My son expressed his goal to play professional hockey the other day. As cool as I thought it was I couldn't sleep the following night. I was thinking about the reality of it. We live in Denver and he's nine years old and just started ice skating a month ago. The chances of him even playing semi-pro at this rate is, almost impossible. I lie awake thinking and wondering how I could help him go after his dream even if impossible. Then I started focusing on the possible instead of the impossible. I asked myself what is the main skill required in hockey. Skating. He has rollerblades so he can skate everyday (barring weather). So I got out of bed and started a plan.
1. We have to improve his skating. So I decided to schedule him to skate 40 minutes everyday. 20 minutes in the morning before school and 20-40 minutes after school. This will increase his skating skill level as well as see if he really wants to work for it.
2. We have to improve his hockey skills. I felt that skating was more important now but he can watch games and videos now to see the proper way to do things so when he can practice hockey skills he will have a visual reference.
3. Lay down the rules and expectations. I'm an avid hockey fan and would love nothing more than to see my son play pro hockey. However, I let him know the rules. He is in charge no matter what. When it comes to playing hockey he could never let me down and that I was a friend and not daddy. I wanted him to remember to have fun and not do it to impress me.
All of this happened last Sunday. So this week we hit the park every morning at 7:00 am for 20 minutes. After five days I see dramatic improvement and the hard work and dedication he has gained during it. He has taken my instruction, and the videos and really improved.
Seeing him work hard this week before and after school has really inspired me. The point I'm trying to make is that many times we want to achieve something that could be impossible. Our goal and duty to ourselves is to first determine how to make it possible, and then find a support system to help us make it happen and go after it with all we have.
Only time will tell if he makes it to the pros. Regardless this week has taught him that whatever he wants in life can be achieved by setting a goal and going for it.