Hope, Faith, & Hard Work!


What Do You Believe Is Possible For You And Your Team This Season?

As the season nears, take a minute and check in with yourself and think about the things you are expecting and hoping will happen this season.

Now belief, hope, and faith are interesting words … they each deal with the future, and more importantly, because they are things you are thinking about, they have the power to become real for you ….

So let's look at belief first. What do you believe is possible?

- Your team will win the championship?

- You’ll be the top defensemen on your team? … in the league?

- You’ll have the most points? … top 5 in the league?

What you believe is possible will drive your thoughts, feelings and actions towards making it a reality.

If you believe you can be a top forward on your team, then you’ll work hard in practice, you’ll watch game video, and breakdown your play to improve game after game. You’ll be a good teammate both on and off the ice to make sure everyone is working together for the same goal.

As I said, when you believe something is possible, you’ll act in a way, whether consciously or unconsciously, to make it a reality.

And this goes for negative beliefs as well.

Believe your team is too small or young or untalented to rank high in the standings? Just believing this is possible can start a chain of events that has the potential to make it a reality.

Believe the coach doesn’t like you or prefers other players? Then go ahead and act in a way to support that belief and you will be sure to make this something you’ll have to deal with all season.

My point is, we all have beliefs, but what not everyone knows, is those beliefs pull you towards them. Your brain munches on those thoughts and feelings, and it says “oh, this is how it’s supposed to be, ok, let me work on that for you” … and then it goes to work finding ways to make those thoughts and feelings and beliefs work out for you … whether you want them to or not … such is the case with negative beliefs

Ok, so what about hope?

Hope and faith sort of sound like the same thing but they are actually very different.

Hope is a positive, optimistic mindset that is based on what you want and desire. We hope we’ll win the championship, we hope we’ll be first line, we hope we’ll score today. It’s a powerful mental skill and one I work with my players a lot.

Hope and belief are similar in that they somehow magically pull you towards them. You feed your brain this thought of “I hope such and such” and it says “got it, I’m on it” and then it looks for ways to make it happen.

alright, So what is faith then?

Faith is slightly different than hope whereas hope is based on positive mindset of desire, faith is internal confidence that something is meant to be.

you know, It’s a sense of knowing that something is just going to work out, just as long as you have faith.

The thing about faith is, it sort of puts the universe in charge of making it happen, versus hope and belief where they sort of leave you still in charge of results.

Faith is powerful when you feel there is not much you can do anyway, so with faith you just know the planets will align and things will work out.

Hope says, this is what I want, what I hope happens, and then your brain and body get to work to make it so.

So you might be asking, ok kevin, what’s all this about, why are you telling me all this?

Well, its the start of the season and it’s your job to get your mind right to get off to a good start.

What are your goals? … please tell me you have some?

What are your expectations?

What do you believe is possible? … do those beliefs set you up for success or failure?

What do you hope will happen?

Can you see how all of these different attitudes of mind can impact what you do, what you think, how you feel, and where you go?

And, that’s why I’m asking you right now before the season gets underway and you’re going 100 different directions, to take some time and think about what you believe, what you hope, and what you know for the upcoming season …

Trust me when I tell you, when you feed your brain thoughts like these, it will grab them and it’ll hang on to them, and work them over and over and over … ruminating on them … to make them so

So, do yourself a favor and feed your brain the right thoughts early in the season, and then as the season moves along, continue to check in with yourself to see how things are going …

ok, so the last thing I want to mention is hard work. what you believe, hope, and have faith in our powerful attitudes of mind, but you still have to do the work.

Don’t think for one minute just because you believe something will happen, that you get to set it and forget it … you still have to put in the work

I know you know this, but sometimes what happens is a player can believe that because something is meant to be, that they get to coast and enjoy the ride. you know, as an elite hockey player you know that is never the case. There will never be a time where you get to sit back and let the universe drive the bus.

if you want all of these things you believe are possible, you hope will happen, then it’s your job to get in the driver seat and work your ass off to make them happen …

The start of a season is an exciting time … anything is possible … everyone is starting at the same spot … everyone has the same opportunity

It’s go time … and I want to make sure your hockey mind is ready to go and that you’re ready to put your hard hat on and get to work.

Bar Down!

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

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