As we started to chat and catch up on a wide variety of topics, a man in hockey gear came out onto the ice, set up a few milk crates with sticks at various points in the ice, tossed a few pucks on to the ice and began to skate while passing the puck under, through, and around his make-shift obstacles. He continued to do this, switching up his skating pattern, speed, and appproach and eventually was doing the process quite rapidly and added in skating towards the empty net.
From our vantage point we watched as he would execute the moves quite precisely and then have one or two reps where he lost control of the puck all together. He did this over, and over, and over again however, there was one thing he did not do for the first 20-25 minutes he was out there:
Not once did he take a shot at the empty net, not even when he was in a rhythm or skating pattern that brought him right in front of it.
While I found this quite interesting he probably thought nothing of it, but it begs the question -Why wasn’t he shooting at the net?
Think about it - If you pick up a basketball on a court - do you dribble it first for 20 minutes or do you immediately head towards the hoop and make a free-throw?
If I was to manage to balance on a pair of skates, was on the ice with a stick and a puck - I figure it would be all of 10 seconds before I try and put the puck into the net.
Now there are several ways I could go with this post - and yes it’s very basic, but here we go:
Out of a 60 minute hockey game - how much time is spent actually shooting on goal vs. puck control, skating around other players, stick handling & technique?
With my ADHD - I tend to focus on the end-result. I’ve talked about that in various presentations and in past posts - but at the end of the day, it’s not the closing of the deal that I need to practice or review, it’s the preparation leading up to the presentation - and it’s something that I forget to focus on all too often. Even the basic things from how to introduce myself & giving that elevator pitch, to furthering a conversation and digging deeper into the details of the project I’m working on - These are the things I need to focus on more so that the end result will perhaps be achieved with more confidence or ease.
I grew up playing the accordion and would only compete for a total of 15-30 minutes a year, however I spent hours each week totaling days per year practicing, improving my finger dexterity, speed, music reading, theory comprehension - all for that 15-30 minutes of competition in a Marriott hotel in Newton, MA or Houston, Texas.
That guy on the ice last Friday -he knows how to shoot a puck on an open net.
I’m pretty sure he’s fully aware of the feeling and excitement of scoring a goal during a game, which takes only mere seconds to take that shot, putting the puck into the net.
Focusing on the process that gets you to that point you are familiar with will often leads to improved performance and a higher success rate overall.