How to Utilize Goals and Systems to Maximize Your Potential On and Off the Ice 

As a hockey player, understanding the difference between short-term goals and long-term systems is the true key to success. Goals push us out of our comfort zone, challenge us to move forward and provide incentives for progression. Systems supply the framework for motivation and consistency that leads to sustainable growth over time. Setting both goals and systems in your hockey career is essential to becoming the best athlete you can possibly be! 

So the question is… “How do I create goals and systems to improve my hockey skills and progress my career?”

Step 1: Establish a S.M.A.R.T. goal

For hockey player development, setting a SMART goal can be the key to elevating your game to the next level. SMART goal is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound. By setting a goal that meets these criteria, you create a roadmap for success that is both attainable and motivating. For example, do you want to improve your scoring average or reduce your penalty minutes? Whatever your goal may be, make sure it is specific, measurable, and relevant to your game. Additionally, setting a deadline for yourself (like an upcoming tryout) will help you stay accountable and committed to achieving your goal.

Step 2: Understand what systems are and create a plan that will nurture your goal

Whether you’re aiming to achieve your personal or professional goals, knowing how to utilize systems can make all the difference. Make a plan for growth to track progress, set deadlines and break down tasks into manageable steps. Perhaps you decided in Step 1 that your goal is to improve your scoring average. From here, you should create a list of drills and specific skills to work on during your hockey training that will help you reach this goal. Working on timing, awareness and consistency while on the ice will help you in your quest to score more goals. Specific and attainable systems for this example could be shooting 100 pucks per day or watching your favorite pro player and taking notes on their techniques. Remember to always celebrate small victories along the way (these systems are meant to be flexible and can change with time!)

Step 3: Stay the course and build confidence along the way

We are all working to have goals and systems in place to help us achieve our dreams, but it’s important to take action and put in the work ourselves (both on and off the ice). Even if you set your goal and related systems to improve your scoring average, you will not make progress if you don’t put the hard work and practice into making it happen. When we take action, we build our own confidence and learn from the experience, which is something that goals and systems cannot do for us. Consistently seeking feedback from your hockey advisor is also crucial to our growth and development. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, because that’s how we learn and improve our skills.

The key here is to remember that it’s not enough to rely solely on goals and systems— it’s the action that counts. Big, momentous changes can often take time and patience. It’s important to set smaller, more attainable goals in the here and now, and focus on working through these tasks to get to the bigger picture. Stay focused, absorb feedback when given and keep working towards those BIG hockey dreams!

Wolfe Hockey is a family-owned hockey school operating since 2009 in the DMV area. Led by Jason Wolfe, ex-professional hockey player, and his wife Heather Wolfe, Wolfe Hockey is unique in that it cultivates a culture of respect, accountability, and a good time. To learn more, contact us here or e-mail us directly at hockey@wolfehockey.com.

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