Hockey Grit, Grind, and Mind: Your Playbook for Increasing Toughness, Focus, Drive, Resilience, Confidence, and Consistency in Today's Game

Hockey Grit, Grind, and Mind: Your Playbook for Increasing Toughness, Focus, Drive, Resilience, Confidence, and Consistency in Today's Game

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Overview

Hockey Grit, Grind, & Mind is for all those who are serious about becoming an elite player and reaching their full potential. Hockey is a tough sport and not everyone will develop the passion and perseverance it requires. Yet, honing one’s skills, experience, and mental toughness is essential for becoming the best player possible. Performance and sports specialist Kevin Willis helps players, coaches, and parents understand the grit necessary to rise through the ranks and play hockey at the highest levels. Readers will learn how to increase the consistency of their game, step up in pressure situations, play with more confidence, create a reserve of energy to tap into when things are tough, persevere when other players are giving up, crystalize their vision of success, and stand out on the ice in both games and practices. Kevin provides the tools, insights, and strategies to help players train and compete like the pros and take their game—and their grit—to a whole new level.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781683508304
Publisher: Morgan James Publishing
Publication date: 09/04/2018
Pages: 168
Sales rank: 1,201,661
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Kevin Willis, Ph.D., is a performance and sport specialist consulting in sport and business who specializes in player psychological assessment for performing under pressure. With a Ph.D. in sport psychology, Dr. Willis is one of North America’s rising mental coaches in hockey. His work in enhancing performance and team building has helped hockey organizations, individuals, and teams be successful while dealing with the pressure, stress, and change that comes with playing elite hockey. Author of 18 coaching workbooks on mental game training, Dr. Willis is the founder of TheCompletePlayer.com and co-founder of HockeyTough.com and NetworkHockeyAdvisors.com and conducts workshops and seminars for teams, leagues, and hockey organizations, including coaching clinics and conferences throughout North America. He currently resides in Richmond, Virginia.

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

What Is Grit?

It's the last day of camp and the coaches are down to their final cuts. The remaining players are equal in size, speed, skill, and experience. The front-runners for the last spot are Kyle, Tyler, and you. All appear to have what it takes to contribute to the team; unfortunately, there is only room for one more player. Who will the coaches choose?

Take a minute and picture your name on that roster sheet along with Kyle and Tyler. Think about how hard you've worked to secure a spot on a team that could do great things for your hockey future. Picture the coaches talking back and forth about all the great things you bring to the table and picture them standing at the whiteboard, getting ready to write down the name of the player who might help their team win a championship this season. What do you have that gives you the edge over the others? What will convince them to write your name on the board?

When comparing players of equal physical qualities and ability, what do coaches look for to decide which player to keep and which to let go? Grit. Grit allows a player to do whatever it takes to grow his skills and endure the long, hard climb to the elite hockey level. Without grit, there is little motivation to "push through the wall." Without grit, there is no drive to do difficult things or endure the painful training necessary to play at the highest levels.

My Grit Formula

Grit is the precursor to reaching extraordinary heights in all areas of life. It is the foundation on which greatness is built. Without it, we would not have inspiring works of art, great works of literature, brilliant inventions, or memorable moments in sports to enrich our lives. So, how do we produce grit? Is there a recipe to follow?

After coaching and consulting for years, I've compiled a list of characteristics present in players with grit — my grit formula, if you will: burning passion, accurate self-perception, resolute purpose, deliberate practice, and unwavering perseverance. To weather the ups and downs of hockey and pursue your goals, you must grow and expand in these five areas. In fact, the presence or absence of each of these "P's" determines an individual's level of grit.

Grit Research

For the past decade, grit has been the subject of much research. In fact, everything you learn in this book is based on scientific evidence that proves grit is necessary for lasting achievement. Recent research by the intelligent and gritty researcher Dr. Angela Duckworth has shined a spotlight on this mental skill and pinpointed techniques for increasing the amount of grit you possess.

Before becoming a world-renowned researcher, Dr. Duckworth taught middle school math and noticed something very interesting about her students. She examined the grades from all her students and saw there was no correlation between grades and student IQ. She found that some of her smartest students had poor grades, and some of her weaker students had high grades. Curious, she started looking at their habits and saw that some of her less academically inclined students were doing something her smartest kids were not: they were putting an extra amount of effort into their studies — not a ridiculous amount of extra study, but a deliberately increased effort.

They were going above and beyond what was expected, and, over time, their grades improved dramatically. During this same time, her smartest and most talented students did only what was asked, and even though they had a high IQ, they underperformed. It seemed the smartest kids depended on their raw talent and high intelligence to get by, and their lower grades reflected their minimal effort.

Dr. Duckworth was driven to discover why this was happening and wondered if this same principle applied to other situations. After getting her PhD, Dr. Duckworth looked into peak performance and studied the young cadets at West Point, one of the toughest military schools in the United States. Every year, approximately 1,400 cadets are selected out of a pool of 14,000 applicants to begin training at West Point.

As with all military training, the early days are the toughest. At West Point, cadets endure weeks of brutal training known as "Beast Barracks." Researchers who have studied West Point cadets refer to Beast Barracks as an intense period of training deliberately engineered to test the very limits of cadets' physical, emotional, and mental capacities.

As you can imagine, not every cadet makes it through Beast Barracks. Statistics show that only one in five cadets will make it past the first seven weeks of training. This is somewhat surprising as getting into West Point means you beat out 12,600 other applicants, clearly indicating you are one of the best of the best. These numbers prove just how tough the training must be.

Being ever curious, Dr. Duckworth set out to understand why some cadets can endure this intense training while others fail. She looked at all aspects of performance, education, fitness, IQ, discipline, and genetics. She drilled down on high school rankings and considered the SAT, Leadership Potential, Physical Aptitude Test, and Grit Scale scores of over 2,400 cadets.

Here's what she discovered. It wasn't the cadets' physical makeup, education, leadership potential, talent, IQ, or genetics that accurately predicted the outcome of Beast Barracks. It was their grit. The level of passion and perseverance to work toward long-term goals made the difference between those who made it and those who did not.

The Grit Scale

To measure grit, Dr. Duckworth developed a Grit Scale, a quick and easy assessment to measure the level of grit an individual has. The remainder of this book will break down each component of grit to understand how to improve yours. So, before we can go any further, take the Grit Scale assessment so you will know your score as we work our way through the rest of this book.

There are two ways to take the Grit Scale assessment: online or manually. To take the assessment online for free, go to GritGrindMind.net. The nice thing about taking the assessment online is that it's automatically scored for you. It will take you less than five minutes to find out your score. Or, if you would rather score your assessment yourself or aren't near a computer, I've included Dr. Duckworth's eight-point Grit Scale below, which is a little different than the online version but the scores work out the same. Either way, the assessment is quick and easy, and the results are highly predictive of a person's ability to achieve under challenging circumstances.

Before you take the test, understand that your score on the Grit Scale is not static. Nor is it indicative of your level of grit in all aspects of your life. A low Grit Score does not limit your hockey potential, nor does a high Grit Score assure you of hockey success. The point of understanding grit is to understand what makes up grit and how to increase yours. I hope to provide you the tools and guidance for how to use grit as another weapon in your hockey arsenal.

Are you ready to find out how gritty you are?

Grit Scale Assessment

While considering your hockey game, please respond to the following eight items. Be honest. There are no right or wrong answers.

1. New ideas and projects sometimes distract me from previous ones.

* Very much like me

* Mostly like me

* Somewhat like me

* Not much like me

* Not like me at all

2. Setbacks don't discourage me. I don't give up easily.

* Very much like me

* Mostly like me

* Somewhat like me

* Not much like me

* Not like me at all

3. I have been obsessed with a certain idea or project for a short time but later lost interest.

* Very much like me

* Mostly like me

* Somewhat like me

* Not much like me

* Not like me at all

4. I am a hard worker.

* Very much like me

* Mostly like me

* Somewhat like me

* Not much like me

* Not like me at all

5. I often set a goal but later choose to pursue a different one.

* Very much like me

* Mostly like me

* Somewhat like me

* Not much like me

* Not like me at all

6. I have difficulty maintaining my focus on projects that take more than a few months to complete.

* Very much like me

* Mostly like me

* Somewhat like me

* Not much like me

* Not like me at all

7. I finish whatever I begin.

* Very much like me

* Mostly like me

* Somewhat like me

* Not much like me

* Not like me at all

8. I am diligent. I never give up.

* Very much like me

* Mostly like me

* Somewhat like me

* Not much like me

* Not like me at all

Scoring

For questions 2, 4, 7, and 8, assign the following points:

5 = Very much like me

4 = Mostly like me

3 = Somewhat like me

2 = Not much like me

1 = Not like me at all

For questions 1, 3, 5, and 6, assign the following points:

1 = Very much like me

2 = Mostly like me

3 = Somewhat like me

4 = Not much like me

5 = Not like me at all

Add up all the points and divide by eight. The maximum score on this scale is five (extremely gritty), and the lowest score is one (not at all gritty).

Now that you have a better understanding of grit and even know your Grit Score, let's break down each of the factors that make up grit: passion, self-perception, purpose, practice, and perseverance. Each element leads to the next: passion flows into self-perception, which is necessary to understand your purpose, which inspires practice, which requires perseverance, which flows back to passion — and the cycle continues.

So, let's get started with the element that put you on this hockey journey in the first place: passion.

CHAPTER 2

Passion to Start

Arguably the greatest basketball player of all time, Michael Jordan had such passion for the game that he had a "love of the game" clause built into his contract with the Chicago Bulls. While most NBA organizations prevent their athletes from participating in unsanctioned games, such as pickup ball or street ball, Michael Jordan had such an abiding passion and dedication for basketball that he insisted on being able to play wherever and whenever he wanted. It is a passion that led Michael Jordan to achieve the highest level of performance, leading to five MVP awards, ten scoring titles, and the Chicago Bulls' "three-peat" as NBA champions in the 1990s.

You may not realize it, but Jordan wasn't so successful his first time out. As a sophomore in high school, the then 5'11" Jordan was deemed too short for the varsity team, so his coach placed him on the JV team. This placement motivated young Jordan to prove his value in the game, and he launched into an intense period of practice that led to tremendous growth in skill. That season, Jordan went on to lead the JV team, chalking up several forty-plus point games, and he never looked back.

Michael Jordan's story illustrates just how important passion is. If Jordan didn't have a burning passion for basketball, he would not have worked so hard his sophomore year to improve his skills, and his career may have ended before it even started. Quite simply, his love for the game drove him to develop his talents and set him on a course to change the game.

Passion in hockey is multifaceted. It's both the spark that sets things in motion and the fire that keeps things moving forward. In this chapter, we're going to focus on that first spark, the passion for hockey that got you started in the game. We will also explore three fundamental questions you must answer if you are determined to increase your grit: What do you really want out of hockey? What do you truly believe about yourself? What are you willing to do? Passion will underpin and inform your answers to these questions as it is the motivating force for all you do.

The 1980 men's Olympic hockey team put me on the path to becoming an expert in mental toughness. We don't always know when and where this spark will happen, but you will know it when it happens. I grew up playing baseball, soccer, and football, but watching that epic, miraculous moment in 1980 changed me forever. My passion for hockey was ignited right then and there and has been burning brightly ever since.

Ignition

The decision to pursue and develop any talent will typically come from some sort of igniting factor. Similar to my spark story, the 1980 US men's hockey team's "Miracle on Ice" also motivated many great American-born players to aim for the NHL. Players like Mike Modano, Pat LaFontaine, Jeremy Roenick, Ed Olczyk, Bobby Carpenter, Mike Richter, Tom Barrasso, Joe Mullen, Brian Leetch, Chris Chelios, and others point to this moment in history as the driving force behind their passion for the game. Other ignition sources include parental encouragement, solid coaching, natural talent, or a powerful interest in learning how to do something well. Whatever the source, the spark is what lights the fire that ultimately drives your passion to become the best you can be.

The original flash point of ignition is usually unexpected and can feel like a revelation or something that was "meant to be." Pursuit of this new, exciting skill or ability usually creates such joy that the hard work and difficulty surrounding advancement becomes fuel to work even harder, not reason to give up. This is a very important point regarding the development of your talent in hockey. The stronger your passion and drive for hockey, the more likely you will hang in there when progress means sacrifice.

I'm sure many of you have experienced a spark like this and know exactly what I'm talking about. Think back to a time where you did something or saw something that instantly motivated you to find out more. It feels incredible when you discover something so amazing that it's all you can think of and all you want to do. It's this kind of spark that ignites the passion needed to play hockey at the highest levels.

Look at some of the best players in the game today, guys like Crosby, Ovechkin, Toews, Kane, Matthews, and McDavid. What makes these guys willing to log tedious hours working on the small and seemingly insignificant parts of the game, which ultimately make a huge difference in their performance? These players work hard because they know the answers to three fundamental questions pertaining to passion:

1. What do you want?

2. What do you believe?

3. What are you willing to do?

What Do You Really Want?

What do you want out of hockey? Your answer matters because your passion is driven by what you want and what you believe is possible.

Like most players, I'm sure you've watched games on television and thought to yourself, I want that. I want to be able to play hockey like those guys. I remember going to my first hockey game and being absolutely amazed at how intense and exciting it was. I grew up watching players like Gretzky and Lemieux dazzle hockey fans with their skill and scoring finesse. Watching my heroes on the ice fueled the fire that burns to this day.

The first step to understanding the passion you have for hockey is to remember what drew you to the game and define what you want to experience as a player. Knowing what you want is essential, but there is more. You must also believe you have what it takes to reach the dream you so desperately want.

What Do You Believe?

Do you genuinely believe you will do whatever it takes to succeed? Do you believe you can develop your talent to play at the highest levels, or do you sometimes doubt you have what it takes to remain true to your dream and work hard?

Belief in yourself is paramount to your success. Negative beliefs, even those unconsciously held, become self-limiting. Bill Gates is a billionaire because he believed there was nothing holding him back from building the largest and most profitable software company in the world. Peyton Manning is one of the most successful quarterbacks of all time because of his unfailing belief in his ability to succeed in football. Sidney Crosby will find himself in the Hall of Fame one day because he knew that with the right focus, the right attitude, and the necessary commitment to his game, he would be a star.

How about you? What do you believe about yourself? Answer the following questions as they relate to hockey:

1. Do you believe that success in hockey is a choice you make every time you step on the ice?

2. Do you believe you can do what it takes to develop your skills and talent as a hockey player?

3. Can you truly see yourself moving forward to higher and more elite levels in hockey?

4. Do you believe talent is not inherited but can grow and develop with the right kind of coaching and personal effort?

5. Do you believe you deserve to be successful in hockey?

6. Do you believe you have all the available resources necessary to succeed?

When I talk about resources, I'm talking about elite coaching, quality hockey facilities, support from family and friends, and guidance from trusted professionals and advisors. Are you playing in competitive leagues against competitive teams? Are you getting opportunities to be scouted at tournaments and showcases?

(Continues…)


Excerpted from "Hockey Grit, Grind, and Mind"
by .
Copyright © 2019 Kevin L. Willis, PhD.
Excerpted by permission of Morgan James Publishing.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Foreword,
Introduction How to Use This Book,
Chapter 1. What Is Grit?,
Chapter 2. Passion to Start,
Chapter 3. Perception,
Chapter 4. Purpose,
Chapter 5. Practice,
Chapter 6. Perserverance,
Chapter 7. Passion to Stay,
Conclusion,
About the Complete Player Coaching Program,
Notes,
About the Author,

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