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Gain Control Of Your Hockey Career (Learn The CEO Mindset)

Much of your hockey career success will be determined by how good of a CEO you are in your career. You want to either:

  1. BE the CEO

  2. HIRE someone to be the CEO.

CEO stands for Chief Executive Officer.

Think of the CEO of a company as the LEADER of the company.

Think of your body and mind as the product.

Think of the on-ice performances you have as the results your product delivers.

The CEO calls the shots and tells everyone what to do.

So that the product gets better and sells more (in hockey that's getting scouted and getting more ice time).

For most young players, their parents assume the CEO role for them.

Parents usually assume this role for the first 10-15 years of their son/daughter's career.

Parents often take this role because:

  1. Their son/daughter needs guidance

  2. They love their son or daughter

  3. They want them to succeed

  4. They spend the most time with them

  5. It's hard to trust coaches to develop their son or daughter

  6. Things can get pricey with coaches

  7. Things can get very confusing with coaches

I don't think all parents realize what they are signing up for when they become the CEO of their son/daughter's hockey career.

But when it happens, they always see it's a full-time job.

I took this concept of being the CEO of the best hockey skills development coach of all time Darryl Belfry.

Darryl has worked with nearly every NHL star you can think of at some point including:

  • Sidney Crosby

  • Nathan Mackinnon

  • Patrick Kane

  • Auston Matthews

  • Mitch Marner

  • Matt Barzal

  • John Tavares

  • Jack and Quinn Hughes

  • And so many more.

He recently made a blog post about the idea of being a great hockey CEO and I loved it.

"You have to be a really good CEO of your own company." - Darryl Belfry

The best players in the world think about development like a CEO thinks about a company. They think about how to:

  1. Manage their assets:

    1. time

    2. money

    3. energy

    4. products

    5. people

    6. tools

    7. technology

    8. information

    9. etc

  1. To maximize output

    1. World change

    2. money

    3. power

    4. etc

They think about what inputs will create the best outputs. Then they make strategic bets with assets. Hockey players are not much different. You are like the owner of a company. You know that your body and mind are the product. You must:

  1. Manage your assets:

    1. time

    2. money

    3. energy

    4. mind

    5. body

    6. skill

    7. tools

    8. technology

    9. coaches

    10. information

  1. To maximize outputs:

    1. Team leadership

    2. successful plays

    3. goals

    4. assists

    5. wins

    6. championships

    7. next level offers

As I have said before, you have limited time. If your goal is maximizing your potential You must take full ownership of your career. Or, hire someone who can help (will get to this later)

The Parent CEO Struggles

Like any good CEO, parents want to be good at their job.

So naturally they start researching the game and try to learn quickly.

They search for information:

  • On Youtube

  • On Instagram

  • On Tiktok

  • In books

  • On Newsletters

  • In magazines

  • On websites

  • Etc.

I know this research because I used to see all of the notes and research my dad did to help me in hockey.

It was insane how many hours he really put in.

Your parents might be doing the same.

Now, most parent CEOs run into a few core challenges as their sons/daughters get older:

  1. Their Son/Daughter stops listening to them

  2. Their son or daughter finds someone else they like more than them

  3. They are limited in their expertise

This is the challenge I faced as a young hockey player.

My dad learned so much about the game and performance and taught me so much.

But then there came a time when I didn't want to listen to him much anymore.

And even before this point, I was usually resistant to his advice.

We were both too emotionally invested and most sons don't wanna constantly listen to their dad for everything.

We both cared too much about my career.

This meant hockey talks would usually get heated.

This is normal for most father-son sports scenarios.

I bring it up because those conversations are often not the most effective.

As I got older I realized that there were probably ways I could have been better as a player by listening to my dad more.

If I could go back, I would have learned to communicate better with him.

So I will highlight these today as mental frameworks.

You do not have to do all of these, but I will speak about them as 'musts' because I am treating you as someone who is trying to make the NHL.

These are what the NHLers, soon-to-be NHLers, and pros are doing.

This is what separates the best players.

The frameworks are:

  1. Becoming A Good CEO

  2. Hiring A Co-CEO

  3. Building your performance team

Becoming A Good Player CEO

I didn't know it, but around 16-17ish, I had mentally fired my dad as the CEO and I had assumed that position myself.

My dad became more of a consultant that I asked for help from.

I was now both the OWNER and CEO of the company in my junior career.

It seemed exciting at first but soon became very stressful.

And it became even more challenging when I moved away from home in junior.

I think most players face this same challenge when they move away.

They assume most of the responsibility for their hockey career.

They may consult with their parents routinely, but the player really is the boss.

If you don't have a lot of support from your coaches and coaching staff, it can be very hard on you mentally.

This can lead to a lot of:

  • Frustration

  • Doubts

  • Anxiety

  • Sadness

  • Depression

I have felt ALL of these as a player.

When these emotions get very strong they can make you want to quit.

What sucks though is that these emotions often could have been prevented or easily managed.

I wish I had someone like myself (a performance coach) now to help me through those times.

I would have surely been much happier and enjoyed my career far more.

I also know I would have played better and more consistently and would have been able to avoid a lot of the mental lows I went through.

Hiring A Co-CEO

Most great players see themselves as the boss of their careers.

(At least this has been my experience talking with hundreds of players).

Being the boss can be tough on a player.

You have the responsibility to manage your:

  • physical body

  • skills development

  • mental development

  • social life

  • education

  • work

  • etc.

This can really stress a player out.

Some players are lucky to have a knowledgable parents who can consult them.

This can be great as long as the parent can remain emotionally disconnected. This is not usually the case.

This is typically why players are hiring performance coaches.

Think of your performance coach as your co-CEO.

Your performance coach becomes the person you rely on to offload some of your mental stress.

You allow them to have a say in your:

  • physical body

  • skills development

  • mental development

  • social life

  • education

  • work

  • etc.

They help you optimize your entire life performance so you can be your true best self on the ice.

I'll share with you the approach I take with my guys from Minor up to pro hockey.

What I Do As A Performance Coach

Step #1 I help players by taking a holistic approach.

I have players consider EVERYTHING that could make them better.

I am constantly searching for the latest things to help players become the best they can be on and off the ice.

I look at the complex hockey world and simplify it for my players so they can level up with the least wasted time, money, and effort.

I filter out all of the bullshit for my clients.

I help my clients see what will actually help them, instead of wasting their time with useless fluff on the internet. Step #2 I then look at a player's game and lifestyle and help them understand their own Identity.

I then help them develop their:

Mental and physical lifestyle (habits, routines, social life, etc).

I can do this because:

  1. I have been through the challenges of minor, junior, and college hockey

  2. I have studied thousands of hours of psychology and hockey performance material

  3. I have studied hypnosis, persuasion, and communication on a deep level and have a high level of persuasion skills

This stuff allows me to bring a unique perspective to most hockey players.

I'm not a 'rah rah' coach shouting "WARK HARD".

The player and I work together to unlock their highest performance as quickly as possible.

Step #3 We take a long-term approach.

We understand that becoming our best self is a lifelong process.

We look at things from a multi-year perspective.

Over that time players can reach entirely new levels and see the potential they never thought possible.

This long-term approach helps us to work with our players to build great character traits like confidence, leadership, etc.

This is why we are starting to see many of our players become captains on their teams, get scholarships, and move up to higher leagues.

Because at the end of the day, getting to the next level is more than just skill.

It's about being Multi-Dimensionally JACKED like we talked about in last week's Identity Letter.

This takes time.

But it works.

All competitive players want is to :

  1. Feel confident

  2. Play well

  3. Have fun

  4. Move to the next level

Building Your Performance Team

Now I know I do not have all of the answers.

So that is why I encourage all of my guys to build a performance team.

If you want to have a Co-CEO who helps you look at the big picture, then you want to have experts in each area of the game.

Now everyone has unlimited cash flow to hire the best of the best like NHLers do.

So how can you compete?

By working smarter.

By understanding that you can do your own research.

By understanding that you can build a tribe of coaches virtually as you research.

So go out and learn :

  • On Youtube

  • On Instagram

  • On Tiktok

  • In books

  • On Newsletters

  • In magazines

  • On websites

  • Etc.

This is what I have spent the past 8 years doing and collecting all of these insights into my courses in the Next Level Academy.

I will leave you here for now for this Letter.

Next week we will dig deeper into building your team and spending your time wisely.

Until then...

I hope you have a great week!

- Corson

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Who is Corson Searles?

I am a former player & mental/performance advisor for AAA, junior, college, and pro hockey players. I am obsessed with dissecting atheletic performance potential, lifestyle design, and hockey development.


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