I spend a lot of time on the internet.
Much of that time is dedicated to answering emails and researching ways that I can help you become a better hockey player.
Over time, I have identified a common theme in many of the conversations I have, and emails I receive, from players across North America.
Some players express frustration with not being where they think they should be.
It might be where they fit in the lineup, how much ice time they are getting, or how many offers from scouts they are receiving. Drafts...Tenders....Trades...
I completely understand, because I too was in your shoes many years ago, trying to break through and advance my career.
But some players allow their perceived lack of success to affect their mindset. They put the cart before the horse.
Instead of just focusing on continual progress and improvement, they let negativity, frustration and entitlement creep into their mind.
They become distracted by things that are out of their control.
It affects their confidence, their consistency, and ultimately their play.
And a distracted player will simply not perform to his or her ability.
It brings me back to my own college hockey days.
I arrived on campus with high hopes and big expectations.
It was an exciting time and I couldn’t wait to start my freshman season.
Unfortunately for me, I spent the first 15 games in the press box.
I wanted to get in the lineup so bad but it became clear very quickly that it wasn’t just going to be handed to me.
I was going to have to earn it.
I battled everyday at practice.
I stayed out late and worked on my weaknesses.
I thought I was doing everything that was asked of me.
And still I sat.
It was a huge adjustment for me.
I was used to being the top dog where I came from.
Now I was on a team full of guys who were top dogs where they came from too.
I was far from home, working my tail off and not even in the lineup for games.
When the team was on the road, I was one of a handful of guys not making the trip.
I was frustrated.
I even entertained the thought of quitting.
But I stuck it out.
In spite of my circumstances, I believed in myself.
In spite of my internal feelings and the mental battle being waged in my mind, I continued to show up and compete.