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Behind the Bench, Nov 6th - Canadian Junior Hockey News

Published: Wednesday, 6 Nov 2019  
By: Michael Moore

Hey Guys,

How is it going? Hope everyone is at the top of their game. On that note, we’d like to give a special shout-out to the 528 teams (10,050 players!) that took part in the CCM World Invite in Chicago this weekend. It was an incredible event, to say the least!

So how did everyone do on their homework? You, remembered your homework from before Halloween, right? You were supposed to think about a few people that you admire, and write out what characteristics they embody that you would like to be known for. Then look at your list and choose the top four characteristics that are most important to you. Anything? If you did then well done; if not, then no worries Coach Littler has more homework for you in the future. This week he wants for us to look at his notes from “Chop Wood, Carry Water”. This installment takes a look at the pitfalls of focusing the progress of others as opposed to oneself. Check it out…


While walking home one evening, John explained his recent frustrations in watching his fellow apprentices seemingly accomplish more while having to put in less work than he. Akira took the moment to offer the following explanation to John-

“…comparison is the thief of all joy and the grass isn’t greener on the other side. The grass is greener if you water it. You have grown up in a society where things like social media and 24-hour TV have established a culture that is hyper – focused on comparison. But if you are constantly comparing, you will have all the joy sucked out of you. You must focus on your journey, yours alone.
Akira assured John that to worry over the progression of others was a waste of life. He told John, “...Focus on what truly matters, and do not fall for the lies of the comparison thief.”
A few days later during a rained-out practice, Akira asked John if he was still struggling with comparing himself with those who seemed more to be naturally more talented than he. John said, “I’m doing a lot better since we last talked about it, but if I’m honest, it’s still a struggle.”

Akira’s response surprised John:
“I think talent is often more of a curse than a blessing, John. Did you know that most people who win the lottery are worse off financially five years down the road than they were before winning the lottery? Winning the lottery skips the valuable process of going up the rough side of the mountain. Instead of being forced to learn and develop the skills necessary for creating or sustaining success, you arrive at the top, without any of what it takes to stay there. Talent can be a kind of lottery, John. A talented athlete is often less likely to develop the skills and work ethic that a less-talented one has to develop just to survive, and because of that, they may end up much worse off down the road. They never learned the work ethic, persistence, and grit needed to overcome the inevitable challenges that life throws their way.”


“Words are a lot like that. Just like the wind, they are everywhere. We use them every day to talk to others, but most importantly, we use them to talk to ourselves. And just like the wind, their power can either destroy, or create. You may not have control over how other people talk to you, but you do have control over how you talk to yourself. And that is hugely important, because…

Words put pictures in your mind.
Pictures in your mind impact how you feel.
How you feel impacts what you do.
What you habitually do impacts your destiny.

The hard choice, but the one that is best for us in the long run, is to use our words to put beneficial pictures in our minds, and to talk to ourselves in ways that push us toward growth and toward what is most beneficial for ourselves in the long run. It might sound crazy at first, but using beneficial and constructive self-talk instead of giving power to our inner critic is one of the most formidable strategies possible to use toward reaching our own potential.

You might not be able to stop negative thoughts or your inner critic from screaming at you, but you don’t have to believe them or give them significance, and you can definitely talk to yourself rather than just listening to the negativity!”

AAA and AA players- Has you VHC advisor set you up with Junior team to work with through your Thanksgiving break? We have been very busy placing players. If not, be sure to ask your advisor about it, as soon as possible. 


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We want to hear from you. If there are any questions, concerns, or if you just want to have a conversation, please feel free to contact us directly. Good Luck and Great Hockey!

Thank you,
Team VHC

Author: Michael Moore
Michael is a professional hockey scout and advisor with Victorious Hockey helping North America’s top hockey prospects fulfill their ultimate playing potential.

* Disclaimer: This site may contain advice, opinions and statements from various authors and information providers. Views expressed in this article reflect the personal opinion of the author, Michael Moore, and not necessarily the views of does not represent or endorse the accuracy or reliability of any advice, opinion, statement or other info provided in the article, or from any other member of this site.
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