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Most NCAA/NHL Dreams Completely FAIL (The Plan I Wish I'd Had)

Updated: Apr 18

Have you ever felt like you’re spinning your wheels on the ice, knowing you probably have no shot at playing D1 or Elite Pro hockey?

Maybe you're in a situation similar to one of the players that I worked with this past year, we will call him Mike.

He had the skill and the work ethic to be a top-end defenseman in prep school...

He read lots of sports performance books and watched endless hockey YouTube videos and hockey highlights.

Yet, Mike found himself stuck playing limited minutes, getting very few points, and mostly warming the bench during powerplays.

Despite his abilities, Mike was constantly battling nerves and stress, his mental game hindering his true potential.

He told me: "My mental game is my weakness. I have the skill set, but my mental game is always holding me back. I don't know what to do. I want help."

Admitting Will Change Everything

That's where getting to the next level all starts: Admitting that you are not perfect.

Admitting that someone else might be able to help you.

Admitting you don't have it all figured out.

I say this because I didn't do that when I should have.

I refused to work with a great mental coach because I wanted to "figure it out on my own".

When I probably could have learned it from this coach in less than 6 months!

I did eventually figure it out, but it took me about 5 years (which is like 50 years in our short hockey careers).

Asking Is Power

Imagine you were on a plane right now.

You had never flown a plane before.

Yet you were piloting a plane.

Imagine that there is a pilot who has done this hundreds of times telling you he can help guide you and do this safely and without stress.

You know you are about to crash the plane.

Yet you refuse to let the experienced pilot help you because you want to "figure it out yourself".

Crazy right?

Yes, but we all do this when we refuse to ask for help or work with a coach who has done this dozens or hundreds of times.

That's what I was like when I was in junior.

That was what helped me back from continuing my development.

That's what it's like when a player like Mike refuses to ask for any coaching or help.

Sure I still had a solid career, but it was far more stressful than it needed to be.

I also know I severely under performed.

And I see so many players doing the same thing.

My Largest Weakness

I believed that it was weak to ask for help when I was younger.

It seemed like if I asked for help, I was admitting I couldn't do it on my own.

Here's the secret: we never do it alone.

Everyone learns from other people.

We watch other players play.

We learn from our team coaches.

We learn from our skills coaches.

We learn from books.

We learn from YouTube.

So why not pay to work with someone who could make me confident in the skills I worked so hard to develop?

I now know that asking for help and paying for it is the most powerful thing you can do.

It's powerful because you take ownership of what you want.

That's what Mike did and now he is on a whole new path!

Does this resonate with you?

If it does, then I am going to teach you the system I taught Mike that helped him make a massive transformation.

Mike’s Transformation: Mental Game Unlocked

Mike's journey with the Identity Mastery System was transformative.

From a player grappling with self-doubt and limited playtime, he emerged as the assistant captain of his U18 AAA team.

He told me:

"My mental game went from being my greatest weakness to my greatest strength after working with Identity Shift Hockey for the past 6 months."

His newfound confidence and skills earned him a spot in the NCDC all-star game, and he’s now on the trajectory of an awesome junior and college hockey career.

His point tally is rising, he’s controlling games, and most importantly, he’s having fun training and developing.

He is on a great track to playing NCAA and professional hockey which are both his dream.

This is what I live for as a coach.

Getting to see these players reach their dreams and play better than they imagined they could play.

The Identity Mastery System: More Than Just a Training Program

This isn't just another training regimen where we lay out sets and reps and tell you to go do it.

Yes, sets and reps are a part of it.

But ultimately, the Identity Shift Method is a way of life designed specifically for hockey players.

It’s about discovering your Ultimate Identity on the ice and pursuing it with joy and passion, without trying to fit into a mould that doesn’t suit you.

I built out the system I always dreamed of having.

Here's how it works so you can either steal the system and build your own version, or learn exactly what we teach our clients.

This should be a win-win situation for you :)

1. Set The Foundation

Everyone has big goals.

Everyone wants to make the NHL.

Goals don't make you special.

Having a next-level plan and executing it over the years makes you special.

It's the actions you take over your career that separate you

And this doesn't mean you only work on skills or only hit the gym hard.

It's about realizing that right now you probably do not have a detailed and connected mental, physical, and skills training system.

The start of doing the right stuff is becoming aware of what's wrong, so that's what we will dig into in this free training in our Identity Shift Masterclass:

  • Includes a full worksheet on how to do this

2. Shift Your Mindset

Usually when we hear the word "mindset" we think of positive thinking, affirmations, and motivational speeches.

These things are like using a Nerf gun to take down a tank.

They seem like cool ideas, but they don't do much on their own.

Things are a little bit more detailed than that.

When it comes to mindset we must first understand how our mental filters impact our view of life.

Then we attack the roots of our beliefs.

And finally, we shift our story into one that empowers us.

If you do those things you will be on a path to greatness.

  • Includes a full worksheet on how to do this

3. Shift Your Identity

When you understand who you are everything changes.

In any hockey game, there are three core things that each player must manage.

Position + Role + Identity


You have the position that you are expected to play.

This is either center, winger (left or right) and defenseman (left or right).


Then you have your role within that position.

For example 1st line, 2-way center, or Pass first defenseman (2th ranked).

Or you can be a hybrid like a pass-first, defensive defenseman.

These are not a perfect mould you must fit into.

They are more like general archetypes that allow us to understand what our habits should likely be for that role.

For example we will study a player like Ovechkin if we are truing to be a shooter/sniper style player.

Or we will study a Patrice Bergeron if we want to be a better two-way centerman.


Then we have the Identity

When we refer to Identity, we really mean your unique spin on how you play your position and role.

Like how David Pastrnak and Nikita Kucherov are both elite shooter/sniper role players, but they do things in their own way.

Nikita Kucherov has made himself into a bit more of a passer with the threat of shooting, where as Pastrnak is usually looking to shoot first at all times.

If you want to dig deeper into this concept...

  • Includes a full worksheet on how to do this

4. Align Your Training System

Now that we understand who we are and how we want to play, we must design our development plan around this.

This is more than just jumping into the gym and throwing weights around.

Instead, we want to design a full plan

Click here to align your training system.

  • Includes a full worksheet on how to do this

The 12-Month Ultimate Identity Builder Plan

🧱 Off-Season: Build Your Foundation

  • Build and execute a full 4-8 month development plan that allows you to install all of the mental, physical, and skill tools that you need to play exactly how you want to on the ice in the following season.

  • This must be connected to your vision for you Ultimate Identity.

🛠️ Training Camp: Optimization 

  • Optimize everything we developed for in the off-season

  • The goal is to make sure everything we build is ready to be used in the games

📈 Mid-Season Separation: Stay Elite And Keep Building

  • During the season, it's all about making small iterations and adjustments

  • We play games, we watch films, we adjust our training focus, then we play games to see if it works.

🚀 Playoffs Push: Find Another Level

  • Finally as the season wraps up, we want to slightly adjust our programming to prepare our mind and body for the intensity of the post season

  • This means balancing out the body

  • Dealing with any injuries (as best we can)

  • And shifting your mental preparation into a new gear!

5. Build Complete Confidence

Now why didn't we include this early on?

Well here's the thing...

Confidence comes from having the actual ability and then believing you can do it.

So we don't just want to develop our minds without actually getting better.

True confidence is built through developing the ability to do something and then doing the mental work to remove all mental blocks that could get in the way.

Our goal is to really tap into your existing skills and abilities, bolstering them with what I call 'Superstar Confidence'.

This is about realizing and harnessing the skills you know you possess.

So here is where we really dig into the mental blocks that are limiting us and breaking through them with a variety of techniques and tools.

Most mental coaches only focus on this area - and that is why most mental coaches won't set you up for success in the long term because this only works if all other areas of your development are also working.

The basics are:

  • Meditation

  • Visualization

  • Mental Programming

You will get access to all of these in this lesson...

  • Includes a full worksheet on how to do this

6. Shift Your Hockey IQ

Now we get into the final step of the foundational proccess of Identity shifting.

This is where everything comes together.

In this section, our goal is to break down the way you read the game and how you make decisions.

It may seem very complex to improve hockey IQ, but if we simplify it down into a simple Identity Sense Loop, things will like a heck of a lot more sense.

That is what we will cover in this part of the course...

  • Includes a full worksheet on how to do this

Continual Growth and Support

Even though these tools will set you up for massive success, in the Next Level Academy (our main coaching program), it's important to realize that even Sidney Crsoby and Mcdavid have coaches they learn from.

That's why in the Academy we have:

  • Weekly Mental Masterclasses to strengthen your mental game.

  • Regular IQ Software Updates, keep your mind sharp and focused.

  • Guidance in building a Pro lifestyle, mirroring the habits of the elite.

A Cycle of Constant Community Improvement

"If you want to go fast, go alone; but if you want to go far, go together."

We have created a tight group of high-level hockey players who are all working together to accomplish their goals.

This is and will be a limited crew of just 100 members max (Next Level Academy)

Our approach is all about tweaking, experimenting, and evolving, all accelerated by expert coaching.

So everyone is pushing each other to get better with daily and weekly accountability and constant sharing of what they are learning.

It's a fun place to be.

Your Turn to Level-Up

Mike's story is just one of many.

The Identity Mastery System isn’t just about becoming a better hockey player; it’s about becoming the best version of yourself on the ice.

It's about actually reaching your potential, not just talking about it.

It’s about enjoying the journey, embracing your unique identity, and unleashing the superstar within.

Are you ready to skate beyond your limits and redefine your hockey career?

Come join us in the Academy and get to the next level by unlocking your Ultimate Identity.

See you at the next level!


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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.


When You're Ready, Here's How I Can Help You:

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The Free Mental Masterclass

Unleash your on-ice performance by unlocking your mind

Join the hundreds of players who have taken control of their mental game and found their path to the next level

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The Next Level
Hockey Academy

A next level group coaching program for serious hockey players who are looking to learn the mental tools and strategies to move up lines and levels. Learn to master your mental game and entire long term development system. Over 20 years of hockey experience and 1000s of hours of hockey study in a guided system to make you great!

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The Next Level Hockey Blueprint (Coaching Program)

A masterclass for high-level players who want a proven system tp get to the next level. Learn to master your mental game and entire development system. Use my Identity Shift Blueprint and in-depth curriculum to productize yourself as a player and become someone coaches scouts droiol over.

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The Confidence Mastery Manual

Implement our Next Level Confidence System - To learn how to program your mind for deep confidence, Boost Your focus levels, & and systematize your training approach to align with your ideal Identity

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