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Master the Monotonous

Updated: Jan 28, 2019

by Coach Dusty

What is the Monotonous?

The monotonous is the dull, tedious, rhythmic, unflattering and unvarying. It is the small, usually unnoticed and unrecognized, day to day tasks and efforts absolutely necessary to achieve success.

As an athlete these are your daily chores. They include planning ahead, preparing meals for the week so your not grabbing McD's on the way to the rink because you didn't pack a lunch. It means knowing your schedule ahead of time, knowing what needs to be done, and getting it done when it needs to be.

It includes getting a warmup before practice, getting in your training everyday, stretching everyday, getting better everyday. As an athlete you don't always enjoy training, but the elite athletes are willing to suffer now because they are driven by results.

These are the tasks and efforts you must complete consistently everyday, regardless of how tedious and boring they may become. They are necessary to achieving success and achieving your NEXT LEVEL.

So what does it mean to Master the Monotonous?

It means you execute the daily nuance tasks with 100% of your effort and attention. Every. Single. Day.

It means that even if you don't feel like doing it, you get the job done as if it were the most important thing you will ever do.

So whether you are doing basic warm-up drills, or that same drill you did last time, it doesn't matter. You get it done with 100% of your effort, with a purpose, every rep.

This is what makes the greats great. They don't skip the details. They don't just approach the first 15 min of skating as a warm-up and as a time to slowly wake up. They are already awake and ready to go. They got up a little bit earlier, got a good breakfast in, and they already had their meals prepared the night before. They got to the rink or the gym and warmed up before you even got there. They are ready to attack from the first "Go".

You however, stayed up late playing video games. You didn't make sure your gear was packed. You're tired, slept in, hardly got a good breakfast and forgot your jock. You slumber into the rink 20 min before the session. You barely make it onto the ice on-time, eyes hardly open. You don't have time to stretch and need the first 15-min of power skating (yes, this is not just a warm-up skate), to get into it. You treat each rep of the drill just like the last one, going through the motions. But you showed up right? You must have gotten better...

You want to be average, then fine. Go ahead and be like that.

Elite athletes don't waste reps. They work on the daily chores every single day. No matter how many times they have already done it. Check out this videos of one our elite pro goalies from last weeks sessions. He is performing a simple drills. Nothing complex. Here is a pro working on the simple habits he has practiced every day for nearly two decades. He could have easily skipped working on it because he's done it so many times. Yet he was on the ice early to put in the work and approached it with all of his focus. Pay attention to the small details he is working on. How many can you pick out in this simple warm-up?

As coaches, we can occasionally see it in a few goalies eyes during warm-up. The "this drill again?" eyes. Yes, this drill again. All you said was with those eyes is that you really don't want to get better today. You were just here for the joy ride. What were you expecting? You have skates on your feet, you are on the ice, you play goalie, so yes, we are doing this drill again. And you will do 1000 more times before you are done playing. Why change what works?

I have done the same off-ice warm-up before training sessions in the gym, before practice, and before games for more than a decade. Every day. Never missed one. Is it boring, repetitive and tedious? Yes. Could I have more time on my hands if I skipped it? Yes. Maybe enjoy myself a little more? Probably. Are there days I don't want to train? Absolutely. But it doesn't matter, I get it done because I know the results it will bring.

Your chores away from the rink matter as much as the ones at the rink. If you have homework, get it done, no matter how easy it might be to put off, or how many excuses you have why you cant do it. Just do it. And don't just work towards that passing grade. You're not average. Be great. Execute everything you do at a level of greatness.

Now I am not promising it will all work out exactly how you want it every time, but I guarantee it will pay off eventually if you stick to it everyday. You have heard it before, "Trust the Process".

Many young athletes do not see the work the elite athletes put in on a daily basis to get to the elite level. The adversity that they face every day. Most of it is all done behind closed doors when no one is watching.

Put in the daily work. Don't skip the details. Don't let yourself slip into a routine. Approach every day, every task, no matter how dull, tedious, rhythmic, unflattering and unvarying it may be, with a purpose. Master the dull, tedious, rhythmic, unflattering and unvarying tasks. Master the simplicity. Master Greatness.

Master the Monotonous.

- Coach Dusty

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