Before we start playing hockey, something inspired us to pick up the stick and lace up the skates. Maybe it’s a parent, sibling or friend who enjoyed the game and you followed their love of hockey. That’s the case with my son. I love hockey, play it, coach it, watch it, and therefore he has a lot of exposure to it. This inspired his interest, and started the ball rolling (or the puck moving). Now we play hockey all the time in the livingroom, in the driveway or at the rink.
After the initial inspiration though, something has to drive you to keep playing. Motivation takes over. What motivates you? Maybe it’s learning a new skill, raising your shot above the dasher on the rink, or the approval of a parent/sibling/coach. Ideally you will be motivated by your own desire to play the game rather than pleasing others (internal motivation rather than external), and it’s this motivation that will carry you to the next level in hockey.
Motivation however, sometimes fades. We become are not always excited to get to the rink and work hard at practice. This is normal, and it’s ok. It is on those days when you aren’t looking at the big picture goal and don’t have that drive habit takes over and directs you. Much like brushing your teeth or taping your stick, it drives you out of it’s regularity and normalness. This gets us through to the next day when inspiration hits us again and motivates us back on line towards our goals.
The point of this story is to show you how important it is to develop the habit of hard work and dedication to your hockey goals. Make it a habit. Drive with the inspiration, steer with the motivation but keep going with the habit that moves you day in and day out. It might be a mental checklist or goal setting plan (provided in my book DRYLAND), it could be a note on the fridge or sticker on your house keys that signals our goal, or a screensaver on your computer telling you to keep moving. Whatever it is, get inspired, stay motivated but create the habit of hard work and dedication so you keep on track.