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The Technology Era of Hockey (Don’t Get Left Behind)


We have entered a new era in hockey development.

It is like nothing we have seen before.

We are seeing the highest skill that there has ever been in hockey.

This is because of the new advancements in technology.

I am calling it the Technology Era.

Pre-Technology Era

Before we talk about the new era, let's be clear on what the old era was.


This is the era before we had the internet.

Players were stuck all doing pretty much the same thing.


Players had very limited information about what people outside of their team, league, and coaches were doing.


Moves like Michigan were basically unheard of.


Players were stuck with watching NHL games on TV live.

The old way was:


  1. Do some power skating

  2. Watch NHL games (live) whenever possible

  3. Stickhandling and shooting at a home

  4. Hope you got noticed by the scouts



This old way existed because there was no choice.

Now that we have the technology, the old way is dead.

Like anything in life, things evolve.

Hockey has evolved and it is a beautiful thing.

The Technology Era (Current)

This is not enough anymore to compete with what the elite players are doing.

The new way to learn hockey skills is a combination of:


  1. Watch NHL games (live and recorded)

  2. Watching short hockey videos (on TikTok, Instagram, youtube, etc)

  3. Learning from online training courses

  4. Try new skills and techniques off-ice

  5. Skating on the ice alone to try new moves and techniques

  6. Working with skills coaches, mental coaches, strength coaches, and development coaches

  7. Become the best version of yourself

  8. Get scouted through online resources (like hockey TV and elite prospects)

  9. Get to the next level



We are in a new era of hockey development thanks to technology.

There are negative consequences to this new technology (like social media addiction).

But... there are many positives.

The main positive is the insane access to hockey videos.

Never before could players study the game so much.

Players can watch endless isolated videos of most NHL players now.

They can watch endless highlight tapes.

Now, the only limit to your training is how obsessed you are.

All you need is access to the internet.

The Biggest Mistake In the Technology Era

A big push right now is to try and look at the best players (or your favourite players and copy them).

Many players in the Tech Era will pick a player like Connor Mcdavid or Nathan Mackinnon to copy.

They say; “I am going to skate like Mcdavid or shoot like Mackinnon”.

They want to copy them completely.

This is not the 'wrong' way to go.

It can actually be very helpful for some players.

But, it can also cause many unforeseen problems for many players.

It may be causing YOU problems.

The Problems With Copying


The problem with copying is that we are not all build the same.

We don’t all have the same limb lengths, muscle insertions, strengths, weaknesses, etc.

A short stocky sprinter would not want to learn how to sprint from Usain Bolt who is 6'6".

A player who is 5’6” will rarely want to learn the same skills and patterns as a 6’5” player.

That’s because a taller player may be able to put himself in a lot of high-risk situations.

A smaller player often must approach this situation differently to be effective and not get injured.

A smaller player will also likely not move the same way as a larger player.

Don't Copy The Best For Everything

A slower player may be able to learn a bit from McDavid, but it may not be helpful to study him at all.

This is because if a player is much slower than Mcdavid he will not be able to make the same moves.

"Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid."- Albert Einstein

This is not pessimistic, it is being smart.

An elephant can't out-swim a goldfish.

A goldfish can't out-climb a monkey.


If the elephant spends its whole life trying to swim like a goldfish it will think it's a failure.

Same thing with the goldfish trying to climb the tree.

You are limiting yourself by ignoring your strengths and focusing on what you are told you need to be by social media.


You don't have to dangle and take big risks to be a great player.


You don't have to be the guy who scores every game to be extremely valuable to your team.

You feel like a failure because you are playing by someone else's rules.

You are limiting yourself by trying to out-Mcdavid Connor Mcdavid.

See how crazy this is.

So what's the solution?

The Solution: What Is The Player Identity

The Player Identity is the solution to this copying problem.

It’s the solution because it allows players to take a new mindset with their skill development.

The Player Identity is a hockey player's unique style that stands out when they play.

It's the things scouts notice when they see you play.

It's what makes them say "I want that guy on our team".

Building Your Unique Player Identity

Your player identity is a collection of small habits.

It’s all a collection of small habits and ways you react to situations.

These habits include how you think, feel and act.

They happen on a subconscious level.

They are the software in your brain.

What's cool is that you can rewire that mental software.

You can learn to mould your player identity software by rewiring these small habits.

When players in my programs complete an Identity Shift, that is what happens.

Players completely rewire their subconscious habits in a matter of weeks.

Through this, they become completely confident.

They see confidence is a set of mental habits combined with physical abilities.

They develop the belief that they can succeed.

When a player realizes this, their entire career changes.

They are now ready to move to the next level of their hockey career.

Changing Your Habits

Many players may leave this Identity Letter right now and still try to copy one player.

Those players will end up being a weaker version of that player.

That’s because they will never be able to copy every detail and nuance of any player's game.

Plus players are always growing and adapting anyways

So you will be copying an old version of them.

You can’t say “I am Mcdavid now” and then download all of their habits into your mental hard drive.

It would be pretty cool if we are able to do this (maybe someday).

But for now, players that separate themselves from the pack do 5 main things:


  1. They assess their current strengths and weaknesses

  2. They assess what players with similar physical attributes did to separate themselves

  3. They steal skills/habits from many of these players to build their own Unique Player Identity

  4. They program the skills/habits into their mind with a planned-out training system

  5. They get coaching and make constant small improvements over time


Really what they do is double down on their Identity.


Doubling Down On Expanding Your Identity

I want to double down here on who you are and expand upon it.


Why is it so important to have this training philosophy in the tech era?

It is because if you do not establish your unique style, a coach will force something on you.

He may make you play 4th line and over time you may come to accept this role as your identity.

Instead, you want to double down on your Identity and what makes you special.

It means building your unique skill stack.

It's about evolving.


It means seeking the knowledge you need to level up.

You start off with what you have, then you expand over time.

The challenge for most players is mental.

They think they have it figured out and stop searching for the information to get better.


Or they try to develop into something that goes against their natural strengths.

This is where players level off and stop moving to the next level.

So what do you do?

Know Your Role, Expand Your Identity

The great development coach Daryll Belfry once said:

“Know your role, expand your Identity”

What he means is:

You want to keep expanding what you can do.

You want to keep evolving your Identity over time.

The game is always evolving.

Players around you are always evolving.

You must evolve or die.

Said another way, you must expand your identity or die.

Now how can you do this?

I call it Identity Studying...

The Identity Study ( Hockey Assignment)

I want to let you in on a powerful assignment we are doing in the Next Level Academy this month.

It’s about building your unique player identity.

I want to share it with you and give you a chance to take this on for yourself this month!

If you submit your full document to the email corson_searles@yahoo.ca...

I will give you a $ credit to use with any of our hockey performance online programs.

So here is how you will carry out this assignment:

STEP 1: Look at the 5 players in the NHL that are like you in body type and skill set.

STEP 2 Study at least 30 minutes of film on each player.

STEP 3 1. Take note of these core things: 2. What is their unique skill stack (top 3-5 skills they have)? 3. What are their bottlenecks (top 3-5 weakest skills they have)? 4. What are the main plays that they make often? (top 10-15 core plays they are making)? 5. Save clips of the plays you like in a Google document (save the link of the video and note down the time stamp of the clip, or screen record the clip) 6. Ask yourself what skills, and plays you want to steal from each of these players

STEP 4 Submit your Identity Study to corson_searles@yahoo.ca

STEP 5 Use your $100 credit with one of our programs.

Have fun.

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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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