Personal Growth Series: 2 of 5

This is the second in the series on my personal growth journey.  I’ll share more on mindset and some empowering beliefs I used when I was younger as a hockey player.  These beliefs were the foundation to a lot of my earlier success in hockey and other sports.

Now I didn’t play hockey professionally, it was just for fun.  The thing with hockey is that there are so many skill sets that you need to learn at one time.  It’s a tough sport to pick up quickly.

We used to play hockey both indoors and outdoors.  There is a park and outdoor skating rink nearby my parents place in Sudbury.  We used to play in all sorts of weather when we were growing up.  A group of my friends would even play when it was below -25 C (-13 F) outside.

I started playing hockey when I was 10 years old.  I was terrible at the time.  I couldn’t skate or puck handle.  I was one of those kids that we used to call an, “ankle burner.”  You know, ankles rubbing the ice…. I think you get the picture.

1987, Quantum Leap Learning from Hockey

After my first year of hockey, I was devastated.  My confidence was at an all time low and I wasn’t sure if hockey was for me.  I was just so bad.  I was terrible.  I couldn’t skate, I couldn’t puck handle and I wasn’t having any fun.

Despite all this, I was too stubborn to give up.  It was at this time that my dad told me about hockey school.  Hockey school is where they teach you how to play hockey.

I enrolled in hockey school for two weeks.  After these two weeks I was a brand new person.  I could feel the changes inside.  My confidence had skyrocketed.

How did I skyrocket my confidence?

During this time, I did two things extremely well:

  • I modeled and copied the physical movements of the best skaters
  • I maintained a strong belief in myself, “If he can do it, then I can do it.”

I remember the first day of hockey school, there was this little kid in our group.  I think everyone in our group must have been around 10-11 years old, except for this one little guy.  He was half the size of everyone else and he must have been younger too, maybe 9 years old.

Well this kid, this little guy was a brilliant skater.  He could do the tight turns, the cross overs, the puck handling, everything.  And he made it look so easy and I thought, “Man, is he ever good!”

So on the very first day of hockey school I decided that I would model this kid.  If he could do it, then so could I.

Every day we skated.  We were on the ice 7 days a week and I watched this kid.  I watched the way he skated, turned, stopped and positioned his stick.  I watched every detail of what he was doing until I had it just right, just like he did.

He was just awesome to watch.  And the more I watched him the better I got. I started to do what he was doing and that’s how I learned how to skate.  I watched and physically modeled every aspect of his skating.  I was copying his movements, gestures, arm positions, leg position, everything.

After two weeks of practicing this, I became a skating Ninja.

Mental Mindset

It wasn’t always easy.  Everyday we were on the ice. On certain days I didn’t feel like skating.  I wasn’t motivated and wanted to give up.  There were those moments of doubt.

My mindset played a big role in defeating those moments of doubt.  My little voice piped up, “If he can do it, then so can you.”  This was the mindset and the belief that kept me going.  It was this mindset that kept me in the game.  It kept me centered, focused and driven to be the best skater I could be.

This is the same mindset that I use today.  It’s the same mindset that has kept be at the blogging game.  Any time I see that someone else is blogging successfully and winning, I acknowledge their win.  If they can do it then so can I.  It just means I haven’t developed a skill or the consistency to do what they’re doing.

This has been such a powerful belief for me.  I’d highly suggest that you use it too.

1996, Michael Jordan

When I was in high school I also played on the basketball team.  I wasn’t an all star by any means but at one point I was completely obsessed with Michael Jordan.  I was obsessed with the man’s ability to jump and dunk.  I modelled him too :)  Michael was just awesome.  Here’s a video of me dunking from back in the day.  I loved to jump. Keep in mind that the basketball net isn’t regulation height ;)

See the next article in the series: Personal Growth Series: 3 of 5.


The Skating Ninja.

1 Comment

  • Drezz

    Reply Reply December 22, 2008

    There’s some great memories here. I remember the ankle burning, and I remember the improvement.

    I never got past the ankle burning, so I played goal!

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