Attitude of Gratitude


Hockey can be like that in general. you’re always striving and working hard to get to the next thing. You have a plan and you’re on a mission to become the player, or coach, or hockey parent you know you can be. That is commendable. it’s exciting, and it’s a worthy goal to be sure.

But let me suggest that you take a minute during this coming holiday season and appreciate everything that you have in your hockey life. Take time this holiday season to appreciate how much fun all of this craziness is.

You aren’t thinking of it right now when you’re in the middle of it, but one day, all of this that you’re doing will be memories. It doesn’t matter if you go on to play in the NHL, college, or just finish out your hockey career in minor hockey. At some point, you’ll look back and say “holy crap that was fun!”

Whether you’re a player, a coach, or a parent. There is excitement in all of this and when it’s over you’ll look back and remember how much of an adventure it was.

Appreciate it now. Stop and appreciate all the hassles, frustrations, joy, excitement, long trips, early mornings, cold fingers and toes, celebrating the big games and wins as well as the frustrating losses and long rides home. It’s all so incredibly awesome and I don’t want you to not appreciate all of it for one second.

Now I know it will all get busy again. People going in a hundred different directions, this tourney, that showcase, this game, and that practice. Trust me, I know it can feel like a whirlwind. But try to take time now to just take it all in.

That’s my holiday present to you. To get you to stop, take a deep breath, and play that Hallmark movie in your mind of just how awesome this hockey adventure you are on, and enjoy every moment of it.

One of the things I teach my players is to appreciate the hassles you have to endure coming up in hockey. I tell them to try and look at obstacles, not as a roadblock, but as a detour that requires a little more learning and experience to make sure you have what you need for later on.

Here’s an excerpt from TheConfidentPlayer Workbook on having a “Attitude of Gratitude”

"Maybe you’ve been looking at the whole obstacle thing all wrong. Maybe it isn’t something that the universe puts out there in order to watch you fail. Perhaps the obstacle is there in front of you for one reason and one reason only – so that you have the opportunity to overcome it and be even more successful. Did you ever stop to think that sometime in the future, you will be faced with what seems like an impossible task – but not for you – Because you’re ready! You’re ready because of what you’re learning RIGHT NOW. Now THAT’S the way to look at obstacles!"

Think about an obstacle that you have encountered during hockey that, had you not encountered it, you would not have developed a new skill. Aren’t you lucky that obstacle (or should I say opportunity) presented itself so that you could improve?

Perhaps instead of shaking your fist at the heavens the next time you encounter a stumbling block, you should grin and shout, “I know, I know, I have to learn this – I can do this!”

To get the rest of TheConfidentPlayer workbook and learn more mental toughness strategies, check out coaching site for a complete library of mental toughness training. Or click here to get access to the free mental coaching library.

Kevin L. Willis, PhD
Sport Psychologist
Level 5 USA Hockey Coach

Clarity Preparation Gratitude