To make it to the big leagues you need to have a well balanced life. The balance that I’m describing involves three areas: school, social life and hockey. If you can visualize these three items as points on a triangle it will help understand the discussion.
If you spend all your waking moments on any single element of this triangle your life will quickly fall short of your goals. You need balance and it is important to treat each of the points as important as the other.
It could be argued that you could be successful by really throwing yourself into two of the three elements. For example, if you never go out with your buddies, never hang out with a girlfriend and never hang out on the internet you will have a ton of time to perfect your goaltending and post some pretty decent grades. But at what cost?
You need to have a social life and you need to have friends outside of hockey. What fun would it be to go through high school without going to a dance or hanging out with your buddies on Play Station? I believe a properly balanced social life in fact helps your success in school and your hockey. By not feeling like your giving up your social life you can in fact put more into your hockey efforts and your schooling. The key is balance.
Of course we can all name athletes who had it all but spent too much time on the social part of their life. They put too much time into the parties and hanging out. The grades suffer and the hockey skills never realized their full potential.
I met a former NHL goaltender when I was 13 years old and he made a big impact on my life. Marv Edwards was a quality goaltender who played for the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 70’s. He told me many valuable things but one thing really stood out. To become an elite athlete doesn’t have to be drudgery. “You need to pick your spots.” By that he meant that you can have a life outside of hockey. Keep the grades up, work hard at your game and spend time with your friends.
Copyright © 2005 Stephen McKichan