April 11, 2019 12:34 am
Often times you’ll hear the word “grit” get thrown around. It can vary in meaning based on the circumstances. But, what does it really mean? I like to think of it as:
Made up of hustle, passion, and perseverance.
Grit encompasses a player’s ability to “find a way”. Grit can be physical, just as much as it can be mental. Some will say grit is a character trait ~ you either have it or you don’t… Sure, that can be true for some. However, I would also argue that grit is a skill, and like all skills, it can be learned, and improved upon over time. Regardless of how you choose to view someone’s grit, it’s essential. Not only in hockey, but in life!
Always be on the hustle. Never lose the passion. Persevere no matter what!
March 25, 2019 1:49 am
There’s no better time than the present to sit down and write down your off-season goals. As we move into the spring, what a perfect time to constructively criticize your game and create plan of attack on how you’re going to improve and take your game to the next level! Visualize your goals into existence. Start with a few simple, short terms goals that will build your confidence and generate some momentum. Then target your larger, long-term objectives which are months on the horizon!
Remember, a goal without a plan is just a wish!
February 26, 2019 9:15 pm
Being a “bubble” player… To the many young players living in the bubble, rest assured, you’re not alone. I spent many of my formidable years in this frustrating space – being good, but often times falling short of the end goal. Here’s some key concepts that will help burst that bubble and lead to future successes.
- No matter what, there can never be any quit! Every NO, gets you that much closer to the YES you’re looking for! Valuable lessons are learned with falling short of your goals!
- Jump off the page
- You MUST compete with an extremely high level of desperation! Make a panel of evaluators say, “Wow, who’s that?”OR “We love that kid’s heart and hustle!”
- Find Your Role
- An extension of “Being A Swiss Army Knife”… What role or series of contributions can you make to a specific team that will make you a desired player?
Looking back on my career, life in the bubble (where I spent A LOT of time) was the best thing for me – I’d take that over life on “easy street” any day! The adversity shaped my character and put the growth of my mental toughness into hyper drive!
February 14, 2019 1:06 am
Being a Swiss Army Knife – The ultimate compliment!Simply, this is a player’s ability to carry and excel at many skills. Sure, being very good at specific traits helps catch an early eye… However, the players that stand the test of time in their careers and ultimately “make it”,are the ones who have the capacity to bring many quality traits to the table at the same time that better their team. These (positive) shape shifting, utility players are ready and able to contribute however they’re called upon.
Swiss Army Knife Players are…
- Good at a number of skills. Versus only dominating one or two.
- Not hung up on what role they play on that team.
- Great teammates. Prioritizing how they can help the team.
- They can do a little bit of everything!
- Necessary on every successful roster.
Swiss Army Knife Player are NOT…
- Worried about their “role” or “place” on a team.
- Single skill focused.
Sure, every team can use a star… Never forget for every star on a team there’s 2-3 Swiss Army knife players that fly under the radar, that are an invaluable piece to that team’s success!
January 31, 2019 3:49 am
One of the greatest tip’s I wish I could go back and tell my younger self: Enjoy the ride! Hard to believe we’re rounding out the final month of the season. Rest assured the upcoming tryouts, (all that go into those; good and bad) and future opportunities are on their way… But, before you punch the gas to the finish line, take a moment to let the gratitude of this year’s experiences soak in! All the hard work your athlete and their teammates have put in! Some of the great families you’ve shared memories with this year! The highs, the lows and everything in between…
Speaking from the heart on my experience, the ride was 10x greater than any destination I ever arrived at! Here’s to a great final month of the season! Make it count!!!
January 14, 2019 5:08 pm
Let’s face it… Hockey gear can flat out stink! I used to love the negative comments made by friends and family about my hockey aroma. I would always respond with a simple, “that’s the smell of hard work and commitment, You’re Welcome!”
Here’s some great tips that will go a long way in preventing long term nasal damage from your athlete’s hard work and commitment:
- Wash the “Soft Gear”
- Little known fact: The majority of your hockey gear can go in the washing machine. Of course, underwear gets the regular wash…
- Gloves – Elbow pads – Shin pad liners – Shoulder Pads can be washed on a gentle setting using warm water with little to no detergent.
- NEVER USE THE DRYER, simply hang to air dry.
- Disinfect the “Hard Gear”
- Items that missed out on the bath get the regular disinfectant shower: Helmet – Skates – Pants
- AIR IT OUT
- Be sure your athlete is hanging their gear so it fully dries! Fun fact: removing the insoles of your skates greatly increases the longevity and durability of your skates, plus greatly aides in killing bacteria!
Here’s to a stink-free hockey future!
December 3, 2018 3:46 pm
One of the many incredible “life skills” hockey teaches us, is leadership. As we know there’s many types of leadership; from the vocal captain encouraging teammates, to the silent, more reserved player just consistently going about their business in order to help team success. Leaders do not have to be Captains, or the most talented player on the team. Anyone and everyone has the opportunity to take steps to becoming a leader! Leadership ultimately comes from a few simple acts:
- Whether you’re up on the bench shouting words of encouragement, or you’re quietly putting in the work. Leadership always starts with the DOING!
- The absolute BEST leaders are the most accountable players on the team. You’ve got to put in the work and be a role model with your actions.
Remember leadership never ends! Take the same desire to lead from the ice and locker room and apply it everywhere; the classroom, your nutrition and off-ice preparation habits, even among other social groups or amongst siblings!
November 13, 2018 4:49 pm
Feeling frustrated is inevitable. Throughout your hockey journey the root itself may change from season to season, however, dealing with frustrations and setbacks is one of the unique, challenging keys to team success. As hard as this concept is to fully appreciate, remember frustration means you care – which is a great thing!
With frustration always comes action! Embrace the frustration, then from that motivated state of mind, think of one immediate step you can take in a positive direction. Working harder, communicating clearer, acting more selfless, etc. We all make the choice to either let challenging times bring us down – OR – reveal what our true character holds!
We can’t wait to watch you take your challenging times and make them in to positive turning points for your future!!!
November 1, 2018 5:42 pm
Is your athlete growing like a weed! Rest assured you’re not alone! With some prime holiday shopping opportunities right around the corner, here’s some simple, helpful reminders when sizing up replacement equipment.
- Once you’ve determined your preferred brand/pattern. Prioritize a stick’s flex. When your athlete leans on it, make sure it bends. When cutting it down to size think “chin to nose” in skates as a rough measuring stick! I always think top lip is a good guide.
- As painful as this big expense can be… Skates are the most important part of the equation. You don’t need to buy top of the line… BUT, whatever skates you do select for your all-star they need to fit appropriately otherwise agility and stride quality are greatly compromised. Your athlete should be able to wiggle their toes in their skate, and very gently feel the inside tip of the toe cap with their big toe. Remove the insole and have them stand up in their socks. You should see about a half inch of space at the end of the insole.
- Protective Gear
- Pants – should be right about knee cap to the top of the knee.
- Shoulder pads – should be form fitting, but avoid going too large as this will greatly hinder stick control and limit upper body movement.
- Elbow pads – should fully cover the elbow and go to mid upper arm and mid forearm. Often times you’ll find better luck looking for an elbow pad that’s a 2-part construction along the under arm, versus a 3-part construction with a moving cap just on the elbow.
- Shin pads – Be sure there’s no major space from the bottom of the shin guard to the top cuff of the skate.
Best of luck in the equipment search! Remember, especially for the younger athletes out there, saving a few dollars here and there with recycling gently used gear is always a great play!
October 18, 2018 2:58 pm
Fall is in the air – leaves are changing, the days are cooler, the mornings are darker. All of which means one thing… Hockey season is HERE! As we embark on the 2018-19 season here’s some great tips on being your athlete’s #1 Fan!
- Positive Support
- Your athlete NEEDS constructive, positive support and suggestions. NOT, negative criticisms. Remember they already have a coach in the rink. They don’t always need another one in the car or at home…
- Find the Home & Hockey Balance
- It can be positive to talk hockey to and from the rink in moderation. However, be sure to find the balance! There is such a thing as hockey overdose! Setting up non-hockey extracurricular activities and experiences is always a good thing!
- Manage the Tough Love
- Demand that your athlete works hard, competes, is coachable, etc. However, once you’ve checked those boxes, be sure to check the next boxes of; Is my athlete making mistakes? Is he/she learning from those mistakes? Are we enjoying what we’re doing?
Here’s to an exciting, rewarding 2018-19 season!!!