I failed to reach my potential as a hockey player when, for various reasons, I turned my back on a promising career as a professional hockey player at age 17.
It is my greatest regret.
I was engineered to play hockey. Size, strength, explosive power, lightning fast reflexes, endurance, on ice vision and awareness, exceptional hand-eye coordination, strong propensity to commit physical brutality, and one hell of a hard shot. I had it all.
Time passed and after a 23 year no-go for on ice play, I sparked the fire and heated the forge and got back into it. Upon my return to Canada from Singapore in 2011, I stopped by the local sporting good store on the way home from the airport and bought a snazzy pair of Easton skates. Cheap ones at that coming in at only $400. The best ones are $1000. A few days later I rekindled my love for the sport.
By stopping at 17, I never reached my full potential in hockey. I knew I had what it took to play professional but the one area of my game that left me curious was my shot, more specifically my slap shot.
Around the time I stopping playing, the hardest (fasted) shot in the world was just over 100 mph. To compare this figure with another sport – baseball – a 100 mph slap shot is the equivalent to a 102 mph fastball in baseball. Few can do it.
I knew my shot was hard. Goalies and players and coaches all told me so over and over again. Now, some 23 years later at the age of 40, I began my journey down the road of reaching my highest potential as a hockey player, but also with that of discovering what is truly my full potential of my shot; just how hard can I shoot a hockey puck.
Technology of hockey sticks has changed dramatically. Sticks are no longer wood and $20. They are now carbon and $250. Over the last 4.5 years of “skating” I have spent around $4000 on composite/carbon hockey sticks to find the right stick for me. The purpose? To maximized the velocity of my slap shot and record its speed.
At the age of 43, I shot a 100 mph slap shot. To put this in perspective, I have officially one of the hardest shots ever in the history of the game of hockey. Actually, the speed is 100.xx mph. The radar gun I bought doesn’t read in tenths of a second so, my shot could have been 100.9 mph.
The record for hardest shot in the NHL is 108.8 mph.
The fastest fastball in the MLB is 106 mph.
I shot 100.xx mph.
And I am not done. I know I have more in the tank. I honestly believe I can shoot 105 mph. What makes me say this? I have not reached my full potential in;
- Hockey specific skating; stride, flexibility, balance, agility, stance and technique
- Shooting technique; balance, posture, positioning
- Skate blade; rocker radius, radius of hollow (sharpening style). skate boot fit
- Stick construction; blade curve, blade length, shaft length, flex profile, kick profile, blade lie angle, shaft size and thickness
- Overall body conditioning, strength and power
To maximize my full potential of my shot, I will work diligently in all above areas over the next 6 months of the 2016/17 season. I will purchase a new radar gun that measures down to the tenth of a mph. Towards the end of last season, I really connected with the puck using a new stick and blade combination and was sure I shot 102 mph… thousands of shots has me accurately guess the speed of the puck. only to have the radar malfunction at that exact moment. So… 102 is possible and so is 105.
I started a Facebook page to track and record and document my Hockey Mastery journey. You will notice I am all about the details via my ultra-precise mind. Slight changes yield large and noticeable results for me.
You will find numerous posts and videos highlighting my progress over 2 seasons so far, as well as photos and shooting videos. I started out with an insane goal of shooting a 120 mph slap shoot. Better to aim high. Yeah? Its a bit ambitious…
I have shattered 3 panes of plexiglass with my shot. Below is the first and I amazingly caught it on camera. What are the odds????
Below is my next day follow-up video.
These photos I broke the second pane of plexiglass with a wrist shot from the blueline as I moved horizontally across the ice.
Here I broke another one but with a snap shot. The puck grazed the crossbar.
As you can see, I am serious about Mastery in my life. Its time you work on your Mastery in every area of your life. The good news is we will do it together.