Hi Everyone and welcome to the Hockey Journey Podcast, episode number 30, How to Set and Achieve Your Hockey Goals, presented to you by Online Hockey Training.com. I'm your host Coach Lance Pitlick. If you're new here, please make sure you subscribe, so you won't miss out on any future episodes.
Before we chip the puck in and start the conversation, if you want to learn more about me, my hockey experiences, what I know, and most importantly, how I've been helping hockey players get really good with a stick and puck, just head on over to onlinehockeytraining.com and gain instant access to my 10 part video series where I'll show you everything. Consider it my gift to you.
Since the school year will soon be wrapping up, I thought it made sense to have an episode about how to accomplish your hockey goals. Summer is right around the corner and is a time when players can make significant gains in their hockey development, because you don’t have school and now have a bunch of extra hours to do whatever you want.
What I’d like to do with this episode, is to provide you with a bunch of information on how to set and achieve meaningful goals that can help you be way more
happy and flourish while doing amazing things!!
Today, right now, it’s never been easier to gather information and self improve, if you know where to look and are specific on what you’re searching for. Regardless of what you’re trying to accomplish, the odds are pretty good that someone before you has paved the way and are willing to share their experiences to assist the next group of dreamers that want to do great things with their lives.
When the idea for this episode popped into my head, I reflected on my life and where I am today. For many years after I retired from the NHL, I guess I’d say I was a drifter. I was trying to figure how I was going to fit into the world without the one thing that had occupied the majority of my life, and that was being a hockey player.
Once I retired from hockey, I had no idea what I was going to do with the rest of my life. I was married, had 2 kids and became lost. I never fell completely off the rails, but seemed to navigate through years trying to just be the best husband, father, son, brother or friend to the people closest to me, but I couldn’t capture the same feeling or drive I had when I was a hockey player and this went on for close to a decade. I had purpose most days, but hadn’t found my next call to adventure.
But things started to change about 5 years ago, where I made a pivot, and started to look at my life from a completely different perspective because of my boys. I had a 17 year coaching career and during that time, we coaches try to pass on information or knowledge to the players we get in front of, with the hope, that we educate and inspire them along the way.
We try to introduce developmental puzzle pieces, when appropriate, so, if they are striving for something lofty, they have all the information to make the most informed decisions as they climb the hockey ladder.
One of the things my wife and I tried to pass on to our sons is the importance of nutrition. For years, we were throwing out nutritional learning nuggets to them, but nothing ever stuck, until one day. Our oldest, Rem was at the age and maturity, where he could start getting some instruction regarding strength training. We signed him up for an introductory program with a guy named Zack Rourke from Perfect World Hockey.
I think it was the end of June that year, when Rem came home from a workout and all of the sudden, what we were eating as a family and the food we had in the house mattered. He was reading labels on cans and boxes, trying to educate us now on how to eat better. Isn’t it funny how the same message that kids have heard over and over from their parents, is delivered in the same way, but by someone else, and magically it finally sticks. I guess that is why they say you need an army of people to help navigate through this life.
I mentioned that roughly 5 to 6 years ago, I made a pivot in my life, and why did I do this, well I’ll tell you, I looked at myself in the mirror one day, and didn’t like what I saw. The visual image I was looking at, was of someone who neglected themself, and internally, I had lost the motivation to be better than average, if that makes sense. I was missing that one thing I had as a player, that got me up each morning, motivated me to try to make today better than yesterday based on the actions I executed on a daily basis.
During some reflection, looking back to when I was a player, I remember reading a lot of books. There’s a lot of down time on buses, planes, and hotel rooms, so I occupied a lot of that time consuming self-help books and reading the stories of highly successful people, to see if I could learn something new that I could add to my process, strengthening it. I got away from self improvement learning for probably 15 years, but 5 years ago I started consistently reading, watching youtube videos or podcasts most days for 10-30 minutes per day.
Once I began doing this consistently, my life changed. I’m always inspired after a short read or listen, to do more and evolve to the best version of myself. I’d take a big idea or 2 from each piece of content and try to apply it to my daily life. Who I am today is completely different from the guy I was 5 years ago. I dropped 40 pounds, workout 5-6 days a week, eat a well balanced and healthy diet which now includes way more fruits and vegetables.
I’ve never been more focused, driven, consistent in my daily execution, and excited to wake up each morning to start knocking off agenda items on that day’s success list and I owe all of this personal growth to others who were willing to share their story of success and how they reached the highest mountain peak.
So what I want to do with the rest of this episode, is to provide you with a bunch of excerpts from some of my favorite books I’ve read over the years, that are all related to accomplishing great things over time. My hope is that you’ll get inspired to dream bigger than you currently are and better understand how to go from average to extraordinary!! Let’s begin
No Limits - The Will to Succeed - by Michael Phelps and Alan Abrahamson
Michael Phelps is the most successful and most decorated Olympian of all time with a total of 28 medals. When he won 8 gold medals at the 2008 Beijing Games, he broke fellow American swimmer Mark Spitz’s 1972 record of seven first place finishes at any single Olympic Games. We can learn a thing or two from this guy. Let’s get into the head of this extraordinary person and see how he ticks. These are all quotes from the book.
(Number One) - “[Coach] Bob [Bowman]’s philosophy is rather simple: We do the things other people can’t or won’t, do. Bob’s expectations are simple, too. It’s like the quote he had up on the whiteboard one day at practice a few months before the Games. It comes from a business book but in sports it’s the same: ‘In business, words are words, explanations are explanations, promises are promises, but only performance is reality.’ Bob is exquisitely demanding. But it is with him that I learned this essential truth: Nothing is impossible. And this: Because nothing is impossible, you have to dream big dreams; the bigger, the better. So many people along the way, whatever it is you aspire to do, will tell you it can’t be done. But all it takes is imagination. You dream. You plan. You reach. There will be obstacles. There will be doubters. There will be mistakes. But with hard work, with belief, with confidence and trust in yourself and those around you, there are no limits. Perseverance, determination, commitment, and courage—those things are real. The desire for redemption drives you. And the will to succeed—it’s everything. That’s why, on the pool deck in Beijing in the summer of 2008, there were sometimes no words, only screams. Because, believe it, dreams really can come true.” (End Quote)
(Number 2) “Bob’s coaching philosophy can be distilled as follows: Set your goals high. Work conscientiously, every day, to achieve them. Among the many authors Bob has read, he likes to cite the motivational speaker Earl Nightingale, who survived the attack on Pearl Harbor on the USS Arizona, then went on to a career in broadcasting. The way Bob tells it, Nightingale’s work revealed the one thing that’s common to all successful people: They make a habit of doing things that unsuccessful people don’t like to do. There are plenty of people with some amount of talent. Are you willing to go farther, work harder, be more committed and dedicated than anyone else? If others were inclined to take Sunday off, well, that just meant we might be one-seventh better. For five years, from 1998 to 2003, we did not believe in days off. I had one because of a snowstorm, two more due to the removal of wisdom teeth. Christmas? See you at the pool. Thanksgiving? Pool. Birthdays? Pool. Sponsor obligations? Work them out around practice time.” (End Quote)
(Number 3) “One thing that separates Michael from other swimmers, Bob likes to say, is that if they don’t feel good they don’t swim good. That’s not the way it is for Michael. Michael, he says, performs no matter what he’s feeling. He has practiced it for a long time. He knows exactly what he wants to get done, and he’s able to compartmentalize what’s important. Bob, with his seemingly endless collection of sayings, naturally has an acronym to describe the mental aspect to my racing. It’s ‘W.I.N.’: What’s Important Now?’ It’s true. When it comes down to it, when the time comes to focus and be mentally prepared, I can do whatever it takes to get there, in any situation.” (End Quote)
(Number 4) “Nothing in life is easy. You can’t wake up one day, announce you’re going to do something, and expect it to be a success. At least not consistently. You have to put time and energy and whatever you’ve got into it. You have to want to do it, want it badly. That’s the point that perhaps some people who say they want something, whatever that something is, don’t fully understand. A lot of swimmers I trained with said they wanted to achieve something great but didn’t truly put time, energy, dedication, and heart into it. I put time, energy, dedication, heart, and soul into it.” (End Quote)
If you were asked the question, are you willing to do things other people can’t or won’t do, in order to accomplish goals and dreams? How would you answer? Something to think about, huh?
The Talent Code - Greatness isn’t Born. It’s Grown. Here’s How. - By Daniel Coyle
“The talent code is built on a revolutionary scientific discovery involving a neural insulator called myelin, which some neurologists now consider to be the holy grail of acquiring skill. Here’s why. Every human skill, whether it’s playing baseball or playing Bach, is created by chains of nerve fibers carrying a tiny electrical impulse—basically, a signal traveling through a circuit. Myelin’s vital role is to wrap those nerve fibers the same way that rubber insulation wraps a copper wire, making the signal stronger and faster by preventing the electrical impulses from leaking out. When we fire our circuits the right way—when we practice swinging that bat or playing that note—our myelin responds by wrapping layers of insulation around the neural circuit, each new layer adding a bit more skill and speed. The thicker the myelin gets, the better it insulates, and the faster and more accurate our movements and thoughts become.” (End Quote)
“Deep practice is built on a paradox: struggling in certain targeted ways—operating at the edges of your ability, where you make mistakes—makes you smarter. Or to put it a slightly different way, experiences where you’re forced to slow down, make errors, and correct them—as you would if you were walking up an ice-covered hill, slipping and stumbling as you go—end up making you swift and graceful without you realizing it.” (End Quote)
“On one level, the study of myelin sounds like an exotic new neuroscience. But on another level, myelin is similar to another evolution-built mechanism you use every day: muscles. If you use your muscles a certain way—by trying hard to lift things you can barely lift—those muscles will respond by getting stronger. If you fire your skill circuits the right way—by trying hard to do things you can barely do, in deep practice—then your skill circuits will respond by getting faster and more fluent.” (End Quote)
“Long story short: a few years ago a group of American and Norwegian researchers did a study to see what made babies improve at walking. They discovered that the key factor wasn’t height or weight or age or brain development or any other innate trait but rather (surprise!) the amount of time they spent firing their circuits, trying to walk. However well this finding might support our thesis, its real use is to paint a vivid picture of what deep practice feels like. It’s the feeling, in short, of being a staggering baby, of intensely, clumsily lurching toward a goal and toppling over. It’s a wobbly, discomfiting sensation that any sensible person would instinctively seek to avoid. Yet the longer the babies remained in that state—the more willing they were to endure it, and to permit themselves to fail—the more myelin they built, and the more skill they earned. The staggering babies embody the deepest truth about deep practice: to get good, it’s helpful to be willing, even enthusiastic, about being bad. Baby steps are the royal road to skill.” (End Quote)
Pretty powerful stuff isn’t it.
(Book Number 3)
Outliers - The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell
“This is a book about outliers, about men and women who do things that are out of the ordinary. Over the course of the chapters ahead, I’m going to introduce you to one kind of outlier after another: to geniuses, business tycoons, rock stars, and software programmers. We’re going to uncover the secrets of a remarkable lawyer, look at what separates the very best pilots from pilots who have crashed planes, and try to figure out why Asians are so good at math. And in examining the lives of the remarkable among us—the skilled, the talented, and the driven—I will argue that there is something profoundly wrong with the way we make sense of things. ... In Outliers, I want to convince you that these kinds of personal explanations of success don’t work. People don’t rise from nothing. We do owe something to parentage and patronage. The people who stand before kings may look like they did it all by themselves. But in fact they are invariably the beneficiaries of hidden advantages and cultural legacies that allow them to learn and work hard and make sense of the world in ways others cannot. It makes a difference where and when we grew up. The culture we belong to and the legacies passed down by our forebears shape the patterns of our achievement in ways we cannot begin to imagine.
It’s not enough to ask what successful people are like, in other words. It is only by asking where they are from that we can unravel the logic behind who succeeds and who doesn’t.” (End Quote)
“Exhibit A in the talent argument is a study done in the early 1990s by the psychologist K. Anders Ericsson and two colleagues at Berlin’s elite Academy of Music. With the help of the Academy’s professors, they divided the school’s violinists into three groups. In the first group were the stars, the students with the potential to become world-class soloists. In the second group were those judged to be merely ‘good.’ In the third were students who intended to be music teachers in the public school system. All of the violinists were then asked the same question: over the course of your entire career, ever since you first picked up the violin, how many hours have you practiced? Everyone from all three groups started playing at roughly the same age, around five years old. In those first few years, everyone practiced roughly the same amount, about two or three hours a week. But when the students were around the age of eight, real differences started to emerge. The students who would end up the best in their class began to practice more than everyone else: six hours a week by age nine, eight hours a week by age twelve, until by the age of twenty they were practicing — that is, purposefully and single-mindedly playing their instruments with the intent to get better — well over thirty hours a week. In fact, by the age of twenty, the elite performers had each totaled ten thousand hours of practice. By contrast, the merely good students had totaled eight thousand hours, and the future music teachers had totaled just over four thousand hours.” (End Quote)
“The striking thing about Ericsson’s study is that he and his colleagues couldn’t find any ‘naturals,’ musicians who floated effortlessly to the top while practicing a fraction of the time their peers did. Nor could they find any ‘grinds,’ people who worked harder than everyone else, yet just didn’t have what it takes to break the top ranks. Their research suggests that once a musician has enough ability to get into a top music school, the thing that distinguishes one performer from another is how hard he or she works. That’s it. And what’s more, the people at the very top don’t work just harder or even much harder than everyone else. They work much, much harder. PhilosophersNotes | Outliers 3 “Even Mozart—the greatest musical prodigy of all time— couldn’t hit his stride until he had his ten thousand hours in. Practice isn’t the thing you do once you’re good. It’s the thing you do that makes you good.” ~ Malcolm Gladwell The idea that excellence at a complex task requires a critical minimum level of practice surfaces again and again in studies of excellence. In fact, researchers have settled on what they believe is the magic number for true expertise: ten thousand hours.” (End Quote)
“The Beatles ended up traveling to Hamburg five times between 1960 and the end of 1962. On the first trip, they played 106 nights, five or more hours a night. On their second trip, they played 92 times. On their third trip, they played 48 times, for a total of 172 hours on stage. The last two Hamburg gigs, in November and December of 1962, involved another 90 hours of performing. All told, they performed for 270 nights in just over a year and half. By the time they had their first burst of success in 1964, in fact, they had performed live an estimated twelve hundred times. Do you know how extraordinary that is? Most bands today don’t perform twelve hundred times in their entire careers. The Hamburg crucible is one of the things that set the Beatles apart.”
Gladwell shares: “‘They were no good onstage when they went there and they were very good when they came back,’ Norman went on. ‘They learned not only stamina. They had to learn an enormous amount of numbers—cover versions of everything you can think of, not just rock and roll, a bit of jazz, too. They weren’t disciplined onstage at all before that. But when they came back, they sounded like no one else. It was the making of them.’” (End Quote)
Well, that was interesting and eye opening wasn’t it?
(Book Number 4)
The 10X Rule - The Only Difference Between Success and Failure - By Grant Cardone
“You’ve probably picked up this book and wondered, what exactly is the 10X Rule? And how will it help me? The 10X Rule is the Holy Grail for those who desire success. Seriously, if there is an end all, be all—then this is it! The 10X Rule establishes the right levels of actions and thinking that guarantee success and ensure that you’ll continue operating at those levels throughout your life and career. The 10X Rule will even dissolve fears, increase your courage and belief in yourself, eliminate procrastination and insecurities, and provide you with a sense of purpose that will revitalize your life, dreams and goals. The 10X Rule is the single principle that all top achievers are using in the most flourishing areas of their lives. Regardless of how you define success, this book will show you how to guarantee the attainment of it—with any dream and in any economy. The first thing that has to happen is for you to adjust your thinking to 10X levels and your actions to 10X quantities. I will show you how 10X thoughts and actions will make life easier and more fun and will provide you with more time. After spending a lifetime studying success, I believe the 10X Rule to be the one ingredient that all successful people know and use in order to create the lives they desire.” (End Quote)
“This is the focus of the 10X Rule: You must set targets that are 10 times what you think you want and then do 10 times what you think it will take to accomplish those targets. Massive thoughts must be followed by massive actions. There is nothing ordinary about the 10X Rule. It is simply what it is says it is: 10 times the thoughts and 10 times the actions of other people. The 10X Rule is about pure domination mentality. You never do what others do. You must be willing to do what they won’t do—and even take actions that you might deem ‘unreasonable.’ “Anyone that suggests to me to do less is either not a real friend or very confused.” ~ Grant Cardone This domination mentality is not about controlling others; rather, it’s about being a model for others’ thoughts and actions. Your mind-set and deeds should serve as gauges by which people can measure themselves. 10X people never approach a target aiming to achieve just that goal. Instead, they’re looking to dominate the entire sector—and will take unreasonable actions in order to do so. If you start any task with a mind toward limiting the potential outcome, you will limit the actions necessary to accomplish that very goal.” (End Quote)
“Most people are so apathetic about their goals that they only write them down once a year. As far as I’m concerned, nothing worth doing is done only once or twice a year. The things upon which your life depends most are based on the actions you take daily. That is why I make sure to always do two things: (1) I write my goals down every day and (2) I choose objectives that are just out of reach. This opens me up to my full potential, which I use to fuel my action each day. Some people suggest that setting improbable goals might cause a person to become disappointed and lose interest. But if your goals are so small that you don’t even need to consider them on a daily basis, then you are going to lose interest!” (End Quote)
“The dictionary defines the term ‘obsessed’ as ‘the domination of one’s thoughts or feelings by a persistent idea, image, or desire.’ Although the rest of the world tends to treat this mindset like a disease, I believe that it’s the perfect adjective for how you must approach success. To dominate your sector, your goal, dream, or ambition, you must first dominate your every interest, thought, and consideration. Obsession is not a bad thing here; it is a requirement to get where you want to go. In fact, you want to be so fanatical about success that the world knows you will not compromise or go away. And until you become completely obsessed with your mission, no one will take you seriously. Until the world understands that you’re not going away—that you are 100 percent committed and have complete and utter conviction and will persist in pursuing your project—you will not get the attention you need and the support you want. In this context, obsession is like a fire; you want to build it so big that people feel compelled to sit around it in admiration. And as with a fire, you have to keep adding wood to sustain the heat and the glow. You obsess over how to keep your fire burning—or it will turn to ashes.” (End Quote)
Man was that some great stuff wasn’t it. I want to be very clear on this next point. I only scratched the surface with each book, as there are so many more learning nuggets throughout each, and I highly recommend you doing a deep dive into all 4 titles.
So if you had to sum what you just heard into a sentence or two, what would that sound like? For me, it would go like this. Figure out what it is you want, make it something you spend time on daily, become a mega-myelin manufacturer through deliberate practice, consistently do things others aren’t willing to do, and do that for 10 years or 10,000 hours.
If you want to become a painter, start spending a little time each day with a brush in your hand. Maybe it’s writing that has grabbed your attention, then block off 30 minutes most days, so you have some uninterrupted time jotting down your thoughts. Always remember the quote by Zig Zigler, “if you can dream it, you can achieve it.”
Before I wrap it up for today, as a reminder, if you’re looking to improve your stickhandling, passing and shooting skills and haven’t found someone to help you yet, please check out my online program at onlinehockeytraining.com, which houses the largest database of off-ice stick skill drills and all the training can be done in the comforts of your home, in your garage, basement or backyard.
Well, that concludes another episode of the hockey journey podcast. I can’t thank you enough for stopping by and listening. I hope you enjoyed the content and If you think there’s someone in your circle of family and friends that might enjoy this episode as well, please share it with just one person, it will really help me in growing this hockey community.
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