This weeks blog comes from none other than Factory Hockeys very own strength and conditioning guru Ilan Cumberbirch, a.k.a Cumby ! The original blog was posted a year back and is directed to hockey players and developing their career or sport goals. However, after reading through his insightful words, I personally found the last few pointers in his blog to really resonate with me (figuratively of course) and I thought these wise words could be interpreted to every day life. Here is what he had to say:
If there were a few rules/guidelines/words of advice for players out there today both young and old they’d go as follows:
1) Set goals, frequently. The acronym of developing SMART goals as corny and cliche as it may sound it’s true. Specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely goals keep one’s life on track. Don’t get me wrong, paving your own road and falling off the rails will happen and should happen from time to time to serve as a bit of a reality check or a way for one to take a critical look at themselves. Having said that, creating a list of both short term and long term goals, and a plan for how you’re going to attain those goals is a MUST! Personally, I love to keep lists, day to day tasks, and I get great joy when I’m able to cross something off my list. As far as my current goals, I want to continue to educate myself in the strength and conditioning industry, one day own my own company, and eventually my own Athlete Development Mecca for all ranges of athletes.
2) Stay active. Exercise is an amazing tool, not only for one’s physical health but more importantly their mental health. During my time in Saskatoon when I was no more than a name in a stall taking reps in practice and longing for some game action, I turned into a workout animal. It become a little bit obsessive, spending hours in the gym on a daily basis. It was also a coping mechanism for me that helped me to deal with the personal struggles I was dealing with at that time. Whether it be in the gym, yoga studio, trails, or some other form of cross training, find a way in and out of season to relieve your stress and free your mind and keep your physical health on point.
3) Communication. Do not assume and do not be afraid to ask questions or for advice. Far too often throughout my career I would show up at the rink and see myself buried on the fourth defensive pairing. Instead of approaching the coach and asking what I can do to improve my game, analyze some film and work myself into the lineup, I eventually began getting complacent with my situation and “threw in the towel” per se. If you want something, go and get it. Put in the extra work away from the rink, before and after practice, and show why and how you can help your team.
4) Keep things in perspective. Contrary to my last point, don’t put too much weight on hockey. Yes, you love the game, you want to play, you want to make it to the NHL or whatever your personal aspirations may be. However, at the end of the day it is a “game” which is meant to me “played”. There are far more important things in life than how many minutes you may or may not play on any given game night. If you have your health, family, and friendships – life isn’t that bad. Be grateful that you have the privilege to play the game, so when you get the opportunity, play it hard.
5) Live. As ambiguous and obscure as this may sound make sure you live YOUR life. There’s a reason you are where you are today in the situation you’re in. Can you influence and shape your path? 100%. By utilizing goal setting, a healthy body and mind, strong communication skills and a positive outlook on the big picture, all the pieces to your puzzle will fall into place. Quality individuals recognize strong characteristics and personalities in others. Your hard work, persistence, and determination to be the best version of yourself that you can be do not go unnoticed. So instead of dwelling on the shit you might be stuck in currently, believe that the road ahead will sort itself out and take the time to live your life out one day, one step, one breath at a time, and forge onward.
These 5 points are applicable to all realms of life, be they at the rink, in the boardroom, or with your family. For myself, the game of hockey has given me the opportunity to realize them, and I’ll carry them with me for the rest of my life in all of my future endeavours.
Thanks for taking the time to read this blog post. Hopefully I’ve been able to give you some insight into my life pertaining to hockey. If you’re a coach or educator reading this, no matter what avenue you might be working in be it hockey or not, I humbly ask that you keep these points in mind. Help your students/athletes be the best version of themselves that they can be in all elements of their life.
If you have any other questions, concerns, insight or just want to chat please do not hesitate to contact me…and keep an eye on this Jason Yee kid – he’s an extremely intelligent and driven individual who is going to achieve big things in life, whatever avenue he ends up pursuing.
Wise words Ilan! Follow the link below to read Ilans full blog post :