You know its funny how often I hear, and Coaches hear, that players and parents are “willing to do what ever it takes”. Every day almost we hear it repeatedly, yet so many people really have no idea what they are saying, or “what ever it takes” really is.
“What ever it takes.” When you say it, do you really mean it? Have you ever really thought about “what ever it takes” and what that saying implies? Most of you have not.
Some of you that have thought about it have come to realize that you’re not willing to do “what ever it takes”. Some of you who used to use the phrase have discovered or for the first time in your lives admitted, that you have limitations to what you will do to succeed in hockey. There is nothing wrong with that, in fact, its better to make that admission now than later.
But some of you continue to say you will do “what ever it takes”, and you are lying to yourselves and everyone else that hears you use that phrase.
Are you really willing to sacrifice what is needed, time, comfort, vacations, friends, girlfriends, and of course money.
The successful players who really are willing to do “what ever it takes”. Actually do it. They sacrifice time, they experience pain, they sacrifice comforts, vacations, time with friends and girlfriends, and all of their sacrifice costs them money as well.
Trainers don’t work for free. Ice isn’t free. Gym isn’t free. Proper nutrition and supplements are very expensive. Equipment is not cheap, and if you have an adviser he isn’t working for free either.
Opportunity is expensive. If you are not making every sacrifice possible, and you miss or don’t take advantage of an opportunity, then you really are not willing to do “what ever it takes”.
A true story from one of my now former clients as an example of not taking an opportunity;
Player is invited to a BCHL main camp and at the same time he is offered a contract in another top Canadian Tier II league that produces good numbers of NCAA commitments.
I had an honest conversation with this player and advised him to take the contract and have a significant role on this team and not go to the BCHL main camp. Because if making the BCHL team, the player was seen as a third line support player, while in the other league he was at least a second line player with PP and PK time.
The player chose the BCHL camp against my advice. The player was then cut from the BCHL team and wanted to go back to the other team who made the contract offer to sign. I contacted the team, and the team had already signed another player to fill that role.
My client was forced to go to another league that did not offer the same level of exposure, and while he had a successful season statistically, he was disappointed when there were no NCAA D-1 offers.
Meanwhile the player who took the spot he was previously offered and he declined, had a season similar to the one my client had, and committed to a nice Atlantic Division NCAA D-1 program.
My client at the time made his decision based upon what he thought was a better league. He did not actually evaluate the opportunity. He also made the decision based on wanting to play closer to home and closer to his girlfriend. He was a player who always said he would do “what ever it takes” who in the end definitely did not.
The cost of opportunity would have been more sacrifice for another year. His bill for regret is now about $60,000.00 in student loan debt.
When we are talking about opportunity and education through playing hockey. Making life decisions must be taken into consideration. The big picture must be put in front, and a path to getting close to that picture has to be drawn out.
Hockey is only a vehicle toward having a successful life for 99.9% of players. Investing in good decision making and planning now will likely save you much more later in life.
An education will last a lifetime, hockey for most of us, will not.
Joseph Kolodziej – Adviser