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An Advisers Life – Developing Your Unique Path

If your name is Logan Cooley, Frank Nazar, Cutter Gauthier, Isaac Howard, or Rutger McGroarty, please discontinue reading this article. If your name is not one of those mentioned, or you are not in the top one percent of players in your age group, please continue reading and you may learn something.

There are elite players, then there are great players, very good players, and good players. If you are not in the elite group of players, meaning you are not being looked at for a NCAA Division One commitment between the ages of 16 and 18, you are not in the elite group. If you are not in that group, it is time to stop talking about making things happen and actually creating a plan to make things happen.

There is a path to NCAA hockey at the Division One or Division Three level for players who fit in groups outside of the elite group of players. But if you think you can get there simply by playing, you are likely to be left begging for a walk on opportunity at the end of your junior career.

If you are not in that elite group, what makes you think you can try to replicate the path of elite level players? Why are you wasting time, energy and money trying to do something that has already passed you by?

It is time to accept where you fit in the development pool. When you do that, then you can begin to plan how to make the most of where you fit in.

There is nothing wrong not being in the elite level, and it doesn’t mean that someday you can not get there. But now, we must accept where we fit in, and we must create our unique plan from there. Every player is different, every plan and every path is different.

Acceptance of who you are, and awareness about not only where you are presently, but where you are going, will be keys to success in the future.

Simply going from tryout to tryout is not going to get it done. Wasting time is not what successful players do. Good time management skills are qualities of successful players.

Most of us have a daily “routine”, or schedule. We get up at a certain time, eat at a certain time, go to the gym, and our day is scripted. We do this at practices as well. Coaches have a practice plan to maximize the use of ice time. Everyone gets upset when that time is wasted by having to explain drills repeatedly, or by having to restart drills because the team drill wrecker has done it again.

Structure. Its every coaches catch phrase.

If you want to get to the next level, you need to have a plan. Structure. You can not follow Steven Stamkos plan because you are not Steven Stamkos. You can not follow Jack Eichel’s plan because you are not Jack Eichel, and you can not follow your neighbors plan, or your team mates, or your cousins plan, because you are not them and every player is different.

It is not only alright to be different, it is essential. Being different in your planning and how you work your plan will be the difference in making it or not making it.

Take a moment and think about it. If following what everyone else is doing would result in success, why isn’t everyone else having success?

It is a simple question, but one that only a few are asking themselves. Like your daily training routine, which needs to be changed and updated in order to keep having better results, your plan to reach higher levels needs to be updated and monitored as well.

It is time to break the cycle you are in. Stop chasing, start planning. Stop swimming down stream with all the other fish. Create a plan based on real, accurate information. Stick to the plan, and adjust from time to time to account for updated information.

A plan is not going to a camp every weekend. A plan is to pick your shots based on information that elevates the percentage of probability to succeed. Maybe its only one camp, maybe its two, but it definitely is not six. Every plan will be unique to each player as each player and his situation is unique.

Once you make the commitment to yourself, to do it differently, then you will see different results. Its ok to be afraid of change, I would be more afraid of being in exactly the same position next year that you are today. Embrace the change and the commitment to your unique path development.

Joseph Kolodziej – Adviser

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