I know that a big topic for this blog has been all about opportunity.
Seizing the opportunity, making sure you're ready for your opportunity, and having the perspective and mindset to realize all the different opportunities that present themselves.
With that in mind, the way we think about things can make all the difference.
Something as simple as one word can really change everything.
I have talked about it with teams and players that I have worked with over the years.
Having to practice versus getting to practice.
It's essentially saying the same thing (you have practice) but, isn't it amazing how one word can change the entire feeling of the action?
As a player, if you show up to practice with the attitude, or mindset, that you have to be there, are you really allowing yourself the opportunity to be at your best?
I think we would all agree that you wouldn't.
Having that mindset has the connotation of a negative feeling. A feeling of being forced to do something.
If you really love the game, are a competitor, and playing for the right reasons then you should never feel like you have to be at practice.
On the flip side, if you change that one word and go into practice with the attitude of you get to practice, doesn't that just have a better feel?
It's a feeling of optimism. It's seizing the opportunity.
It's that feeling of gratitude to work at your craft and continue to grow your skills, work ethic, and for most players, spend time having fun with your buddies.
While we all go through slumps and lulls in the season, I think it's good to have a little reminder from time to time. A reminder of how lucky we are to play, and be a part of, this game.
So if you catch yourself thinking about how you have to go to the rink, it's time to take a step back and make sure that you're still playing (or being a part of it) for the right reasons.