As the hockey school season winds down and training camps begin in approximately a month’s time, most athletes look to build upon their summer skates and create a consistency of performance as they head into the season.
Consistency of performance is a hard attribute to attain (hence why I maybe write about on different occasions). I am not an advocate that an athlete has to be 100% efficient every day, to me when an athlete is at 100% he is what we call “in the zone”. So why do we chase or expect this 100% efficiency when it only on rare occasions that we achieve it? What if we were to create a logical model that allows our athletes to be 80-90% efficient on a consistent basis, this creates a better opportunity to reach “the zone” more often. In other words the individual athlete’s bad days are still a contributing force to their development, instead of a full write off so to speak. As I watched games and skates over the last month I came to realize that most amateur athletes struggle with this notion. I saw athletes who had the skill to take control at evaluation games but failed to do so. But why? The answer I always come back to is that to take control of games and to be a consistent 80-90% efficient athlete the individual must be a creative self-managed athlete.
Being a sufficient self-managed athlete means that you have developed a strategic conscious effort (the act of being a discipline thinker) in how you perceive situations and your typical responses. Being a discipline self-managed athlete means you have a plan and I believe most of our athletes lack plans when it comes to dealing with setbacks and how they approach the game and their development. As we head into the new hockey season and hopefully as most athletes start to view their goals we need to develop their agendas and intentions to increase consistency of performance. Therefore in moving forward the following chart represent aspects that athletes can ask themselves as they try to become discipline thinkers in their approach to the game:
- On a daily basis, what is my work ethic like?
- Am I running effective development/training sessions?
- Am I aware of what sparks me and what holds me back?
- How do I deal with adversity?
- Self Awareness requires assessment. What are my strengths and weaknesses?
By asking these simple questions on a weekly basis athletes begin to spin a web of focus points for development and will probably start to pick out common themes in how efficient they are as an athlete. High performers are very self-aware that lead to a consistency of performance, even their bad days they are still contributing. So as we embark on the 2014-2015 season, instead of just going through the motions step outside the comfort zone and begin to logically analyze your development path and efficiency in all facets of the game. The pressure of high performance is an opportunity, not a threat.