Why Failure Is So Important in Hockey

failure is important for hockey players

The best hockey players are the ones that experience failure the most

By Matt Schoepflin

Failing sucks.

While at times it may seem that no one else is going through failure, the truth is we all fail.

It may be crazy to think that so many great hockey players have failed countless times throughout their career, yet they aren’t remembered for their failure. They’re remembered for the great moments, the incredible performances, and the often amazing victories.

I would even go out on a limb and say the best players are the ones that experience failure the most. While that might sound counterintuitive, it makes sense if you think about it. Let me explain.

Venturing Out of Your Comfort Zone

People that don’t fail frequently are often set in their ways and scared to venture out of their comfort zone. In other words, their growth becomes stagnant. And when you relate that to a sport like hockey, stagnant players who aren’t constantly growing, learning, and improving are destined to only ever be average players.

On the flip side, people that fail often are usually the ones that are pushing their limits and looking to grow. For hockey players, great players fail often because they’re constantly pushing themselves to try new things, develop new skills, and reach new limits. Plain and simple, great players aren’t settling. They’re always wanting more.

Failure is Part of the Process of Improvement

I know it sounds crazy when you first hear it, but it’s true. If you want to be a great hockey player, you need to accept that failure is part of the process of improvement and growth. That doesn’t just mean that you get out there, give a halfhearted effort, fail, and then try to sell yourself that you’re getting better. Failing is important when done the right way.

I know that probably sounds like another wild idea, but it’s true. There is a right way to fail. If you’re putting all your effort and energy into something, and you fail, that’s an opportunity to learn and grow. In other words, if you’re lazy you miss out on the growth opportunity.

But if you put everything into your preparation, effort, and attitude and still fail, then it’s not really a failure at all. It’s simply just a way that didn’t work. And from that you’ll learn, grow, and continue to get better.

So don’t be afraid of failing. Be afraid of not putting everything you have into what you’re going after. No one is perfect, and no hockey player is exempt from making mistakes. The best players know how to trust the process and learn from their mistakes to ensure that they’re continually improving.

Matt Schoepflin is a frequent contributor to CrossIceHockey.com. He is passionate about coaching and giving back to the game that has given him so much. His website, Boost Hockey, helps hockey players grow into the individuals they want to be.

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