DON’T PRETEND: BE CONSISTENT BY EVAN MCCARTHY
I’ve played ice hockey goalie competitively since I was 8 years old. Before that, I would play knee hockey with my friends on the living room floor in my house. I always wanted to stop the puck. I always wanted to be the best. The only way to accomplish being the best was to be consistent. “Consistency wins games!” my coaches would always say. Whether it was in my family room or in a highly competitive game on the ice, the only way I would have success was to consistently stop pucks.
My whole life has been about finding new ways to creatively remain consistent. How would I talk to myself? How would I deal with failure? What tools and mind games could I play with myself to achieve consistency? This has always been a battle for me. This has never been easy. Hockey is 90% mental and 10% physical. Consistency on the ice comes from the mindset preparation that you do daily to be successful when trying to stop the puck. It was always about creating mind games that would help me relax or get amped up, depending on the situation.
After missing an entire season of hockey last year due to 2 hip surgeries, I realized how important a consistent mindset was for my everyday life. I could either CHOOSE to go through mood swings or I could CHOOSE to stay consistent and have a positive outlook with the hand I had been dealt. I am not talking about on ice hockey performance. I am talking about a consistent mindset. I challenged myself to wake up every day and find different ways to maintain that consistently positive mindset. I would have trigger points. For example, the first person I saw during that morning I would make a joke and smile. This would kick start my positivity. I had to be creative depending on how I felt each day I woke up in order to maintain the consistent mindset. I had to be creative with how I would react to difficult situations that I encountered. This amplified my quality of life greatly, even without the sport that I have played my entire life.