One Dimensional

Is your one dimensional skill set going to be enough?

Some would say yes, some would give a resounding no. At the end of the day, it’s up to the player to determine the answer to that question.

The real questions that young players, their parents and entourage should be asking is; are there players at the next level that are solely one dimensional and if so are they having success?

Skill is undeniably the most important attribute in any sport in this era, but really it’s always been if you think about it.

Will one dimensional play take you where you want to go?

I guess it will for awhile, but there always seems to be a measuring stick moment for extremely gifted individually skilled athletes.

The measuring stick moments can happen at any time or at any level.

One can imagine how difficult that must be for the athlete and their families to accept and experience.

You see that’s where the journey could take a drastic turn for some athletes, while others persevere, show resiliency and have their passion for the game or sport deepen.

With so much emphasis on specialization in all sports we are seeing young athletes choosing their “sport” at extremely young ages. We all know proficiency and skill development is incredibly unique and surfaces at different ages and stages. The need for young athletes to grow a passion and diverse skill set in a variety of sports will only help them when it’s the appropriate time to specialize.

One dimensional athletes who excel early need to be taught all aspects and fundamentals of the game so when their measuring stick day arrives they will embrace the adversity, overcome the challenge and more importantly understand why it is happening.

Coaches need to convey the importance and value of teaching all the aspects of the game.

Coaches and the athletes parents need to give them a chance to develop and not rush the process. Many young athletes will fall back and rely on their elite skill rather than trying to diversify and grow in a multitude of areas.

In many ways if today’s coaches aren’t teaching and conveying the importance of being a complete player or athlete then they are doing the kid an injustice. 

Is your one dimensional skill set going to be a enough? Do you really want to take that chance?

I think not.

Near the end of my coaching career is when the game started to open up. I inherited players that had no idea how to play defensive hockey let a lone how to play in their own zone. 

In many cases these skilled athletes were lost. They were the equivalent to offensive minded hockey playing zombies. For some it took a good benching to snap them out of their offensively selfish zombie like trance. A few benching’s and a year long shift in perspective in practice did the trick, but also took a lot of “buy in” from the player. Ultimately that “buy in” can be seen as acceptance and growth.

I would imagine the toughest job a hockey coach has these days would be to convince a team and skilled one dimensional player that to score a lot of goals or amass points they have to learn to defend first.

I really hope young athletes don’t have a day of reckoning when their complete skill set is called into question that it just becomes another facet of the journey to becoming a well rounded compete player and athlete.

Is your one dimensional skill set going to be a enough to take you where you want to go?

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