Talk is cheap. So many players talk about getting to the next level. Few players actually do, and there are a few simple reasons for this. Really, the next level is not that far away if you are willing to do a few simple things to change yourself.
The most important thing to do is recognize that you need to change what you are doing. Why would you continue to do what you are doing if it is not working? Really. Its time to wake up and realize that just because Bobby did something and it worked for him, it does not mean that it will work for you.
You must get comfortable being uncomfortable. Getting to the next level is not something you do with your friends. Getting to the next level is about elevating yourself and everything you are doing in order to achieve something that is uncommon.
Most players reading this are looking to get to Tier II, the USHL or NCAA. Most players reading this are in a position where they feel like they are not making the progress they need toward achieving those goals.
Most players reading this are also unwilling to make the changes and increase the effort it will take in order to achieve those next level aspirations.
Getting to the next level is often an exercise in “loan wolf” mentality. Yes, you play on a team. I guarantee you though, that the whole “team” is not getting to the next level, because not everyone is willing to do what it takes. Guys get caught up in hanging with the boys, playing video games, partying, chasing girls or any other number of things that can be done in a day with a lot of free time.
At some point in every serious athletes young career, each one of them recognizes that there are multiple paths to take to get to where he wants to go. The easy path does not exist.
Stop talking about how you are better than (insert name here) and start planning, training and competing in a way that will show the decision makers that you are ready for the next level.
If your plan is to play out this season, then go to some camps and try to make a team for next season, you do not have a plan to succeed, you have a plan to fail. That is not a plan, and it will not get you what you say you want. That is a summer camp set up and nothing more.
If you want a real plan, it takes real planning and real effort to make it a successful plan. When planning and effort meet, success is usually found.
So, if you are a Tier III guy, or AAA guy who isn’t getting the breaks, but you say you want to get to the next level, its time to look in the mirror. If you are a Tier II guy who cant figure out why you are not getting USHL or NCAA interest, its time to look in the mirror.
Talent alone will only get you to a point where other players match your talent. Talent alone will not get you to a point where you rise above your peers.
When you are ready for the next level, and are prepared to become comfortable with being uncomfortable, I will be waiting for your email or call. If not, you will likely read a similar article again next year at this time.
Joseph Kolodziej – Adviser