I think it’s easy to say that certain people are born with special talents and abilities.
It’s also easy to tell yourself that you’re not one of those people.
I think hockey players can fall into this same way of thinking.
That certain players were born to play the game because of their size, hand eye coordination, or natural speed.
But, I don’t believe that to be totally true.
The truth is, I think we’re all born with unique natural strengths and weaknesses and it’s our job to develop and work at them to be great.
Sidney Crosby is always a great example for this because I feel like the phrase ‘he was born to play hockey’ gets used a lot on him.
And while I completely agree that he has some amazing natural abilities, I don’t think that is the reason he is so great.
People talk about the size and strength of his legs and core, his vision and instinct for the game, and his amazing hand eye coordination and skill. And while all of those are true and amazing, he wasn’t just born with most of them.
I will give you that the way his brain processes the game is at a higher level than most. Just like for an expert accountant, they might be able to analyze a Profit/Loss sheet quicker and more intelligently than most. It just makes sense to them and I will agree that that is an advantage.
But, if you look at everything else, it comes down to his hard work, sacrifice, commitment to his craft, and his drive and desire to be the best.
That ultimately is where his greatness comes from.
And I personally think that is why greatness is a choice.
I think we’re all born with a set skills.
What we choose to do with them is up to us and ultimately determines our level of greatness.
From a hockey standpoint, how great do you want to be?
What are you willing to sacrifice?
How hard are you willing to work?
What kind of pain, suffering, and heartache are you willing to go through to get what you want?
I think these are the real questions that we all need to ask ourselves.
It’s easy to say that someone else is faster than you. Or it’s easy to say that someone else handles and shoots the puck better than you.
It’s easy to make those excuses and chalk it up to that player is just naturally better.
Instead, I challenge you to think about it the other way.
If you want to be a better skater, then ask yourself the questions above.
How great of a skater do you want to be?
What are you willing to sacrifice in order to be a great skater?
How hard are you willing to work to improve your skating?
And, are you ready to go through the pain, suffering, and disappointment that will inevitably come along the way on the journey to improve your skating?
Those are the questions you need to be asking yourself.
Crosby didn’t just become the best player in the world. He WORKED to become the best player in the world.
I guarantee he’s sacrificed a ton to get where he’s at.
And that doesn’t mean that every player is destined to play in the NHL, but every player has some level of greatness in them. It simply comes down to how bad you’re willing to work to find out what it is.
So stop comparing yourself to everyone else and thinking about the things you don’t have. Instead, start focusing on all the amazing things you DO have.