As we pursue our dreams in hockey, and in life, we encounter things we can control, and things we can’t. To focus and dwell on factors we can’t control will often derail us from staying on our mission. The Team Canada announcement on January 7th was a wonderful reminder that we cannot let ourselves get discouraged or distracted from our goals when faced with adversity. Furthermore, if we judge ourselves by what others think of us, then we are putting ourselves at risk of constant let down and disappointment.
Steve Yzerman and his extremely experienced group of leaders picked twenty-five players to represent Canada. Literally that means thousands of the world’s greatest hockey players were left of this roster. Imagine that! For most youth hockey players their dream is to play in the NHL. It’s a wonderful dream, but it is shared by millions of kids in Canada, and even more around the world.
Does rejection by Team Canada mean James Neal or Claude Giroux are not as good as we thought they were? Of course not. There are just a ton of amazing players vying for spots, a factor those two players can’t control. If a 13-year-old player values him/herself by whether or not he makes the top Rep team then he could be setting himself up for failure and disappointment. If a 10 year old Atom player judges her success by what flight or tier her team is playing in, then she is putting stock in factors out of her control. Teams and players, have to focus on individual work ethic, skill development, and attention to detail. We all must measure success in small daily achievements that compound over time leading to greatness.
For more on the Compound Effect read the book of that title by Darren Hardy. In it he shows the reader how the daily decisions we make compounded over time determine our fate, for better, or worse. Just because there are other great players out there, doesn’t mean we cannot be great ourselves. Being selected to a roster of twenty-five elite players is an honour, but when the pool of candidates is hundreds, and the pieces of the puzzle have to fit just right, it’s unfair to use that achievement as any kind of measure of success.
Set your outcome goals as big as you can, and dream about it every day. Find action steps and process goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time sensitive. It’s the only SMART way to measure success.