1. Play Hockey because YOU want to. The greats Ovechkin, Crosby, Gretzky all express their deep love for the game. While you may not be dedicating your whole life to the game as they did, this attitude is essential. Your happiness and well-being is more important than success. If playing Hockey isn’t in your heart, then try something else. Don’t do it for someone else, do what YOU love for YOU.

2. Focus on the process not the outcome. If you keep improving each day, wins and titles will take care of themselves. If you focus only on winning, you will be too preoccupied trying to not make mistakes – which will result in losing. Sidney Crosby says that he is constantly trying to learn more improve and evolve as a player and as a person and he is among the best ever. Focus on the process of winning instead.

3. Don’t worry about what other people think. NHL star Connor Mcdavid commented about the opinions of others saying “If you’re [worrying about] that, then you’re going to get kind of caught up in everything. You have no control over it, and so why worry about it. There’s nothing you can do.”  Focus on yourself and the lifestyle you want to lead. Many people get caught up with “people pleasing” and trying to impress family, friends, coaches and teammates. Focusing on making these other people happy distracts you from who is really important – YOU! Plus, it adds unnecessary pressure on you.

4. Treat all competitions the same. Don’t make any match special. A friendly scrimmage, a championship tournament, or a competitive practice drill should all be taken seriously to the same degree. Avoid treating “bigger” competitions any differently than you would treat a scrimmage.

5. Control the things you can control. Don’t worry about the things you can’t control because it’ll frustrate you. Focus on the things you can control:

EFFORT- 100% all the time winning or losing. 
ATTITUDE- positive and composed regardless of circumstances.
EXECUTION- Be aggressive. Err on the side of being gutsy!

6. Forgive yourself quickly. Use mistakes as a learning experience and make sure to let yourself off the hook. Mistakes are inevitable, and the best way to forget about one is to make up for it on the next play. But you can’t move forward if you’re still worried about the past. Spend at least 90% of your time on the solution (how to improve) and no more than 10% on the problem (why?). 

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