The best hockey players in the world are made when no one else is watching. They don’t just put in the time and effort when they have to at practice or in games. They do more than any of their teammates because they know that it’s the hard work they put in on their own away from others that puts them ahead of the competition.
It’s easy to give 110 percent effort in a game with your teammates there and your coaches and parents cheering you on. It’s easy to work your butt off at practice when the rest of your teammates are doing the same and the possibility of getting more ice time or a chance to play on the power play might come as a result of all your effort. It’s even easy to get pumped up during an off-ice training session when you can feed off the energy and motivation of your team.
The problem is that most young players think that this is enough to get them to the next level. No one ever became a champion by just doing the EASY stuff. It’s not that all the hard work you put in during the season doesn’t count, but the truth is that champions are made in the offseason. They are made when no one else is looking and when no one is keeping score. They are made with HARD work off the ice.
Champions are the ones working out on their own in the park in June when most players are relaxing their way into summer. They are the ones working on their stickhandling and shooting every night in the basement even when the start of the season is still months away. They are the ones doing the “little things” like drinking enough water, setting goals, eating well and stretching each and every day – not just before big tournaments or when their coach tells them to.
Champions don’t sit around and wait for success to come to them. They go out and get it for themselves. They take action and put in the hard work every single day to make sure that their dreams become a reality. And they do it all without anyone watching them. They do it because they want it more and they are willing to do whatever it takes to get to the next level.
There are about 14 weeks until the season starts again. And this is the time when true champions are built. They don’t wait until two weeks before the season to get in shape. And they don’t think that playing in a few 3-on-3 tournaments or going to a couple of hockey schools is enough to get them in peak physical condition. They put in a consistent and committed effort all summer long to gain a serious advantage on their competition.
So what are you going to do when no one else is watching this summer to take your game to the next level?