Skip to main content


Barons Hockey Academy Image.png

In the book called "Outliers," Malcolm Gladwell reveals why some people achieve extraordinary things. One undeniable factor is the 10,000 hour rule.  

Whether it's Mozart, the Beatles, or Bill Gates, all extraordinary achievers put in a minimum of 10,000 hours developing their skills.  And there are no exceptions.  

This doesn't mean that talent isn't a factor as you must have some innate skill.  Assuming that one has a minimum base of talent, what takes you from good to great is how hard you work. Gladwell says, "The people at the top don't just work harder or much harder. They work much, much harder." Most people say that "I'd Never Do That Much Work" 

To succeed in sport, you don't focus on making yourself rich or famous. You don't even focus on winning most of the time. You focus on becoming world class - an 'outlier' - at your sport. 

In one study a Team Canada hockey player stated that "when I was 18, I wanted to become the best player in the world at my sport. I put together an elaborate binder that included:   

A 21 page essay on how I could improve my skills 

Monthly, weekly and daily fitness regimens  

Goals for shooting sessions and practices 

Mental toughness training strategies for each week 

The binder was my 'Bible' until I was named captain of Team Canada ten years later.  I kept my binder a secret until a talented young player asked me for help making the National Team. She studied it and finally confessed, "It looks great, but to be honest, I'd never do that much work." 

There are two things about this story that are important.  

First, notice the dates. By 18, I had been already been practicing for ten years. By 28, when I reached my goal, I had another ten years under my belt. I had definitely reached the 10,000 hour mark (it often takes about ten years, but it took me twenty).  

Second, the commitment involved and required.  

My young friend loved her sport. She just didn't love it as much as I did. That's why she experienced my binder as "work".  

If I thought I was "working" in my 10,000 hours, I probably wouldn't have done it. Which is why her path was the right one for her. Instead I became a world class athlete with a huge list of accomplishments that made me happy.  

Every goal is a personal choice. But you do need to excel at what matters most to YOU.  And that means you need superior technique.  

Making the "work" involved seem like play to you is the secret to the 10,000 hours.

We will constantly communicate the vision we develop along with the team identity over and over again…At Least Everyday…like a ‘broken record’

Try to never communicate the mission / vision the same way 

Be painfully positive and painfully patient through the ‘process of development’ 
Always be ‘fair’ by ‘coaching the 20’ – exclude no one!

Everyone should always feel valued for their contributions – players want to know that you are  proud of them and that you appreciate their efforts – ‘you have to let them know’

Communicate honest actions to the players that are evidences of “successful executions.” In other words let them know what they need to do to get better and work with them so they can improve.

Everyone is greeted everyday on our team – the arena has to be a fun place to be and the dressing room has to be the best place for them to be (other than hockey – how was your day? – good to see you – “legend or myth?” – ice cream or cake?…). “Knuckle Up”

 AS  COACHES, WE ARE TEACHERS and SUPPORTERS EVERY MINUTE OF THE  DAY! That is how we make a difference.


Back to top