A subpar year can quickly be perceived as a “bad year” or a “lost” year. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. Believe it or not, there’s no such thing as a “wasted year” or “lost year.”
If your year didn’t go as planned, you still learned something, you still progressed, you still improved, even if you don’t think you did.
Experience is experience and you gained a ton of it.
You learned what adversity feels like, you have probably learned more from the low points of the year than you think.
You built resiliency, you built character. You have learned more about yourself as a player and person this year than any other year combined.
A perceived “bad year” shouldn’t derail a player’s dream or aspirations. Never lose hope, never lose perspective. Be persist, you have no idea what’s next.
A “bad year” doesn’t mean the end. It just means you have to work harder, work smarter and continue to grow and develop.
Of all the seasons to play the game, this season was probably the hardest ever due to all the stops and starts and obvious uncertainty.
Now isn’t the time to blame others, now is the time to look in the mirror and reflect.
What are you going to change?
What are you going to work on?
What are you going to do to get better?
What are you going to do every day to grow and become the player and person you want to be?
How much do you really want to accomplish your dream and goals in the game?
Now is the time to reassess, re-evaluate, recharge and focus on what you can control.
The year may have not gone your way, but the dream shouldn’t end there.
You have worked too hard to give up.
You have worked too hard to give up on yourself and all those over the years that have supported you. The sacrifices that you and your family have made still matter. They matter more now than ever. Now isn’t the time to look outward, now is the time to look inward. What steps are you going to take to get better?
Did you find your identity as a player? Did you play to that identity?
Did you play the right way every time you stepped on the ice?
Did you play every shift like it was your last?
Did you work hard enough in practice?
Were you a good teammate?
Were you a good student of the game?
Did you listen and buy in?
Don’t look back at time on ice, the opportunity you received or didn’t receive. Now isn’t the time blame the coaching staff, now is the time you prove everyone wrong and come back stronger and faster than ever before. Remember how you feel right now after your “bad year” and use that as motivation. Channel all of your anger and disappointment to get better for next season, so if and when the opportunity presents itself you’re be ready.
Don’t look at the stats or results of the past, focus on the present and process.
You can’t rewrite the past, you can only control the next chapter, the next opportunity.
A “bad year” doesn’t mean the end, it doesn’t mean you don’t belong, it provides perspective, direction and motivation.
What kind of player are you now?
What kind of player do you want to be?
What role do you see yourself playing in next season?
If your year didn’t go as planned, you still learned something, you still progressed, you still improved, even if you don’t think you did. There’s tons of examples out there where players were passed over and came back stronger than ever to reach their dreams. Experience is experience, but now you have to learn from it and move forward.
A “bad year” doesn’t mean the end.