I (Dr. Cassidy Preston) started hockey when I was 2 years old.

Since then I’ve…

• Played 10 years of juniors, college, and pro hockey
• Spent 12 years in University to earn my PhD
• Built one of the Largest Mental Performance Coaching Firms in North America

Here are the 4 biggest lessons I’ve learned:

LESSON 1: Stay Connected to the Love of the Game

As a hockey player I got caught in the results trap over and over again.

I was obsessed with points and worried about what others thought (e.g. coaches, parents, teammates, scouts).

But this caused a slew of challenges.

I had yo-yo confidence as I tied my confidence to results.
I got anxious and held my stick too tight – worrying about results.
I struggled with resilience – I’d beat myself up and go into downward spirals after negative results.

The mistake was confusing my goals to achieve x, y & z results with my why.

Why you play the game is not the results.

Why you play the game is about the intrinsic drivers:

  • Growth
  • Experience
  • Connections

This is the key to enjoying the journey of sport & life.

LESSON 2: Be Patient, Adaptable, & Creative

I’ve naturally been prone to:

  • Rush to achieve results
  • Stubbornly stick to a plan
  • Think logically about solutions

These traits have their benefits and have served me well.

But they can also be very costly.

I’ve intentionally become more patient, adaptable and creative.

Without a doubt these traits have been invaluable to my success as an entrepreneur.

When my clients integrate these traits into their mental preparation – I see the profound impact it has on their athletic careers.

Looking back I would have benefited as an athlete from being more:

  • Patient with my career
  • Adaptable based on my results and feedback from coaches
  • Creative with how I mentally prepared and played the game

The magic lies within finding the balance between being:

  • Patient and Eager
  • Adaptable and Relentless
  • Creative and Logical

LESSON 3: Embracing the Power of No

Ambitious people love to say yes, but this can lead to being overwhelmed and being scattered.

We end up focusing and working on things that are NOT the top priority.

We lose sight of what matters most because we end up chasing all the shiny objects.

Flow is the result of finding the right balance between challenge and capabilities.

When we are stressed and overwhelmed, we have too many challenges to overcome.

We have said YES too much.

We are focusing on too many things.

The solution to get back to flow is to say No!

As an athlete this is often about simplifying your priorities. Get a clear game plan that is practical and personalized for you. I see the benefits athletes get from doing this daily.

Personally, this is the most impactful lesson I’ve had as an entrepreneur.

I used to have 5 or more projects on the go – juggling from task to task.

Now I focus on 1 priority at a time, get 1 project done, then move to the next one.

Building momentum 1 thing at a time.

LESSON 4: Build Your Team

Being a lone wolf was a mentality that I often prided myself on.

I thought figuring out things on my own was the key to achieving success.

It’s funny, in school we are often taught to not copy others’ work.

But in the real world if someone has a good idea, strategy, or habit we don’t need to reinvent the wheel – just do what works.

Then give credit where credit is due.

For example as a hockey player – Matt Marquardt was a peer with a bullet of a shot. So one day I stopped trying to figure out how to make my shot better on my own. The tips he gave me made my shot significantly better in days.

My only regret is not asking him for tips sooner!

Another example in business, I give a lot of credit to Todd Herman & his 90 Day Year System for helping with Lesson 3 – Embracing the Power of No.

I am fortunate for all the other great teachers, mentors, coaches, and friends that have been invaluable guides in my journey.

Every great achievement in sport, business or life is the accumulation of a team of people utilizing their strengths.

So my reminder to you is to continually surround yourself with a great team of coaches, guides, and friends.

In summary – the 4 lessons are:

  1. Stay Connected to the Love of the Game
  2. Be Patient, Adaptable, & Creative
  3. Embrace the Power of No
  4. Build Your Team

They are key principles to success in sport, business and life.

I hope you found this helpful.

Please share with anyone you think would benefit.