the people who love the game the most have days where they feel like they want a break.
So if we catch ourselves in one of those moods, how do we deal with it? How do we still contribute something to the team and make it a productive day?
Over the years, being involved in the game as a player and a coach, I really think it comes down to one thing.
I think that the attitude you bring into the rink is over half the battle.
Maybe you are a little tired, or maybe you had a long day at school or work, or maybe you just don't want to get on the ice that day... Whatever your reason is, your attitude holds the key.
If you go into a situation in hockey, or life, with a bad attitude, I bet at least 9 times out of 10 you're going to have a disappointing experience. (And, really that number is probably closer to 10 out of 10). But, if you can find a purpose and flip your attitude around, more often then not, you'll have a positive outcome.
Honestly, I bet if we all sit back and think about it, we can remember a time when we didn't want to pack up our stuff and head to the rink. But we did anyway, and once we were there, and got on the ice, we had a great time.
I know I have.
And, I feel like by the end of those days that's when I was always most thankful that I had hockey.
So how do we fix our attitude when we get into one of those moods?
I think the first, and most important, aspect is to gain some perspective.
If you've read a lot of this blog before, you know that I'm a huge believer in the power of perspective and all that it can bring to your hockey career, and life.
Think about the reasons why you play the game and try to name a few things that you truly love about it.
Think about how fortunate you are to even be able to play hockey. Be thankful for your health. Be thankful for the opportunity that you have to be on a team, and to participate in a game with (most likely) a lot of your friends.
There are so many different things that we can be thankful for when it comes to hockey.
Often, we all just need a little reminder of how lucky we are.
It's really just a matter of our perspective on the situation. If you have a good attitude, challenges will appear as opportunities, not obstacles.
The other cool thing is that attitude becomes contagious. A good attitude can inspire, motivate, and pick up teammates around you. While a bad attitude can do the opposite.
So if you think about, simply having a good attitude everyday at the rink is contributing to your team in a positive way.
If I can give any advice to a player who's questioning why they're heading to the rink, take 5 minutes and really think about how much you have to be thankful for.
The game of hockey will give you so much.
Learn to appreciate it, and make the most of every time you get to step on that ice.