player tips



Focus On What You Can Control

Posted by Greg Carter

In these uncertain times hockey players have many questions. The best way to this season is to not worry about things out of your control, and to focus on what you can control! 

As both a player and a coach, there are always those seasons that stick out where there seemed to be more questions than answers. Looking back at those uncertain times, I can remember coaches telling players to focus. Don’t get distracted. Take one game at a time. One shift at a time. 

Years later it seems easy to now look back and agree. In the moment however, it just seemed like a bunch of coaches cliches strung together to motivate and help get us through the moment.

Do not let what is out of your control interfere with all of the things that are within your control.

Focus on what you can control, rather than the outcome you cannot.

Focus on what you can do rather than stress about what you have no control over. 

The secret of confidence is focusing on what you can control, not on what you can’t.

Rather than worrying about the unclear, focus on who is in the mirror. 

As we enter this season like no other, there in all likelihood will be more questions than answers from players, parents and even coaches. From arena restrictions and procedures for dressing for practice and preparing for games, to the number of games, out of town tournaments and end of the season championships.

As we’ve discussed in previous player development articles, the opportunity this season is to focus on one thing: development. This season above all others should be about developing skills, getting better at skating, stickhandling, shooting and scoring. These are all things that you can control! 

With ice time being limited this season coaches are going to be more focused than ever with practice plans and skill development. As a player, practicing and absorbing as much information as possible will be a key to your success. Think of yourself as a sponge this season, trying to soak up as much hockey knowledge and instruction as you possibly can. 

Take all of this knowledge and use it to your advantage. This is something you absolutely can control, without any outside influences. Remember the ‘5 S’s’ Skills, Skating, Stickhandling, Shooting and Scoring! 

We wish you the best of luck with the start of your season. Stay healthy, happy and focused! 



There’s an old saying in sports about hitting home runs in baseball, scoring touchdowns in football or goals in hockey: “Nobody asks how, they just ask how many.”

As you start a youth hockey season unlike any other, it will be more important than ever this season to stay focused and keep your eye on the prize. 

In youth hockey, that prize should be development, improving fundamental skills and ending the season a better hockey player than you entered it. Of course championships are nice prizes as well! In all of our years coaching and playing this great game, typically if every player on the teams is improving, those championships will follow!

As we were watching the Stanley Cup Playoffs, there was much made of scoring records, wins and losses and stats that ultimately can end up defining the careers of players and the legacy of a team. Recent social media discussions debated the abbreviated season and the non-traditional Stanley Cup Playoffs. 

Will the Stanley Cup winning team be remembered the same in a COVID season as past and future champions that win in a traditional year? History has proven that when it comes to stats, records and legacies, they really don’t ask how, but how many. 

As you start your own youth hockey season, keep this in mind as the year in all likelihood not be typical when it comes to practices, games and tournaments. The easily distracted players will lose focus. Those that stay focused, however, will understand that they need to only concern themselves with what they can control, which is learning from coaches and developing skills. 

We hope you have a great start to the season and that when it’s over, you’ll be proud to answer ‘how many’! 

Thanks for reading and we look forward to seeing you at the rink soon! 


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