By Brandon Naurato –
A team of employees working under one boss for a company is a similar comparison to a team of hockey players playing for their head coach and their respective organization. Every single day, employees are working hard and trying to prove themselves to their boss with hopes of a promotion, which would entail more money in the bank and more opportunities. The same goes for hockey players. Every time you step on the ice, it should be used as an opportunity to build your “hockey bank account.”
The first thing you need to understand when it comes to boosting the perception of yourself as a player is that it does not rely strictly on your on-ice performance. At every level of hockey, you will find the one percent of high-end players that completely separate themselves from everyone. These are “can’t miss” prospects that you find on all the pre-draft scouting lists on the Internet and the guys that everyone is talking about at every tournament and showcase. Then there are about 5,000 other really good hockey players at the same age group that are all trying to play at the same place. This is when the intangibles on and off the ice come into play and every coach and scout is asking the same questions:
- What type of kid is he?
- What are his grades like?
- How is his attitude?
- Does he have any off-ice issues?
- How is his work ethic?
I have good news for you….you can control all of these questions!If you take anything away from this, take away this message: You are not being evaluated only by the guys in the stands with track jackets from future teams that you aspire to play for. You are being evaluated by everyone, and through this process you are slowly building your “hockey bank account” to where you want it to be.
What are your coach, other coaches, your peers, new teammates and former teammates saying about you when you’re not around?
Are they good things?
All of these attributes will not only bring you success on the ice, but you will start to see it in your everyday life, as well. Treating people with respect, having a positive attitude in the locker room and on the bench, and competing at 110 percent on the ice are a few great ways to build up your hockey bank account. Another good way to build up your hockey bank account is to surround yourself with respected people in the hockey world and prove to these people daily that you are putting the work into following your dreams of playing at the next level and not just talking about it. When the time is right, these are the type of people that have a voice and will have no problem vouching for you as a player because you deserve it. With three or four phone calls, any coach in North America can find somebody that knows you, knows how you play and knows what kind of a student you are.
The important points are these:
- If you are looking for an opportunity, talk to the hockey guys that you know – they likely know somebody that can help.
- If you are contacted by a coach that you don’t know, ask the hockey guys that you do know – if they don’t know that coach they likely know somebody that does.
- And maybe most important of all – don’t burn any bridges. You never know who might call the hockey guys that you know to ask about you.
Hockey is a small world, so control what you can control, build up your “hockey bank account”, and I guarantee that you will find the success you are looking for when all is said and done.