Winning is not everything, but the effort to win is. – Zig Ziglar
You can have all the talent in the world, but if you’re not passionate about what you’re doing, you’re not going to want to spend your time on it, and it’s not going to make you happy. When you’re really passionate about something, you don’t have to start with a lot of talent to go somewhere with it. Having a passion for something doesn’t mean that you love every single part of it or that there aren’t bad or difficult days, but that you’re dedicated to putting hard work and commitment into what you’re doing.
A lot of NHLers tell the same story: they may not be the biggest/fastest/most skilled player, but it’s their passion and commitment to the game that has made them successful. Talent can only get you so far if your heart isn’t in it and you’re not willing to do the work. As Willie Mitchell said about his teammate Drew Doughty, “Anyone who’s that passionate, they’re going to be successful because they care so much.” Passion, heart, and commitment aren’t everything, but they can push you to work harder and improve even more. An NHL scout said that when evaluating draft eligible players and trying to judge future success, “the passion and compete level exhibited in a player are as important as hockey sense.”
If you feel like you can’t do something because you don’t think you have a ‘natural talent’ for it, think otherwise! Oftentimes if you have the will to do something, that will win out over talent alone.
Game Plan: Put a picture up on your fridge or computer that relates to a goal you are working towards and that inspires you. A hockey player may put up a picture of Team Canada winning gold to encourage him to get up early and go to the gym in the morning. For you it might be a picture of something you’re saving up for or a role model that gives you inspiration and encouragement in whatever you’re working towards. Whatever your ‘success image’ is, it should be a source of energy that helps to encourage you and reignite that passion.