3 Habits the Most Successful Hockey Players Share

I hope you all had a great weekend!  Here in Ontario it is “Family Day” weekend.  I always forget about Family Day because it is one of those new, kind of random holidays because people wanted an extra day off in the winter.  As a result of my forgetfulness I always end up working on Family Day.  I wish they would either rename it Terry Fox Day or something like that to commemorate a Canadian hero or perhaps make Remembrance Day a stat holiday.  But, no one asked me so here we are with Family Day (not that I don’t love my family – I just don’t need a day off work to remember that I love them).  Okay, on to the topic of the day…

If you look at the top players in elite leagues you see some similarities.  I am including elite leagues because let’s face it we have all seen the 6’2” 195lb 14 year old who dominates their league because they are 8” taller and 75lbs heavier than everyone else.  It is more a factor of genetics than habits or skill.

If we look at an elite league where everyone has good enough genetics, everyone has good enough skill, what will differentiate the great ones from the average or below average players?  Here are the top three based on my observations:

1. They stay positive and worry about what they can control.  You don’t often see them complaining about the coach, their stick, the refs, the ice, the puck or other players.  Instead they focus on what they need to do to be better and they take action steps everyday to become better.

2. The follow a system.  They don’t leave things to chance – they have a system for game day – when they sleep, what they eat, what time they get to the rink, how they put on their equipment and how they warm up.

In the off-season they don’t just go to the gym and decide what to do, they have a plan.  The best players I train double check their training manuals before leaving the Revolution Studio so they are sure they know what workouts they are responsible for over the weekend.  They are not counting on luck to make them better.  They take action steps and are accountable for their progress.

3.       They love playing hockey.  I have trained a few players who are good players, but somewhere along the line lost their passion for the game.  Practices became work, games were a bore and off-ice training became torture.  They could only keep it up for a while before it just wasn’t worth it anymore and they quit.

The guys who do great and improve every year, simply love to play hockey.  They love to be in the room with the rest of the team and they love to compete on the ice.  Don’t get me wrong, they may not love every minute spent doing their off-ice training with me, but they do it because they know it will help them play the game they love at a higher level.

How do you measure up?  Are you taking action steps every day?  Are you accountable for your progress?  Do you have a system?  What other steps do you think promote success on the ice – leave your tip in the comments section below.