The phrase “mastering the basics” is throw out quite a lot, especially on Instagram with the token hockey post. But what does it mean?
“The basics” for me, is really the boring stuff. So how do you master the basics? You do the boring stuff over and over and over with purpose and intent. Do the stuff you know you have to do and do it in a way that has powerful awareness, do it so no ones else even knows you are doing it. The opposite of that is doing something just to say you did it, to tick the boxes, and to then tell everyone on social media that you did it.
That’s Why You Do It
So why would you put yourself through such a thing? Because you know in your heart that it leads to something else. Something else that is really a goal that you have in your heart and in your mind. That’s why you do it. As you do it more you realize that the boring thing isn’t that boring. It is not one dimensional. You start to learn everything about it, the tiny details and how to improve those details.
So when you stickhandle, realize the best stick handlers in the world worked at it. They did the boring, simple things continuously. The magical part is that for them it is not boring and simple, it is part of their dream.
So here is your plan:
Stickhandle and stickhandle a lot. Perform the basics a lot. Try to do tricks that you see other people do. Try to invent new tricks and build off them. This might seem contradictory, but it is not.
Let’s say you have never done “The Michigan” and want to learn how to do it. You start by just trying to pick up the puck. Then you try picking up the puck while moving. Then you try picking up the puck while moving and putting it in the far top hand corner. Do you know what happens? Most people quit on step one because they can pick up the puck after 5 tries. They say “this is boring” and move onto something else that they already know how to do. Guess what? If you don’t know how to pick up the puck it may take you 100 attempts. But if you always stop after five tries because it is boring, then you will never get it.
Those 100 attempts are so valuable. You learn and experience so much “failing” those 100 times. Yes, frustration will eventually creep it but that is not a bad thing. Eventually, you learn to make tiny adjustments. You feel and get a new understanding of how the puck moves and feels. Your wrists adjust ever so slightly while your grip tightens and loosens to find the perfect balance.
Ya sure doing “The Michigan” is cool. But failing forward through the process and the boring stuff is where the pudding is. That’s where so many quit. But that is where the most learning is. I would go as far to say you are better off failing 100 times than to get it after the 3rd try. Think about if you got it after your third try and all the small little details you would miss out on learning that could transfer to other parts of the game.
Here is a link to a great drill off ice stickhandling drill to improve balance and stability https://www.instagram.com/p/Bt_LJlDACKl/