Striving for success is different for each and every person out there. Some may find success in materialistic things; expensive cars, penthouse suites, jewelry. Others may find success in personal accomplishments; quitting smoking, overcoming anxiety, defeating cancer. Success is specifically quantified by what that particular individual acknowledges and accepts as success.
In the hockey world, many people think success means being a superstar. What about just playing a game in the NHL? What about playing semi-professional hockey? What about college hockey, juniors, AAA? The list goes on and on. Each person views success in their own way.
In order to be successful you have to be elite in nature. In your own eyes you have to be at the top of your game and you have to be the best you can be. The tests that you will have to overcome and endure to reach your success will only be completed if you are on the top of your game.
If your intention is to become a NHL superstar, a division one college hockey player, or the leading point producer on your house league team there are a few things you need to consider. These characteristics are what separate the elite and the average players.
The first characteristic to becoming an elite hockey player is intention. Set out a goal and seek to accomplish it. Better yet, choose a large goal or endgame and then create smaller goals that will act as milestones in achieving the endgame. This requires you to collectively gather your thoughts, understand what it takes to reach your goal and then plan for it. You can think of this as the GPS or roadmap to your final destination. Without it, you will be lost.
The second characteristic to becoming an elite hockey player is dedication. You will need to be dedicated in order to stay on your path to success. You will not only need to work hard, on and off the ice, but also be disciplined enough to make the correct choices and steer clear of any ‘potholes’ that may ruin your trip. In order to be elite, your level of dedication has to be nothing short of spot on.
The third characteristic is perseverance. You can only dodge so many obstacles in your path, eventually one is going to creep up on you. Whether that be getting cut from a team, a long-term injury, or something in your personal life, you will have to be determined to fight through it. The easiest way and path of least resistance will almost always hinder your development. It is usually this characteristic that snatches skill development from potential elite players.
The fourth characteristic which encompasses the other three is quite possibly the most overlooked. The first three characteristics, like the whole concept of success is what you choose to make it. The better you understand this and the better you understand yourself, the easier the journey becomes. Understand your own mental strengths and weaknesses.
I am a firm believer that aside from slight genetic characteristics what separates an average person from an elite person is the substance between their ears. It’s the way they intend to do things. It’s how dedicated they really are. It’s why they persevere through obstacles that makes them elite. When they finally reach their goals they have already created and perceived this world in their mind and they are able to perform at an elite level. In their eyes they have achieved success.
What constitutes success in your life and what steps are you going to implement to ensure this becomes a reality?