This past Monday, 7 of the girls hockey players I have been training all summer and I headed out to the park for a workout. This was the first time we’d done a outdoor session this summer and they had no idea what to expect. I had a really tough workout planned, which finished off with sprints up a ski hill.
I knew the hill sprints would be the hardest part of the workout, but I had no idea that hill would provide them with such a great lesson.
After we had done 8 hard circuits of speed and strength training, we headed over to the hill. And just as we were walking over, another girls hockey player got off her bike and started running up the hill too. When we got a little closer, I realized she was one of the players from the Under-18 provincial team this past season.
During one of her rests between sprints, we talked about the upcoming provincial team tryouts (which started on Wednesday) and I asked her how often she came out to train in the park.
She said, “I come out and run these hills every weekend”, before sprinting up again.
In between our training group’s sprints, one of my players asked where she played, and when I said she plays junior, was on the provincial team and was trying out for the team again in two days, they were understandably impressed.
While her hockey accomplishments are definitely noteworthy, I’m sure what really impressed them was that she was out there running up the ski hill, by herself, on a holiday Monday, two days before her tryouts started.
When I said that she came out to run the hill every weekend, one of the girls said,
“That’s probably why she’s on the provincial team.”
Training when no one is watching or cheering you on says a lot about a player.
It’s one of those “little” choices that sets you apart.
Sure, the girls I am working with are training as a group and I am there leading them through the workouts, but they have made the choice to get better this summer. And I could tell that the fact they were running the same hill as this “elite” player meant a lot.
But here’s the best part of the story.
When our training group got together at the gym for our next session last night, that same player was there again, doing her fitness testing for the provincial team.
And as she was doing her final running test, and blowing away the competition, one of the girls in my training group said,
“That’s because she runs that hill every week”.
Getting to the elite level of women’s hockey is no big mystery.
If you want to be great, you have to be willing to do the things that others aren’t.
Like running up a ski hill, by yourself, on a holiday, two days before tryouts.
Those are the “little” choices that make you great.
Work Hard & Dream BIG,
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