Talent. Talent will allow you to hit targets and achieve goals that other people cannot hit or achieve.
Vision. Vision is that very special and rare tool that allows you to hit targets and achieve goals that other people cannot even see.
Talent is something we are born with, and we practice our skills to become more proficient with our talents. To become more dominating on the ice. While every player is blessed with some talent, not everyone is given the same amounts.
The level of talent we have can only be improved incrementally based upon our internal drive to work harder and longer than others with similar talent levels. Mental toughness plays a big role in talent development.
Vision is something that is developed. Some people have more vision, or a greater awareness of what is around them that allows them to perform at a higher level than others.
Vision effects everything, as does talent.
The talent you have on the ice is evident in your performance. The vision you have on the ice and the way you perceive the game as it develops is also evident in your performance.
Combine the two of these elements in a high-level athlete and you have one of the elites.
On ice skill and talent though, does not translate to other activities off the ice. It does not translate to study habits, work habits, or any other physically tangible thing. In short, on ice talent is limited in its impact to only being on the ice.
Vision, however, translates into just about everything in life. That sense of awareness and anticipation can be used in every aspect of life.
As you can see on the ice, some players who are not as talented can outperform those who are more physically gifted or skilled. Rarely does a more skilled player outperform a player who has better vision over the long term.
I bring up these subjects today for players and parents to begin thinking and recognizing where their talent and/or vision can or will take them. Unless you are the elite player with talent and vision, you like need some assistance with either or both of these elements required for success.
I spoke to a young man the other day who had a nice talent level, but after five minutes of conversation it became clear that his vision off the ice was as limited as his vision on the ice. While having a very good skill set with skating, stick handling and passing as his top three, those skills were not translating into increasing point production or elevated playing levels. His career had no trajectory up.
When I asked him why he was playing where he was this year his answer was that the team offered him a discount to come back.
While financial issues effect everyone differently, a hockey decision cannot be made on the basis of a discount. That discount impacts nothing on the ice, and what was on the ice last year did not do anything for the player this year.
A clear lack of vision impacted this players decision making. Exactly as his vision impacts his decision making on the ice.
Vision is not only about what you see, but what you perceive, and how you combine the optics and perception to make a high achieving decision.
Being solely focused on the discount kept this player form seeing other opportunity. Kept him from making choices and taking responsibility for his career. Kept him from advancing to a new level.
When you need to improve your skills, you hire a skills coach. When you need to improve your vision, you hire someone to see for you.
When you find your career stagnant, not moving forward, chances are that your decision making has a lot to do with it. Recognizing this now before the season is out of reach would be a good thing. Recognizing when you need assistance in anything, is the sign of a player who has matured enough to admit he needs assistance. That maturity is something that can begin to change your career trajectory.
When you are ready to elevate your trajectory, I will look forward to hearing from you.
Joseph Kolodziej – Adviser