Lifehacking: A tool or technique that makes some aspects of one’s life easier or more efficient. (from urbandictionary.com)
You’ve all heard of life hacking, or bio hacking. Is it possible to hack hockey? I think so. Drawing from contemporary wisdom of Tim Ferris and his book “The 4-Hour Chef”, I’ll explain a few techniques to hack hockey.
The 10,000 rule.
We all know about it now.
But guess what! It’s a rule, not a law. It was an observation of a relationship between practice time and success. But it doesn’t mean that you must practice 10,000 hours to succeed. How I tend to take the 10,000 hour rule is that you probably need to accumulate 10,000 hours to master the skills and tricks necessary to be successful in your field. Is it possible to do it faster than 10,000 hours? I think so. Enter Tim Ferris…
His first book, The Four-Hour Workweek, almost seemed like a cheat to me. He explained how you can run a business and be financially independent without spending your entire life doing it. I initially understood it to be an explanation on how to only work four hours per week. This just didn’t seem fair to me, as I valued hard work. But then I began to understand that the book was actually explaining how to make the most of your time. For example, you might be able to get all the work you do in a 40 hour workweek done in 4 if you engage in various productivity tactics and rules. Or, you could get way more done in your 40 hour work week by applying his principles. In any case, the book was all about maximizing the return on your time.
The Four-Hour Chef
His third book, The Four-Hour Chef, explained how you could become word class at anything in a fraction of the time. But again, it felt to me like a cheat. Until I learned that the book was again, all about maximizing your own time. He gave practical tools and insight on how to get pretty damn good at something, pretty damn quickly.
One big piece of advice on how to get really good at something, really fast, stood out to me:
- Figure out what people are misunderstanding about the subject
Figure out what people are misunderstanding.
There is a lot of misunderstanding in the hockey world. One of the biggest sources is hockey culture.
When lay people aren’t sure what creates a successful hockey team and hockey player, they turn to hockey culture for guidance. They’ll grasp at concepts that are simple and easy to understand.
A very common thing I see occur is I get parents telling me what their kid needs to work on, then they’ll tell me how to go about doing it.
They’ll say, “My kid needs quicker feet. Make sure they do quick feet drills.” Well there’s a huge misunderstanding on the parent’s part on what creates on-ice quickness.
You’ll also see a coach say, “Get the puck out under any circumstances. Chip, dump and ice if you have to!” Again, there’s a misunderstanding here because the coach doesn’t understand that puck possession tends to lead to pucks directed on net, and pucks directed on net tend to lead to goals, and goals tend to lead to winning.
Go to the source!
Figuring out what is being misunderstood in the game of hockey is the first step. The second, is figuring out what to understand. In order to do this, you need to go to the source. Go directly to the experts.
This might be tough if you don’t know how to evaluate if someone is an expert or not. To be helpful, here are some people that I consider to be experts.
- Darryl Belfry – Hockey Skills, Hockey Tactics
- Kelly Starrett – Mobilization, Movement
- Scott Bjugstad – Shooting
- Charles Poliquin – Strength and Nutrition
- Eric Cressey – Exercise technique
- Daniel Coyle – Talent and Skill Development
- Joshua Waitzkin – Learning
- Tim Ferris – Hacking Ethic
- The Russians! Boris Sheiko, Yuri Verkhoshanksy, Pavel Tsatsouline – Strength training and periodization
These experts have different areas of expertise, but they all have information that works! Their advice is evidence-based and tested and shown to produce results in the real world. AND!! They’re sharing it with us. How awesome is that?
If this blog has developed into anything, it has become a place where I can share all the best work from the best minds. So go to the source. Figure out what others are misunderstanding, get the best info, and get better, faster. Here’s to less than 10,000 hours.