With our teams set to return to the ice and begin the season shortly it's the time of year when thoughts turn to "goals." Most athletes at this level have dreams of what they are hoping to achieve. The disconnect occurs when they don't put a plan in place based on very specific goals to attain those dreams, and don't make every practice and every shift count toward realizing their goals.
1. Your goals should be challenging -
If your goals are challenging you will work harder to achieve them.
2. Your goals should be realistic -
If you are twelve and your goal is to become an NHL starter in the next year, you have set an unrealistic goal. Unrealistic goals set your self up for failure.
3. Your goals should be specific -
Specific goals can be measured. It is important to be able to know when your goals are accomplished. Being specific allows you to do this. An example of a vague goal is - To be in better shape. What is 'better' and how it is accomplished? An example of a specific goal is - I am going to run three miles everyday this week at 3:00 PM on the track behind school. You can look back and know if you have accomplished your goal.
4. Your goals should have aim -
After you have accomplished some of your goals, continue to set new ones focused on your dreams. These goals must continue to challenge you.
5. Write your goals -
Writing your goals reinforces what you are trying to accomplish. It is also a valuable tool to look back and measure your success as you strive toward your dreams. Similar to camp, keep a daily journal.
6. Own your goals -
The goals and dreams need to come from your heart. Working to accomplish other people’s goals will not bring the satisfaction you may desire. Pursuing other people’s goals and dreams will bring frustration. Know who you are and what you want to accomplish. This is personal, and needs to be given thought.
7. Envision your goals -
This is the dress rehearsal before the big performance. Your body will react to what you tell your mind, if you tell your mind enough times. Visualizing things before they happen will prepare and enable you to accomplish the task when the time arrives.
8. Believe in your goals -
There is a difference between goals you hope to achieve and goals you will achieve. Have an attitude that says I will. This comes in the belief in the goals and yourself in the undertaking you have set before yourself.
9. Evaluate your goals -
When striving towards goals you have to be flexible. You will often have to readjust. They may no longer be challenging enough or may be too challenging. Find the best route for you to get to the dream you have set before you. Maybe the vehicle you were using to achieve your dream no longer is the best way to get there. Be flexible and react.
10. Accomplish your goals -
Goals are made only to be conquered. Do not set goals if you do not intend to achieve them. Goals that are not intended for completion will have a negative impact on you, and are better left unsaid.
Try some of the following:
* Develop a plan to get where you want to be
* Be able to out skate ANYONE in practice
* Do not let up in practice
* Control the puck
* Develop the attitude of "I am going to get better everyday"
In hockey, you should try to build your body into a machine. It requires daily running, weight training, and skating. Remember throughout your entire season, you should be thinking about what you need to develop in hockey to be where you want to be at the end of your season.
Note: This article originally appeared on the website in 2008 (posted by Todd Goetz) but the advice is still relevant.