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An Advisers Life – You’re Going To Lose Some Friends

When you start taking your hockey career seriously, you are going to lose some friends. When you start doing the things that need to be done, you will have less time for those things that don’t contribute to building toward your future.

Reaching the “next level”, no matter what level that is, takes planning and execution. Planning, and executing the plan in daily, weekly, monthly and yearly segments. Simply showing up is not enough, and it is not going to do anything more than what “showing up” has already done.

The key to planning and execution is patience. You can not speed up the development process. Development is supposed to take time, development was never meant to happen quickly. When you try to push or rush the development process you are almost always going to miss steps in that process that will come back to haunt you later.

As a lot of seasons come to an end over the next few weeks, a lot of parents and players are beginning to get the sales pitch for “spring hockey”, summer camps, try out camps, and skills camps. This is the time of year, that teams and coaches need these events to pay for their summers, and for some players, they can be great learning experiences.

For the serious player, the player looking to one day play NCAA level or higher, it is time to start thinking more critically about where to invest your time and money to better your opportunity.

Every dollar and every hour spent on hockey is an investment in your future. If you have made the decision to do your best to play at the highest level possible, then every investment has to be calculated with some return on that investment.

Playing all year and then partying with the boys is a waste of your investment in the season. We all know who you are. As soon as we see you at main camp in July, we know exactly who invested in themselves and who invested in living the dream.

We all know who spent April, May and June eating right, working in the gym, and getting proper rest as soon as they walk in the building. The physical transformation that can take place during the spring and early summer for an athlete with a plan is quite remarkable.

You can not get “bigger, faster, stronger” by playing hockey every day in the spring and summer. You can not get “bigger, faster, stronger” by going to tryout camps and showcases every weekend. You can not get to the next level by trying to rush the development process.

You must have a plan or you will be sitting right where you are next year asking yourself the same questions you are asking this year.

Following what your friend did to get to his next level will almost certainly not get you to your next level. Two players paths are 99 out of 100 times completely different from each other.

When you prepare a plan, one specifically for you, and you begin to work that plan, you are going to lose some friends. If you’re lucky you will lose some because they are working their own individual plan as well. And if they are not working their plan, they are not helping you work your plan, and anyone not helping you is holding you back.

The next level, whether it is Tier II, USHL, NCAA, or NHL takes a commitment to reach. That commitment requires sacrifice. I can promise you that once you reach the next level, every sacrifice you make to get there will be completely worth making.

When you’re ready to lose some friends, make a plan, and reach the next level, I will look forward to talking to you.

Joseph Kolodziej – Adviser

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