What the Team Canada Hockey Selection Reminded Me About Life

Team Canada logo

hockey canada logoPost Update: I originally posted this article in 2014.  While the Team Canada roster is out of date, the lessons remain valuable. 

As we pursue our dreams in hockey, and and life, we encounter things we can control, and things we can’t.  Giving attention to factors we cannot control derails us from staying on mission.  The Team Canada announcement on January 7th reminded me that rejection cannot distract us from our goals.  Furthermore, if we judge ourselves by what others think of us, constant disappointment awaits.

Steve Yzerman and and extremely experienced group of leaders picked 25 players to represent Canada.  However, they literally left 100’s of the world’s greatest hockey players off this roster.  Imagine that!  Many youth hockey players dream of playing in the NHL.  It’s a wonderful dream, shared by 465’000 kids in Canada, and another 700’000 around the world, according to the IIHF’s most recent report on participation in hockey.

Judge your process, not your outcome:

Did rejection by Team Canada mean James Neal or Martin St Louis do not quality as elite players?  Of course not.  A whole league of amazing players challenged for those spots.  Those 2 players cannot control that reality.  If a 13 year old player values himself by whether or not he makes the top Rep team then he sets himself up for disappointment.  If a 10 year old Atom player judges her success by what flight or tier her team is playing in, then she gives meaning to factors out of her control. During my time coaching female varsity soccer in New York we referenced the competition.  We recognized that we could not control whether other teams recruited half of the Brazilian U16 National Team, so we had to find other ways to measure our own progress!

Controllables: Habits Over Time:

We can control work ethic, commitment to detail, habit, attention to skill development, and commitment to continuous learning.  We must measure success in small daily achievements that compound over time, and trust they will lead to greatness. In  The Compound Effect, by Darren Hardy, the author explains how the daily decisions we make, compounded over time, determine our fate, for better, or worse.  Anyone keen to make small wins, and good habits, the core of your daily action plan need to read this book.

Set your outcome goals big and dream about them every day.  But set short term goals you can reach frequently.  Ritualize your action steps and habits.  Make your process goals that Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time Sensitive.  It’s the only SMART way to measure success.

No gimmicks. No Hyperbole. No Magic Bullet. The Compound Effect is based on the principle that decisions shape your destiny. Little, everyday decisions will either take you to the life you desire or to disaster by default. Darren Hardy, publisher of Success Magazine, presents The Compound Effect, a distillation of the fundamental principles that have guided the most phenomenal achievements in business, relationships, and beyond. This easy-to-use, step-by-step operating system allows you to multiply your success, chart your progress, and achieve any desire. If you’re serious about living an extraordinary life, use the power of The Compound Effect to create the success you want.

Get The Compound Effect on Amazon today.

One response... add one

Great post and can be applied to so many things in life… not just hockey. The first line of your 3rd paragraph “we have to focus on individual work ethic, skill development and attention to detail”. Apply this to schoolwork, sports, relationships…and you will find success!

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