I remember reading a quote by long time NHL strength and conditioning coach Peter Twist while working as a player.
“Today I will give it everything I’ve got for what I leave behind I will lose forever”.
Man, that’s powerful stuff. I wasn’t at all comfortable about losing anything in my life, let alone something that I could control. It was like guilt trip overload, a serious butt kicker when I was feeling sorry for myself or when something got really hard. I loved it, it resonated with me and quickly became my training and life mantra.
The cool thing about humans is that we are capable of such amazing things, but we also need inspiration, some driving force that ignites our passions. Peter’s quote does that for me and I hope it can for you too. It makes me erase the word “wait” out of my vocabulary in the context of not pushing forward, not leading, not being first. Most athletes who “wait” in life don’t get there first. The athletic world rewards action and failure, not pondering. This world rewards decision, not complexity, and this world rewards execution not a lack of confidence.
Modern times agree to this adage but what about when studying historical references? The earliest of foragers moved from land to land to survive, they didn’t wait. The agricultural revolution created more strife than any other in history because people were tending to the crops and waited… Both world wars were won on strategic action, not dying in the trenches of wait. The world’s deadliest diseases spread because of wait, people we’re slow to make a decision, to quarantine or to move locations. Study the collapse of the Aztec empire in Mexico and this can be a vivid reminder of a history lesson on the death of wait.
Let’s apply this to you the athlete. Why do you wait? Most of it comes down to belief and belief is always questioned because of a fear of failure. Guys, don’t wait. Do. Fail. Do again. Fail again. Do, Do again. Fail, Fail, again. Don’t wait.
At this time of the year, we could be riding high because we made the big team that we didn’t make last year. We’re riding high because we moved up the team’s depth chart. Or… We are a little down because we we’re on the team as last year and didn’t quite make the grade. Or we’re still at the same level but we’ve moved down the depth chart. For all these situations, this blog is for you. It’s actually for your parents, brothers, sisters, aunts and uncles, even grandparents, everybody. Don’t wait.
You see, to get good and be elite at something what do we need to do?
3) Be Deliberate
4) Make Adjustments
5) Repeat until successful.
That’s it. None of these require waiting for anything. They are all action oriented. They are listed 1-5 but they are all first. There is no wait. If you’ve got to work on your skating. Now’s not the time to take the month of September off because you’re at a new school, on a different team and have lots of stuff going on. Don’t wait. If your riding high and are on the big team’s top line, there’s always something that you’ve got to work on.
I mean we’ve built an On-Ice Movement, Skill and Performance company for NHL players to prove it. Elite NHL players don't wait. They are on the ice earlier and earlier every year getting ready for the next season. Challenge yourself to be the best in the league, best in the province, and get working on those things to get to the next level. Don’t wait. And lastly, if you we’re the last cut on that team that you we’re trying to make, go back to the Do, Fail, Be Deliberate, Make Adjustments and Repeat mantra. Don’t wait.
Lastly, don't wait to find the right help. What’s it worth to you to have an elite movement specialist study the way you move and work with you to help you gain that extra jump? Don’t wait. What’s the value of understanding key reads in your game, the associated movement patterns and skills needed to dominate? Don’t wait. What’s it worth to understand the concept of dictating movement and skill to help you find more scoring areas and working on those finishing skills to lead your team offensively? Don’t wait. And what’s the value to be able to pick up the phone and call your personal coach after your first career minor hockey hat-trick or your first big 1 T bomb from the point? Guys, seriously, don’t wait.
So, wherever you are right now in your game, find the courage, the motivation to get to your next level. Get around an organization like PS to help spike, connect, and foster that growth. Do, Fail, Be Deliberate, Make Adjustments and repeat type of player. And in the words of our good friend Peter Twist…
Don’t wait because the time you give up will be lost forever.