What do you mean? No homeruns, no hat tricks, no hole in ones? Umm… Unfortunately, not.
Most successful people in all walks of life work for what they get. They embrace the grind and trust the process but never in the beginning. Most of us start out thinking that we’re going to be rockstars in just a few years. With some maturity and wisdom however, most come to realize that everything that’s worth doing takes time. So, you mean no scholarship commitment at age 14? Maybe, but probably not. What about being a 1st round OHL draft pick? Maybe, but probably not. Ok, Ok, but my kid is definitely good enough to play Tier II Junior. Maybe but probably not on your timeline.
You see it’s all about timeline. How does the timeline get defined? We think it has to do in part with personal limitations, hockey’s reward system, and just plain keeping up with the jones’.
Let’s start with personal limitations. Most of us like to work easy. We think we are going to climb that corporate ladder and fast! We think we can be the presidents or CEO’s of the companies we work for. We think we are GOOD!! And we are, just maybe not that good YET. A huge limitation in the human psyche is our ability to self-evaluate, and understanding that evaluation process gives us a firm timeline on our ability to grow. Unfortunately, humbleness is not our most expressed quality. Interestingly enough, it’s often expressed by the most successful of successful people and that's a good lesson. Don’t’ think your good enough, be grateful, continue learning, and be humble. There is no rush.
How about hockey’s reward system? What are they doing to have parents in frenzies about playing for the best team, finding the best coach, and working with the best skating coach at like 6 years old. It’s called hockey’s reward system and it’s another defined timeline. The good news is that it doesn’t need to be yours. Some of this stuff starts right at the beginning of a young players minor hockey career. Making AAA. Then let’s do whatever it takes to stay there from the age of 8-13. Then, let’s hope and pray that our athlete is ahead of the curve in terms of maturity. He/she hits puberty early and so we can still stay on top until about age 15-16. Then let’s get drafted into Tier II Jr, the next year get drafted in the OHL and then two years from that you’re a bonafide NHL prospect. We’ve seen so many parents put so much time, energy and focus on hitting these targets that they lose focus on why their son or daughter is actually playing the game. They become consumed. They become obsessed. We all know the end of the story. For some players, this is just a natural process. Hockey’s evolutional path is perfect for them and that’s great but we plead you, if your athlete isn’t following hockey’s frenzied timeline don’t worry, there is no rush.
And how about keeping up with the Jones’? We all like to do that. What a curse. Being driven and motivated to be the best is awesome, but too often we become so obsessed with the short-term result that it clouds the applause of the work itself. If you just can't seem to stay with the pack, focus on being in striking distance of the pack. What does that mean? It means that you're never out. It means that day in and day out you’re still putting in the work. You are still doing those early mornings, those after school sessions, and keeping up that work ethic in practice. You're waiting for your time, your moment, when everything comes together.
One thing to consider... It may never happen…in hockey. You need to be ok with that. For us, the game’s got such a bigger purpose, a deeper perspective. It’s called the game of life and we think it’s a great way to learn a ton of great life lessons. Our purpose at PS is just as weighted there as seeing our athletes having on-ice success.
So, let’s be honest and really know where we are at. Let’s keep learning, let’s continue to be gracious and be humble. Let’s not get caught in hockey’s frenzied reward system of draft picks. Avoid the curse of keeping up with the Jones’s and work on stay in striking distance of the pack. If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be.
And always remember…there is no rush.