I know that I have been focusing a lot in recent blogs about summer training. That is because I feel strongly that young players need to focus not so much on ‘showcase’ and ‘exposure’ events but on developing as players and people. So here is one more!
“It’s a sad man my friend who’s living in his own skin and can’t stand the company….”
Bruce Springsteen-Better Days
One of the best techniques that many pro athletes cite when asked what makes them successful is one of ‘focused daily improvement’.
Sounds simple enough.
But think about it. If it were so simple wouldn’t more people demonstrate it? If you were to ask yourself at the end of every day, “Did I do something today to become a better hockey player and person today?” what would you answer? If you can answer yes, then I bet you are comfortable in your own skin. I bet you feel successful.
Legendary basketball coach John Wooden is famous for his quote, “Success is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to become the best you are capable of becoming.”
The thing that a lot of people miss is that every day is a training day. You may not be scheduled for a physical workout or you may be tired and your body needs rest. But there are always things you can do to improve. Thie internet is a fantastic resource to get content and self improvement information…. for free. Read. Read about sports greats. Read about great people. Learn. Visualize. Watch game footage of some great players from the past. Watch highlights from NHL GameCenter. Set goals…….Do something to get better.
“Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.” Will Rogers, Actor & humorist
You can even be hurt and not able to do anything physically and still get better. There is a link to an article posted below that features Sydney Crosby and his battle with injuries. The amazing thing that I took away from that article is that every time he has been hurt and missed significant time, he has come back a better player……His points per game improve every time he is out for a while. He is not playing but he manages to get better. Crosby is one of the greatest players in the game because he pushes to make himself better…..even when he is not playing. Check out the link when you have a chance.
There are approximately 166 days until September 15th, 2014. Think about if you improve on something, anything, each and every day…….The result will be one improved player and person, without question.
“When I’d get tired and want to stop, I’d wonder what my next opponent was doing. I’d wonder if he was still working out. I’d tried to visualize him. When I could see him working, I’d start pushing myself. When I could see him in the shower, I’d push myself harder.”
Dan Gable, Olympic Gold medal wrestler and NCAA champion wrestling coach from Iowa. The Edge, Howard Ferguson.
It is no secret that Tiger Woods has an insane work ethic. He is known to stay on the range for hours after everyone else has gone home hitting balls. But one thing that a lot of people don’t realize is that Tiger also studies the game and history of golf like no one else. When he is not physically training, he is mentally training. He has said in interviews that he knows the exact spot from where Jack Nicklaus hit every shot from during the 1986 Masters that Jack won. He also knows what club he hit…….Tiger was 9 years old in 1986. He said he watched every piece of video footage he could find of the winners of the Masters and when he got to Augusta as a pro at age 21, he won the tournament by a record 12 shots. He said he knew exactly how to win there because of what he had seen already.
Tiger studied greatness.
“Make each day your Masterpiece.” Coach Wooden
You cannot change yesterday, and a better tomorrow will be the result of what you do today.
Great Video on Michael Jordan and his focus when training.
Perfection is a goal that can never be reached but that is what you have to pursue. Work tirelessly to improve. Remember, the uphill climb is slow; the downhill road is fast. The quality of your effort counts most.
Make it a goal that for the next 166 days you are going to ask yourself what you did to get better before you go to sleep each night and most importantly……what are you going to do to
Strive for ‘Better Days’……
(you knew I couldn’t finish without a Springsteen reference. The young guys will get it….someday. 🙂 )