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By Darryl Stewart
Are you a true professional or just a talented placeholder?

Are you a true professional or just a talented placeholder?

I attended an event where Paul Maurice, the coach of the NHL’’s Winnipeg Jets, was the keynote speaker. I was very impressed by his thoughtful outlook. One of the things Maurice talked about was the difference between a typical NHL player and the few true professionals in the league. He talked about how any hockey player who makes it to the NHL is indeed a talented athlete – far above average – but very few go on to become true professionals.

These few:

  • do the hard work;
  • develop a willingness to accept and assimilate critique;
  • have the discipline to treat their body with respect; and
  • continue pursuing the craft while others are simply content with the status quo.

Being a true professional hockey player means performing at a very high level for 80+ grueling games each season for years on end. It means being able to communicate well with your coach and teammates. It means being a model citizen for the hordes of youngsters looking up to you as a hero. It means mastering many aspects of the game. Most never achieve this, too complacent and caught up in their own success to keep pursuing their craft after making “the show”.

Being appointed to a leadership position is much like making the NHL. You have been recognized as someone with a special talent, but it is only the beginning of what is possible. I can be more of a professional – and so can you.

Thanks, Paul. Go Jets Go!

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