April 2019 Newsletter
As an advisor I deal with hockey players who go through many highs and lows throughout their careers. There are the highs of getting drafted into the CHL or committing to an NCAA college, but there are also the lows of getting passed over in a draft or getting released from a team.
The highs are great. Our morale is always high when we reap the rewards of hard work, dedication and God-given talent. It’s in these moments when we build up the confidence to dream big.
But the lows can be defeating. It’s in the lows when we question if it’s worth it to keep on going? It’s in these moments when we can see our dreams slipping away.
I’ve had numerous players question whether they should continue to play hockey after getting passed over in a CHL draft or getting cut from a Junior A team. I always tell them that hockey is a marathon not a sprint. You have to battle through the lows in order to reach the highs.
Do not allow your lows to define your hockey career. Let how you overcame your lows define your hockey career.
What if Jarome Iginla quit hockey after he was passed over in the WHL bantam draft? What if Dustin Tokarski quit hockey when he didn’t make AAA midget as a 15-year-old? I could go on and on.
Do not quit when it gets hard. Quitters do not win and winners do not quit.
Block out the noise
The thing about life is there are always critics who will tell you that you won’t, can’t or shouldn’t. The reason is often because they didn’t, wouldn’t or couldn’t. It has nothing to do with you and everything to do with their jaded mindsets.
Don’t let other people define you or determine your potential. A person’s potential is defined by their own mindset and is always shifting in one direction or another. No one has the right to tell you where you are going and what you are going to do when you get there.
It’s important to block out the noise while staying focused on your goal. You can’t care what other people think of you if you want to accomplish great feats. People who accomplish great feats in life don’t look for affirmation from their peers.
Our words matter. We can’t control what other people say about us, but we can control what we say about ourselves.
We need to speak with confidence and have a mindset of “I Can” not “I Can’t.” The reality of life is people with a “I can mindset” often can and the people with a “I Can’t mindset” never can.
The mind controls the body. We need a strong mindset in order for our body to carry out what we want to accomplish.
House League to WHL
I’ll end this newsletter with a true story about my cousin, Clarke. Not much came easy for Clarke, but yet at age 28 he is playing professional hockey in Germany while most of his peers hung up their skates almost a decade ago.
At age 15, Clarke was playing house league hockey. He skated circles around everybody, but played house league hockey nonetheless.
The following year he tried out for his hometown’s AAA midget team and was told he might not make the team even though he dominated the spring camp. He didn’t allow the coach’s opinion or words defeat him, though. He decided to try out for another AAA organization and went on to make the team.
The story doesn’t end there. That year Clarke led his AAA team in scoring and was listed by a WHL team. He went on to play in the WHL as a 17-year-old.
Let that sink in. He went from house league hockey to the WHL in a matter of 18 months.
Why? He didn’t quit nor did he allow other people to define his potential. His hard work, determination and persistence silenced his critics.