From Professional Player to #1 Mental Performance Coach for Hockey Players in Canada!
Reflection: What just happened?
An education isn't how much you have committed to memory, or even how much you know. It's being able to differentiate between what you know and what you don't.
~ Anatole France
One of the toughest times of the year for me was the end of the hockey season. It was always either bitter or sweet. I cannot recall even at a young age, not experiencing one or the other of them, depending on how the season had gone.
It was not until later in my pro career that I realized that it was important for me to understand what I had accomplished over the season. There were plenty of years where I was able to accomplish a lot. I was fortunate to experience Provincials, Regionals, Nationals, and Professional Championships. By the time I was 23 I had been a part of a Memorial Cup winning team, U18 National Team, Drafted in the NHL 41st overall, won the Calder Cup, won the Turner Cup, and scored my first NHL goal. At the end of all of those years it was a time of reflection and understanding that the experiences I had just had were shaping me into the man I am today. It was perseverance, dedication, pain, joy, disappointment, frustration, anger, sadness, motivation and fear all showing up in one season! Each year gave me more to recall, to understand what I had accomplished so I could keep my head high and the build the belief that I could stay strong when things were difficult and challenging. I guess that where all the wrinkles came from, it often seemed more bitter than sweet.
A valuable lesson that I learned prior to winning the last championship that I would experience as a player, was to journal. Mike Eaves was a coach that I had a history with prior to him being my coach in the Pro's. While playing for the Calgary Flames I admired his style of play, he worked very hard, he was also very smart in the way he played (had to be) We had met on a couple of occasions and his insights to me at 15 were gospel. In the early 90's he was starting his coaching career in Hershey for the Bears (Flyers affiliate AHL). Interesting how our paths crossed in Chocolatetown USA and the information he shared with me, the compassion and patience he gave me created a better perspective on what this game was really all about. He encouraged me to journal and I am so thankful he did. I love to write and it has now become part of my career path. It allows me to remain clearer than when I kept it inside. It was also a reminder of where I had come from and where I was going and the experience I had gained as a person through it all. The words were the thoughts in my MIND and when they were put on paper they were now a road map for me to use on my journey. A journey that allowed me to travel the World, to see some of the 7 Wonders, to meet wonderful people and experience all that the World has to offer.
Journaling is like a map that continues to show me my course and the reflection it causes allows me to make improvements, to find motivation and create self confidence.
I highly recommend that you (as a family) all sit down, talk about your season month by month from the start to the finish and reflect on what this year of experiences provided for you. Look beyond the obvious and look for the foundational values that you DID LEARN. I guarantee that you will have learned at lest one extremely important life altering lesson. I hope that you see it and make it a part of who you are. Take your time and give thought to both the bitter and the sweet, grab a nice journal, a good pen and write it all down. It will do more for all of you than you can possible imagine.
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