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Daily Dish: Notes to Prospects Junior Hockey News

Published: Wednesday, 7 Aug 2019  
By: Stephen Heisler,

Victorious Hockey is a completely different type of hockey advisory company. With the words character and integrity engraved in our foundation; we offer players and coaches alike the unique opportunity to develop their individual skill-sets with a focus on the human element that's needed for success on, and off, the ice.  

We also believe in staying in constant contact with our players and prospects alike. One of the key components is this weekly email that we hope will deliver a bit of insight and direction.  

Coach Littler asked us to share this information from

“Recalculating…” That’s what the GPS system in your car diplomatically says when you’ve deviated from the set route. What it’s politely refraining from saying is: “Dude, you’re not following the plan.”
Wouldn’t it be nice to have something similar when you get off track en route to your goals – when you’re deviating from your game plan for success? If you had a GPS inside your head, here are the “wrong turns” that would set it off:
“Maybe I should give up.“ That’s what you’re quick to say whenever there’s a setback or things don’t go according to plan: quitting is your default setting. And you rationalize by saying, “I didn’t really want it anyway.”
When you’re mentally tough, you know it’s going to be hard — but it doesn’t matter.
 Your default is set to persevere. Sure, every once in awhile, you may feel like giving up but that feels even worse so you find a way to bounce back.
 As Napoleon Hill said:
 “Persistence is to the character of man as carbon is to steel.”
No surprise, there, I’m sure. From the transparent (“I’m tired,” “I’m too old”) to the desperate (“My organs hurt,” a new one which I came up with the other day in kickboxing class) to the cleverly insidious (“It’s selfish to go for a run instead of cleaning up”), our minds are infinitely creative in coming up with reasons why we can't. But in case you haven’t noticed, there is always something.
When you’re mentally tough, however, you’re so focused on your goal and clear on your priorities that potential excuses don’t even register on your radar.
And when it truly is bitter cold outside or the room is noisy or the meeting time inconvenient, you say: “Great! A chance to prove myself.”
“I don’t feel like it.” “This is boring.” “I’m too upset to concentrate.” When you have a goal, whether you feel like doing what you have to do is irrelevant. Do you think Olympic athletes “feel like” jumping out of a warm bed at 5:30 a.m. every morning to train?
When you’re mentally tough, you feel the emotion and stay in control of your actions.
So you pick up the phone even though you dread a lukewarm response or outright rejection. You listen to criticism from your boss without getting defensive or lashing out. And, most importantly, you learn to shift your focus from the thoughts that perpetuate the negative emotion – “Why do I always screw up?” – to thoughts that feel better like, “I can do this,” or “I’m getting the hang of this.”
“Why can’t I get a break?” “Why does this always happen to me?” Out of control and up against the world – that’s how you feel when you let external circumstances and the opinions of others dictate your feelings.
When you’re mentally tough, you take responsibility for your thoughts and actions, and you make more decisions: how to spend your time, what to focus on, what’s important and what’s not.
It’s natural to get frustrated when results are slow in coming or you keep running into obstacles: “Maybe it’s not meant to be,” you think. Yes, it’s hard to look beyond the reality that’s in your face everyday but that’s exactly what you have to do.
As sports psychologist Jason Selk says, ask yourself: “What’s one thing I could do differently?”
Develop a relentless solutions focus, and don’t take “I don’t know” as an answer.
When you’re heading from one place to another and you make a single wrong turn, you don’t say, “Oh, forget it, I’m never going to get there” and turn back home to the couch. So why would you do it on your journey to success? Get better at recognizing when you’ve gone off track and simply “recalculate” how to get back on.

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Author: Stephen Heisler from
Stephen Heisler has spent a lifetime in the game of hockey. Stephen is also working with individual teams, coaches, and players as a director with Victorious Hockey Company. Stephen, his wife Deysi, and four children reside in Orlando, Florida.

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