Now that you have established what your routine is and have an idea of how that is working for you, it’s time to get into the nitty gritty of taking it to the next level. Hopefully by now you are starting to think about all of the factors that can contribute to your performance. Hopefully, you are also not overwhelmed, but if you are, that’s okay. This is a journey, and we don’t need to worry about how long it will take to get where we want to go because the time will pass anyway. We are going to take this one step at a time.
As I said last week, it’s best to only change one thing at a time so you can more quickly determine if the change you made is one worth keeping. The beauty of this is that you can choose any area of your routine to start, so you can start where you are. Once you get your basic routines down, you can expand that to other areas of your life that affect your performance. You can evaluate your sleep, your nutrition, your off ice workouts, your time management, your hockey IQ, your mental toughness, and your focus. Take one area and work on making incremental improvements there. We are looking for continuous improvement here, and not perfection,and we want to do this purposefully with our own improvements in mind because that is what will help us advance.
We also don’t want to approach change for the sake of change. You need to first determine your biggest pain point and tackle that first to have the most impact. This is going to require that you are honest and accountable to yourself. There is a saying in the diet/fitness industry that says you can’t outrun your fork. You can’t outskate it either, and it won’t help you at all to focus on your mental game if you’re staying up all night playing video games and eating junk food. Again, take it one step at a time so you don’t get overwhelmed and quit. The saying in hockey is that you can’t rush development, and that applies to your personal development as well.
Think about what you want to achieve and why so that you can build your process around achieving that. Work backwards from your goal to break it down into small steps that are achievable. Think about all of the things that will get you to your ultimate goal and not the goal itself because if you take care of all the little things, the rest will take care of itself. By that I mean that when you think about winning a hockey game, you have to think about things like winning faceoffs, making tape to tape passes, always moving your feet, not taking stupid penalties, winning battles on the boards and races to the puck, getting as many scoring chances as possible, and blocking as many shots as possible, and if you do all of those things, your chances of winning the game are greater. It is the same with your personal routine. You need to think about your sleep, your nutrition, your time management, your workouts, your skating, your hockey IQ, and if you work on those little things, the big things will come.
You are going to take an honest look at where you are now and compare that to where you want to go. Make changes one at a time, tracking your progress and reactions to those changes, and lather, rinse, repeat. This isn’t a one and done set your routine and forget it. This is a constant state of learning. You are a student of the game and with that a student of yourself.
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