The One Thing Every Hockey Player Should Be Working On Everyday
As I said in a few of the past blog posts, I don't want all the posts to be strictly about the business behind Boost Hockey. While I'm sure that's interesting to a few of you, I think talking about hockey, coaching, and developing players is also an interesting thing to discuss.
It's interesting to me how often I get asked by players or parents or even other coaches what a certain player should be working on. I usually find myself giving the same answer. And that answer, I think, usually throws people off (or at least they give me a bit of a confused look).
I'm a big believer that players need to be working on becoming consistent. I talk to my team at least on a weekly basis, if not more, that if they want to be good hockey players they need to become consistent hockey players.
I think way to many players focus all their time and effort on working on a specific skill, like stickhandling or shooting. Sure these are vital tools to have in order to be a successful hockey player, but I can tell you I have never picked a player for a team (or not picked a player) because of one of these skills. While I know every coach is different, and some people may disagree with me on this (which is fine), I 100% stand behind this and know a lot of other coaches out there would agree with this too.
The best players in the world are that way because they're consistent. Sure they have amazing talent and create highlight reel plays, but that's not why they are the best players in the world. They're the best players because they know how to show up every night and be an asset to their team and be productive in some way. And that doesn't always means scoring goals or putting up points.
In fact, to me, it's on those nights that those players truly distance themselves from everyone else in the world. It's on those nights where the average hockey fan would think they had an 'off' night when really they still made a bunch of little plays that helped their team and teammates be successful.
So that brings up the obvious question, how do I become consistent?
Some people might be surprised to read this, but to me, the answer is very simple and comes down to only two things.
1. Work your ass off everyday.
2. Give a shit about what you're doing.
That literally is it.
I promise you that if you can do those two things, you will become a consistent hockey player. Or really, you'll become consistent about anything you want in life if you follow those two rules.
Number one seems simple and is something we probably all talk about everyday. Working hard. But how many of us really know what it is to work hard and truly work your ass off everyday?
What are you doing when no one is watching you?
I know that last sentence is cliche and you can google that quote and see a hundred different images with that plastered all over it, but it's true.
I think way to often hockey players (and people in general) want to almost convince themselves that they're actually working hard...deep down they know that they aren't or they know they could be doing more.
Learn to be honest with yourself. Remember, no one is perfect and we all screw up from time to time, but have the accountability to be honest with yourself and hold yourself to a higher standard.
If you want to be a better hockey player then work your ass off. And I mean really work your ass off...none of that fake BS that you might be trying to convince yourself of.
Number two also seems pretty simple and straightforward.
If you want to be consistent you have to care.
And I mean genuinely care.
I don't mean that you just try and say the right things and convince yourself and everyone else that you care. I mean that deep down in your soul, whatever it takes, put the team first and all my personal wants and desires on the back burner type of caring.
I believe this to be true for anything in life, hockey obviously included: if your heart is not 100% in it, you'll never be fully successful.
You've probably noticed, or maybe you haven't, that both things require no talent or special skill set. They both are a mindset.
So the advice I give to any hockey player who wants to play at the next level, or just get better is simple: become more consistent.
I promise that if you can learn to work your ass off everyday, and you truly care about what you're doing, you'll not only become consistent but you'll also be successful.
For me, it's never about the talent. I think I know this because I've learned over the years that talent is something that comes and goes and doesn't solely make great players.
The best players always turn out to be the most consistent players.
So if you take a step back and ask yourself those two simple questions, would you be able to characterize yourself as a consistent hockey player?
Let me know what you guys think about this and if you agree or disagree. You can leave a comment below or send me an email with what you think. Also, if you enjoy these types of blogs let me know that too.
Until Thursday...keep grinding.