Another year has passed and 2020 has been one that many are ready to put behind them. As an athlete it is most likely a year like you have never seen before with modified schedules, socially distanced workouts, and zoom meetings with your coaches. While I will not disagree that 2020 has been a year of challenges, I would like to rather focus on the positive aspects of the year and where we go from here.
It is easy to view this past year from a negative perspective, however what if we were to shift our lens to focus on the positives that the year brought and setting ourselves up for success in 2021. Without question, I am certain that athletes around the world have become more resilient which is an excellent trait to have for any athlete. Most of you have been forced to adjust schedules, communicate in new ways, and learn to be mentally tough through a difficult time. Take a good look in the mirror and at 2020 and ask yourself, what did I learn from such a challenging year, what can I take forward in my athletic and personal life from these strange circumstances, and how can I be the best I can be in 2021!
Let’s look at setting our goals for 2021! Our team at Power Plus strongly supports goal setting and having a plan for the upcoming year. In saying that, it is critical that your goals have two major components, the goals need to be realistic and they need to be focused. For example, many young athletes when asked what their goal for the upcoming year will say something such as this “I want to be the best hockey player I can be”. While that sounds fantastic and is a very positive goal, there is a lack of focused attention in that statement and it is tough to know if it is realistic because there is no way to measure an ambiguous statement such as that. Let me provide an example of a realistic and focused goal for 2021:
“I want to improve my strength by 15% in 2021, I strongly believe I can do this by measuring my current fitness metrics, increasing the amount of my schedule focused on strength training by 20%, and utilizing the resources in my community to help me achieve my goal”
That goal sets a timeline, specific metrics to how the goal will be achieved, and an excellent plan to achieving the given goal. A goal is a part of you, it’s something you commit to, so make sure you put the time in and make it something you really want to achieve and believe you can achieve. Positive thinking and a solid action plan are a fantastic start to achieving your goals in athletics, scholastics, and your personal life. Power Plus wishes all of you a Happy New Year and look forward to seeing you all in 2021!
Playing great hockey is the result of doing a lot of small things right. That's why it's not just important to get out and play, it's also important to think and learn about what you are doing. During this next month break in the season take advantage of the Power Plus library of articles and tips; look at a couple of the articles for fresh insights. By constantly reconnecting with what's important, you will improve your game. I challenge you to also use Youtube and other outlets to look for advice on the game. The more you can research and watch the better understanding you will have and the better you will be when we get to be back on the ice.
We are in control of our success through the small things we do in the moments throughout the day. Many athletes say they want to be successful but the question I ask you is what does success look like for you? Discovering exactly what success looks like to you specifically is critical to achieving success. Creating your personal vision of success is important. It requires us to be honest with ourselves and tackle each day with that vision in mind. During this break I challenge you all to create a mind set for success. 3 things you can practice are:
1. Gratitude- Focus on what you are grateful for in your life at this point in time.
2. Visualize- Create a solid image of success in your mind.
3. Priorities-2-3 Important things you need to accomplish in order to achieve that success.
Just remember success is a lot of small things done well!
While we have this little pause in our season, now would be a good time to stay focused and try some skating techniques in front of a mirror. A good place to start would be stride work. Grab a chair, place both arms out on the chair, sit in your 90 degree knee bend and push to full extension with one leg. Hold for 2-3 seconds then come back to flats and try the other leg. Pushing to full extension and finishing with a toe flick are what we are trying to attain. Also, having lots of tension in your leg is going to allow for a more powerful stride. When you recover your stride leg back to a flat make sure you are coming back at a 45 degree angle and not standing up off your knee bend. It is very useful to try this in front of a mirror and perfect it while we have the time and are off the ice. Perfect practice makes precision.
Sometimes our bodies can develop muscle asymmetries that cause our mental map to be “off.” For example, we can think our body is square, when in fact one shoulder may be dropped, or our hips may be pulled to one side with one leg supporting more weight.
Checking your position in a mirror when you do off-ice gives you a chance to spot these asymmetries and correct them. Take a look from several different angles. Memorize the feeling of the correct positions so you can call recall them when you’re on the ice.
Owner, Power Plus