In life and in hockey, not everything is going to go the way we hope or plan for things to be. Disappointment is inevitable. How you deal with disappointment though is what can be a difference maker in how you move forward.
Momentum is a funny thing. It can propel us forward or backward. Momentum is something we are responsible for generating, not anyone else. Good momentum and bad momentum all start with how were perceive things, how we think and analyze people, places and things.
When things are just not going our way it is up to us to change what we are doing, adjust to the changes put on our path and regenerate momentum forward. This usually means abandoning part of what we believed or thought in the past. That abandonment is difficult, but all the best athletes have that ability.
Right now, a lot of players are being cut from USHL, Major Junior and Tier II teams. A lot of players are questioning what to do next. These are critical moments that can define what will or will not happen in the future. How you deal with these disappointments will create momentum one way or another.
Just because one thing did not work out your way, or a string of things may have not gone your way, does not mean you are not on the right path.
The path forward is filled with more failures than success’s in life. We do not learn by continuously having success. Easy success breeds arrogance, success worked for breeds confidence.
So, step back, analyze and be critical of not only the situation, but how you performed in that situation. Not only does the environment need to change, but you need to change with it. Adaptability is essential.
When looking at the event or series of events that brings you to this position, it is almost always important to get a second set of eyes on things. Having someone else look at things and being open to their interpretation of what happened will allow you to begin to recalculate your plan moving forward.
Goals can remain consistent. How we reach those goals though almost always requires change along the way.
Whether your goal is Tier II, NCAA or something greater, you must be able to adapt to the changing environment. Refusing to adapt is a sign that you have stopped learning and your journey will likely soon come to an end.
Years ago I had a client who while having good levels of success as a professional in AA level leagues, was not having the same success when ever given an opportunity at the AHL level. It happened almost every time he got called up.
The reason he didn’t have success in the AHL was simple. He refused to adapt his game to the system that the coaches wanted him to play and the role that the team needed him to fill.
So, maybe there is not a fit for you where you thought you should be. Time to adapt and make changes so that you can find a new opportunity to fit in.
How you deal with opportunity, whether to allow yourself to change to fit into the environment or how you refuse to change and miss the opportunity is quite often the reason why players do not reach their goals in the way they had originally planned.
Flexibility, adaptation and patience are the keys to overcoming when things just don’t go your way.
Joseph Kolodziej – Adviser