When you first started playing hockey, it was your parents who signed up. They provided you with the necessary equipment, drove you from rink to rink, got your skates sharpened, and supported you in every way possible. You were just along for the ride.
At some point in time, a shift must take place, when you take ownership of your hockey career. This usually happens around the 10-15 year timeframe.
This is when you start to take charge of packing your bag, making sure everything makes the trip to the rink. You’re in charge of making sure the alarm is set for a 7:00am game. You are in charge of telling your parents when your skates need to be sharpened. Parents now transition into more of a full-time supportive role.
The most important part of hockey that you need to take ownership of is your skill development. To make the top teams in your area, don’t rely on your coaches to provide the repetitions needed. Hockey practice drills focusing on stick handling and shooting must become part of your regular weekly routine. Only 20-30 minutes of additional practice 3-4 times a week may be all you need.
If there’s one word or tip in hockey development that best describes the process of getting better, it would be persistence. If you start consistently working on your stick skills off-ice, in your garage or basement, you’ll start separating yourself from the competition in a very short amount of time.
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Remember to work hard and Dream BIGGER than everyone else.