Mindset Monday #19 | Develop Gratitude

Why hockey players need to develop gratitude
Coach A
February 19, 2024
Mindset Monday #19 | Develop Gratitude

Coach A


February 19, 2024

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[00:00] What is going on?Everyone? Welcome back to the Hockey Lab podcast. As always, I'm your host, Coach A, it's Monday, and that means one thing and one thing only. That means it's mindset. Monday, if it's your first time listening, welcome. If you're along time listener, welcome back. We do one of these every single week, five minutes or less.

Talking about a concept of mental preparation. If you're watching this on video, slightly different studio setup today, I'm actually inside of my garage gym. I forgot to turn the heat on before I got out here, so it is freezing. I'm hoping it's just a, a one or two take. Recording, but if you're listening, none of that matters.

So let's roll into it before we start. As always, if you're joining the podcast, please go on, leave a review. We're trying to grow this thing to a million hockey players, and that's something that we can only do with your help. To the people that have left review, to people that have reached out via DM or stop guards or I in the rink to talk and tell us a little bit about their experience with the podcast.

Thank you so much. It really does mean the world. You know, everyone likes to be appreciated and every single time it happens, Gards or I text each other and let let the other one know that, we bumped into someone who's a [00:01:00] listener of the hockey lab.So thank you so much for your support and that lends perfectly with today's topic.

So I wanna talk about gratitude on today's mindset Monday, it's the Family Day weekend, which means most of you listening are probably at home with your family or headed out to do some sort of family activity. And what better time to talk about gratitude than right now? So what is gratitude? Gratitude is a practice.

It is the act of reflection and giving thanks to the people in our life and the opportunities that we have. And as a. A personality as a driven athlete or individual, it can be really, really hard to take time for gratitude. So, you know, we almost feel like it's a weakness if we stop focusing on what is next and instead reflect on what we have.

It's going to decrease our motivation or limit our ability to succeed. And I know that when I was fighting, I certainly fell into that trap.And truthfully, even now, I still do, I'm always thinking about, what's the next thing? Where are we going in the next three months, six months, 12 months?

How can we get there faster? [00:02:00]How can we optimize? And, you know, there's a part of that that is of course, helpful, but at the end of the day, you have to be grateful for where you are or what is the point, right? So on this podcast I talk about all the time how hockey is the most important thing in the world, and it's also the least important thing in the world.

And what do I mean when I say that? Well, it's the most important thing because we spend 15, 20, 25 hours every week. Practicing our craft, and it teaches us amazing lessons like discipline and dedication and commitment and perseverance, right? And those things all matter, and they matter a lot. And so that's why it's the most important thing.

But on the flip side, it's the least important because it's just a game. It really is. And it's a game that matters a lot, but it's still just a game. You know? It's not your health and it's not the health of your loved ones, and it's not the health of your friends. And so that's why I say it matters the most and it matters the least.

And when you get to the pro level, I think that is onlyamplified. these guys are very, very fortunate. They get to [00:03:00] play a children's game at the highestlevel, and I don't think they would be upset with me saying that. And itmatters the most, but it also matters the least. And because of that, it'sreally, really important to stop and take stock and have a gratitude practice.

And there's three or four different reasons why. So the firstone is mental health. Now, we've seen over the last three to five years a hugespike in youth athlete mental health issues. There's added levels of pressure.There's the added levels of anxiousness. Depression just a general uneasearound sports and performing and having a gratitude practice can help tomitigate some of these feelings.

So if you're feeling really anxious about a big game or a big tournament coming up over the weekend, stopping, taking a little bit of time to reflect, think about where you are, where you've got to, what your hard work has, has provided you an opportunity with. The people in your life, your coaches, your family, that can go a long way in helping to offset those feelings.

I certainly know that for myself when I was going into fights,I put a lot of pressure to win, of course, right? I'd spent 6, 8, 12 weeks training [00:04:00] and it would be valuable for me to stop, sit down and just count my blessings, so to speak. You know, how lucky am I? That I get to go out in front of a few thousand people and do something I love, right?

And that practice right there would help to offset some of my anxiousness and my nerves around the event itself. And then I'd be able to go out and perform in a better way, right? So that's kind of the first reason. The next reason is that it helps you to soak in the moment. It gives you an opportunity to appreciate what you have right here and now, right?

If you're always pushing, if you're always looking forward, looking ahead, you never get a chance to appreciate. What it is you have and that's gonna get taken away someday. You know, I have some very close friends who played 10, 15, 20 years in the National Hockey League and they play men's league with me now.

Right. There is a time when it comes to an end, regardless of what level you play at. So I do think you want to enjoy that journey. The next reason is that it helps you to recognize the people that really matter in your life that might not get enough credit. You know, and for a lot of young athletes, that's [00:05:00] often your coaches and your parents, you know, they make a lot of sacrifices.

And even if you don't really understand at this point, I think if you stop and reflect, you'll realize the amount of, of time and money and.Personal pleasures that they give up for you to have an opportunity to succeed. Right? So having a gratitude practice, stopping, reflecting on those things, that gives you a chance to appreciate those people.

And I promise, just a, a little word goes a long way. I. And then the last component that I think is worthwhile talking about is having a gratitude practice helps to make you very coachable and helps to mitigate entitlement. So as an athlete, the last thing that you want is to feel like you are owed something.

If you start believing that. The world or the game or a coach or a a teammate owes you something. It's gonna be very, very difficult to find success inside of that arena. You know, that entitlement is a, is a real challenge and a real hurdle. But if you sit back and are grateful for the things that you have, and you realize that those are gifts that you [00:06:00] have been given, well, it's very difficult to become entitled when you realize how fortunate you are for these things, and it makes you a better teammate and a much more coachable athlete.

So this week I want to challenge you guys, especially with the Family Day weekend being here. Take a moment, stop, reflect, think about all the amazing things that you have in your life and the great opportunities that you have, and just be grateful for them. And then set it in your calendar. Do this once a week or every three days.

Just a quick reminder, 60 seconds gratitude practice. It'll have a huge impact on your ability to go out and perform on the ice and off the ice. Have a great week guys.

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