Hockey is an interesting sport.
You take one aspect of skating, which is difficult to master in of itself.
Then you put a stick in your hands and throw a puck on the ice.
Add in 4 teammates, 5 opponents, and a goalie on each side of the ice guarding a 4x6 net.
Now you have a game!
Players skate, check, pass, stickhandle, and shoot all in an effort to put the puck into the opposing teams net more times than the opponent gets it into their own before the clock reaches zero.
Seems pretty simple right?
If you've ever played hockey you know how difficult it can be to do all of those things at one time. (and be good at them!)
Every young hockey player grows up with dreams of playing at the highest level.
Several factors play a role in a players' ability to make it to that level.
Some of those are their hockey skills, hockey smarts (or IQ), genetics, work ethic, environment, opportunities, networking, and in some cases, just pure luck.
If you take a deeper look at what separates most players that do make it and those that don't it comes down to their work ethic.
Is that player willing to work hard (and smart) enough to improve their skills and abilities as a hockey player?
99.9% of the time the players who make it to the next level are the ones who put in the extra work.
They are the ones willing to attend extra skating lessons. (which not many kids want to do because I never did!!)
They are the ones willing to spend a couple of extra hours each week shooting and stickhandling on their own when no one asked them to do it.
They are the ones willing to go above and beyond.
If your goal is to play for a better team next season you should set the expectation that there will be additional work required of you to perform.
Off-ice workouts to increase total body. strength, speed, power, mobility, flexibility, balance, coordination, and conditioning.
Skill development to improve your shot, balance on your edges, puck handling abilities, body control, and overall skating technique.
These are just a couple of examples of what that extra work looks like.
Players who achieve greatness are always the players who are willing to go the extra mile.
They didn't have to be told.
They wanted to.
If you want to make it to the next level, you're going to have to put in the work that's necessary to do so.
This doesn't mean that you have to shoot 500 pucks a day and this doesn't mean that you have to skate everyday in the off-season.
This does mean that you're going to have to identify your weaknesses and improve on them.
If you have a weak shot and are not strength training, you should probably start.
If you aren't a good skater, you should probably seek out a skating coach.
If you can't stickhandle very well, hop on YouTube or Instagram and start with a few stickhandling drills on your own or seek out coaching.
It's important to understand that not every player is going to be successful in their goal of playing at the next level (and that's OK), but if you want to put yourself in the best position to give yourself the opportunity to make it there are certain things that become a requirement.
Knowing there is work to be done is the first step because if you don't put in the work you shouldn't be upset with the results that you don't get.
Let me reiterate that again.
You should not be upset with the results (or lack thereof) you get from the work that you did not do.
If you're reading this and you're not quite sure what that extra work looks like for your situation, reach out to us or someone who may know.
We're always willing to chat with parents, players, and coaches who could use some guidance.
If you're in need of guidance do not hesitate to send us an email or give us a call.
We understand that not every parent played hockey at a high level themselves and some struggle to know if what they are doing is best for their child.
Life is a constant pursuit of ones goals.
In order to achieve those goals it's wise to have a plan and above you else you need to be willing to do the work!