Did you ever ask yourself what does it mean to be an underdog player? I’d like to think being an underdog player makes us rethink our personal drive, passion and perseverance for the sport that we have invested our young life into for ourselves, teammates and families. More often than not, we find ourselves in our quiet moments searching for the “What?” “When?” and “How?” Asking ourselves “What more can I do?” “When will the coach call my name?,” “How can I be get noticed?” As players we are given opportunities to demonstrate our talents, abilities, skills and our role on teams which we represent. Being an underdog may come with feelings of uncertainty, insecurities, self-doubt that derails players mentally and physically at different points of the season for a number of reasons. We all know that deep down we are capable and able to perform at the highest levels and it’s our own inner voice that either catapults us to come out of the shadow of doubt or keeps us beaten down by not yet getting the attention we had envisioned for ourselves. Being an underdog is not negative and it does not define who you are! I have been an underdog and I felt that the sooner I accepted my position and activated my positive mindset, good things were going to happen where I realized that I have
opportunities to achieve my fullest game potential, then it was a question of when.
There are three areas to consider for overcoming challenges and enjoy being the underdog:
1. Take ownership of your game by accepting responsibilities for your position on the team
2. Activate your health & wellness mindset to visualize what your success will look like
3. Commit to work towards accomplishing your goals in achievable segments
I practiced and adopted a simplified hockey journey by committing to self-improvement, self-discipline and being deliberate to accomplish goals in segments. For example, keep an after-game log of your performance during games, eating habits, when & how much time you need to rest, practice times, positive game streaks & why, negative game streaks & why, areas of improvements and seek feedback.
Key takeaways are for you to not compare yourself to other players, take risks, set personal goals, visualize what you will do on the ice, find time to reflect, commit to a routine and keep driving to your personal best.