Overflowing Buckets – Which skills?

By Andrew Martin

When USS coaches get together to discuss and design our programs we always start with “why”.  Why are we doing what we are doing? why are we using a specific group of drills?  Are we “overflowing buckets”?  But that’s the point!  When we ask ourselves why? We always come back to 

There are different skills that hockey players need to work on including skating, edges, shooting, passing, stickhandling, and so on.  Our online stickhandling program obviously focuses on stickhandling.  When we break up the types of buckets players are filling in terms of stickhandling skill development we see two main options.  

Option number one is the “tricks” bucket.  This bucket has a place in the skill development game. Players attempt tricks or “smoke and mirror” things in order to challenge themselves and sometimes to impress others.  Everyone has seen the Instagram or YouTube videos. This happens in every sport.  We are not saying this is a bad thing or that it should go away.  What we have noticed is that hockey players are spending way too much time on these types of skills.  The “tricks” bucket is overflowing.

Players, because they are so competitive and always looking for that edge will neglect the basics, the fundamental skill development.  The main reason for this is because the basics can be boring and at times easy. They are easy to do so we don’t do them.  

The basic skill bucket is empty or near empty.  Jeff Olson, the author of the slight edge talks about this in his book “Turning Simple Disciplines Into Massive Success and Happiness”.   

 

“Everything that you need to do to transform your life is easy To do.. Here’s the problem: every action that is easy to do, is also easy not to do”

We are bombarded with commercials and videos of some of the best hockey players in the world performing some of the craziest skills.  Here’s the problem.  Those videos are designed to sell us something, to get us to buy a product.  In reality the best players in the world are continuously working on the basics.  They are masters of the fundamentals.  They don’t complain that they

 are too easy or boring because they have performance experience showing  the results of their continued hard work.

They are making sure to fill their buckets equally and if one is neglected they will make sure to dedicate time to filling it back up.