Hockey is competitive. Players and families are investing more and more money into their children’s development. Skating coaches, skills coaches, and personal trainers are all becoming more common for young hockey players.
As human beings, we are programed on seeking acceptance and fitting in. But as hockey players, as we develop, we should be aiming to stand out. The more facets of your game you can stand out in, the more attention you will receive.
When you think of NHL players, they all have an elite skill that we attach to their name. Connor McDavid has his speed. Patrick Kane has his puckhandling. Alex Ovechkin has his one-timer. Sidney Crosby has his puck protection.
If a scout, coach, or general manager is to attend one of your games, what do you think they are saying about you? Or better yet, what do you want them to say when your name is mentioned?
As you progress along your hockey journey being “okay” might not cut it anymore. You don’t want your hockey report card to say “average skater”, “average shot”, “average compete level”.
We can’t be “elite” at everything. You might be an elite skater, but have an average shot. Or you might have “elite” hockey IQ but be an average skater. They key is understanding your strengths and weaknesses.
The problem is some players only focus on their weaknesses and forget about trying to improve their stregnths. Hockey is competitive. Players are consistently trying to improve by any means neccesarry. If you have an elite shot at 13, keep on shooting pucks and working on it to keep it elite. If you’re an elite skater at 13, keep on working on your edges and explosiveness so you remain an elite skater.
Here are some areas you can be elite at:
- One Timer
- Wrist Shot
- Gap Control
- Hockey IQ
- Work Ethic
Keep on putting in the work to be “elite”.
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