We all have in mind the perfect conditions for us to do the things we do. With the perfect conditions in place we can successfully reach our preset goals, perform at our best, and deliver the results we expect of ourselves for ourselves and others.
But what if those conditions change?
What if life throws us a curve? What if unexpected circumstances arise? And what if, amidst all of that, we are still called upon to get things done? In short, what if we are forced to change plans and turn to an Alternate Plan?
In todays game, thinking fast is required on and off the ice. Circumstances change daily, sometimes hourly, and you need to be prepared for change no matter who you are. If Wayne Gretzky can become a free agent, so can you.
What if you are released? Traded? Healthy scratch? Team folds? Coaching change? Illness? Injury? Or any other set of circumstances that can arise in todays world.
What do you do when you are forced to completely rethink what it is that you will do? How will you react?
Calm, staying calm is critical. Being open to new ideas is just as critical. Thinking big picture and not just about the season or game in front of you. Being open to re-evaluate your original plan to see if there were any flaws or assumptions made that can be corrected.
These are steps in problem solving. If you can not do these basic things, chances are you are going to end up in the same place you are now some time in the future.
Right now, a lot of players are scrambling to find a home because their USHL, Major Junior or Tier II plans have not worked out. Right now, a lot of you are angry, and can not see clearly because of the events effecting your plan. This is a dangerous time, and calm is required.
There are places for every player. Clearly at this point in the summer, you are not going to be happy with any place you go to that was not in your original plans. That’s ok as long as you use that anger in a positive way.
Every day, teams contact me who are still looking for players. North America and Europe are still options for every player finding themselves in this situation today.
Accepting that at least right now, you will have to change your plan will be critical in determining how quickly you will get back on track to realize your big picture goal.
Change is difficult. Even when things change for the better there is always some difficulty for someone involved. The idea in acceptance is that you minimize the difficulty, and maximize the potential return on the change of plan.
Remember, the decisions on team building are in the hands of the coaches. The only way to change their decision is to prove to them they made a mistake, and that means putting yourself in a position to have a successful season. It may mean playing in a league beneath your level, or on a team that you may not be excited about.
In either instance, you should be the dominating player, and in that instance, coaches will notice.
If you are struggling in this situation now, I look forward to hearing from you,
Joseph Kolodziej – Adviser