Minor hockey players are not too young to learn how to set goals for themselves and determine a resolution for every new season. Setting goals not only helps them to stay focused, but also can be a strong life skill for achieving success in future endeavours. Coaches set goals for their team and it should be no different for parents and players.
I encourage parents to sit down with their son or daughter and map out some key things that they would like to work towards over the course of a year to start. Then figure out where they would like to see themselves in five years. In order to help achieve your goals it’s important to make a resolution. Make a promise to yourself to start doing things that will get you to your goals and promise to avoid anything that could deter you from achieving your goals.
At my training facility we set goals not only for each team during in-season training but for each individual during the off-season as well. It could be anything from increasing flexibility or mobility, increasing strength or speed, even increasing confidence through team building exercises and individual challenges.
Below are some goals a minor hockey player might want to achieve over the course of a year or in the next five years.
- Improve puck-handling skills.
- Improve skating technique.
- Improve shooting accuracy.
- Improve strength and power.
- Improve flexibility and mobility.
- Make the A1 team next year.
- Make a major midget or junior team.
- Get a scholarship to University.
- Make a major junior team or the NHL.
I’m sure young hockey players want to achieve all of these goals, but sit down and talk about what you need to improve on the most and make a plan or steps to get there. Your long-term goals cannot be achieved without reinforcing short-term goals first. Below are steps to take to start mapping out your future, whether it’s next month or next year. Set a time line for yourself to achieve these goals and track your progress so you can see the results.
Let’s say you want to improve your wrist shot accuracy and flexibility.
- Having a goalie net in the garage or driveway is a good start.
- Identify how you are going to improve your accuracy and what you have to do to see results.
- Your resolution could be to shoot 100 pucks every morning before school.
- Be more specific and say you’re going to shoot 25 pucks in each corner.
- Set a further goal to shoot every single puck perfectly in each corner then shoot more pucks.
- Figure out what kind of stretches you need to do to improve your flexibility.
- Get help from a trainer to identify the limitation you have in your flexibility.
- Learn the specific stretches you need to do to see progress.
- Promise yourself you will perform your stretches every single day until you see a difference.
Just know there will always be bumps in the road and learning how to deal with adversity is what will make you champion. Surround yourself with people who share the same mind-set as you to succeed. Having a role model can be a huge source of encouragement and motivation. Be persistent and determined to be the best you can possibly be with the abilities you are blessed with.