It is a simple message but you see it get lost in the shuffle more and more. Athletes and parents often get distracted or so caught up in “making it” that they lose focus on what’s important. The most important part of your child’s development in their sport is that they are enjoying the process. They enjoy going to the rink, going to the gym, seeing their teammates, getting better, playing a game they love. This is so important because there is a really strong chance that your child will not make the NHL. And guess what? That is ok! Less than 1% of hockey players will realize a dream of playing in the NHL. Does that mean that they shouldn’t dream about making it and work hard to get there? Absolutely not! They definitely should! And they should pursue it with all their heart as long as it is their choice and they are enjoying it every step of the way. The pressure of the selection process starts absurdly young. I’ve seen parents and kids devastated that they did not get drafted or selected or noticed at ages in their early to mid-teens. Tons of kids at this age are still developing, all of them at their own speed. We have worked with countless athletes that would be described as late bloomers who were passed over multiple times but now play at NCAA Division 1 schools or different levels of pro hockey. They realized it was not the end of the world, they focused on what they could control, worked hard and enjoyed the process of training in the gym and on the ice, getting better every day and the rest took care of itself. We also have a number of professional hockey players who play in other pro leagues around the world and absolutely love it. There are plenty of options out there for those who focus on and enjoy the process of becoming better. The lessons taught in training far exceed their use solely in the sport as well. Valuable life skills like dedication, teamwork, commitment, selflessness, leadership, and perseverance are taught through the process of training. These skills will benefit an athlete in any endeavour they ever choose to pursue in their lives. The relationships and bonds formed through training, working hard and getting better with other people are some of the strongest friendships that a person will ever develop in their lifetime. Enjoy the process, love the process, be thankful for the opportunity to get better and you will have a level of success that will have a positive impact on your life.
Until next time,
Strength, Courage, Hustle, Commitment