Tuesday, 20 March 2012

A Sense of Self

Sorry I couldn't sent it in a file, wasn't to sure what I could write about for the week. On the bus now and it just came to me. Here it is:

Over the past two weeks I was given an opportunity to play. To start a game. I haven't been given that opportunity since November 27th. I wasn't nervous until it came time for warm up. I found myself tense and uncertain of how the night was going to unfold. Nerves are never a bad thing let me tell you that. What you do with those nerves will determine where you go. I had been practicing and training for that opportunity for months. I ended up getting first star even tho we lost in a shoot out. After the game I found myself upset with the outcome of the game. I couldn't stop thinking about what I could of done more to win the game. That's just the way I work. I always want to be better and do more. That's the attitude you need. You will fail but you always need to get up and keep moving forward. The next night we played again. Once again I was given the start. My play was strong again but we lost.

I was given opportunity and I made the most of it. If you find yourself in the same boat, ask yourself what can I do in order to prepare myself for the opportunities I will receive.

A few things you can do are:
Visualizing yourself being successful
Be mentally prepared at all times.
Always strive to be better, give 110% at everything.
If you fall get back up and try again.

No matter if you play every other shift or game, once or twice a period, or once a week, you will be given opportunity. Make the most of it every night and you will see yourself growing stronger and stronger. Keep at it, if you fall get up and keep moving forward.

Austin Smith

Thursday, 15 March 2012

March Newsletter - Stress or Distress

March Edition 1


Stress or Distress?

Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.

One of the biggest issues I have seen in the last year, that I have to say shocked me, is that the young people of today are experiencing a huge level of stress. They wonder why they can't perform, why they are struggling with the coach, why they can't speak the truth to their parents. They are so fearful of failure and disappointing you their parents, the coach, their teammates and lastly themselves that they simple can not feel anything but stress.
Some shocking statistics in regards to teen stress:
  • 25% avoided or refused to deal with their stress, 
  • 23% sought ways to distract themselves away from their stress, 
  • 17% sought support, and 
  • 35% actively tried to reduce their stress.
So with so many of the youth of today feeling this way, how do we as the leaders and developers of the youth help them to feel better? First we have to be able to identify when our kids are encountering stress because often they will not let us in on the fact that they are. Second, we must have an action plan to help alleviate the stress. I have included both below.

What to look for in your child to determine if they are feeling stressed out:

1. Their performance is deteriorating, in school or in sport. They have stressed themselves to the max and have a tough time finding motivation to do anything well as they are starting the habit of self-doubt.
2. They have shut down communications. They will not speak the truth, they will tell you what you want to hear as well as their coaches, teachers, friends etc. Anyone who can judge them or make them feel wrong, they will not speak the truth.
3.  Erratic behavior and or emotional breakdowns. This is stress at a high level and needs to be addressed asap. If they are suddenly out of control emotionally please seek out help as this can cause many health issues and relationship issues.

If you have noticed any or all of the above your young athlete is trying to cope with something they have no experience in dealing with. We all know what stress does to adults and there are more and more instances of what it is doing to the teens out there.

Some Great resources for you to help are listed below:

My own personal experiences of overcoming stress and helping others:
1. Sharing my stories of failure have been the biggest healer, to know that we are not the only one out there with those problems is a big relief.
2. Helping the ones who suffer that it is all in their MIND. That they have the power to overcome and it is not based on anything other than their won perception of what is happening in their World, even if others have extremely high expectations of them. Self image and self forgiveness are two virtues required in any type of self healing.
3. Lack of FUN. They have to have FUN, so many young people who eventually quit cannot believe how good they feel because they have eliminated the stressful situation. What they do not realize is that they are developing the habit of quitting to avoid letting others down as well as themselves.

Monthly Reading Suggestions:

  1. Talent is Overrated - Geoff Colvin - awesome insights to the theory of how talent really is developed. I have used many of the philosophies, especially the deliberate practice.

  2. Mindset - Carol Dweck - this fascinating book provides insights to an open mindset or a fixed mindset.For your own personal development this is a MUST read.

I hope that this information sheds some light and helps provides you with some solutions!

Bob Wilkie

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Winning the Battle

Many days out of the last few weeks I’ve spent trying to figure out what my future in hockey is going to be like. I worried and got hung up on whats to come instead of the present. I look back at it now and ask myself why did I allow myself to have those thoughts creep into my head. My play in practice became inconsistent and effort in the gym decreased and when I got a chance to play I was average. I could blame it on the team for lack of defense, or being tired, but where’s that going to get me? I’ve come to realize that if you don’t believe in yourself, if you just go out and play because you have to and give a half assed effort, you wont go anywhere. If you give your best effort all the time even if no one recognizes it, your making yourself better.

The last month my coach has been talking a lot about percentages. We are in a battle for playoffs and he keeps on mentioning, “if we can all bring up our play by a few percent we will make playoffs” or “if we can bring down the percent of turnovers we’ll win more games”. If we as individuals did everything we do just a few percent better everyday just imagine how much better we would be just after one week. Then think after a month, a year. There will be people who take the easy way out and do their best for a few days then just forget about it and there will be others who do their best every second they get. I know I myself work hard on the ice, but once I’m at home I can be better. I can work harder on studying or doing my homework, eating healthier. There’s always areas to improve on. People are always watching especially when you least expect it. There will always be rough patches throughout our lives, but how you deal with those rough patches will determine your success.

Austin Smith