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By Enio Sacilotto, President, International Hockey Camps, Coach, West Vancouver Hockey Academy, Coach, Croatian National Team Men’s Hockey Team

How many of us spend time comparing ourselves to others? It almost seems that it is human nature to compare ourselves. No one is perfect, we all do it from time to time. The challenge we are faced when we do, do it, is that all our energy is focused in the wrong place. We become frustrated and try to control the uncontrollable and forget what WE need to do!

How many times during a tryout or a game you have you told yourself such things as, “He is bigger, faster and better than me!” The trick is to reduce the amount of times that we compare. In this article we will discuss 9 benefits for you when you stop comparing yourself to others. Then we will discuss 3 strategies to keep you focused on what you can control, YOU!

1. GRATITUDE – When comparing yourself to others you focus on their good qualities and your self talk becomes focused on your bad qualities or qualities you don’t have, this will have a negative effect on you! There will always be players that are better than you and there will be players that are not as good as you.

When you focus on you, you realize that you have qualities and skills that others don’t have. You then become grateful for your qualities and skills and all the opportunities that you are presented. Celebrate and be proud of your unique qualities and use them to your advantage! Remember, “An attitude of gratitude is altitude!”.

2. ESCAPE THE POLITICS – Comparing ourselves creates negative talk and put downs between teammates. When you focus on you, you eliminate the jealousy that is created and begin to be happy for your and each other’s successes and cheer each other on.

You will become more motivated; your energy will be geared to the things you want to accomplish and not the things you cannot control!

3. GOOD THINGS TAKE TIME –When you compare yourself to others you will feel rushed to reach the other persons success. We all develop skills at different rates of time, as we are all unique beings. You will reach your goals and high level of development at your own rate, by focusing and working hard on yourself!

4. STAY IN THE PRESENT MOMENT – You cannot control how others perform and their skill level! You can control your thoughts and actions by focusing on 1 repetition of a drill, 1 shift or 1 shot at a time. Don’t think about the end result or how others play, have fun and focus on what you do well at each moment you are playing!

5. DEVELOP YOUR SELF CONFIDENCE – When you compare yourself to the best athlete that you compete against, you end up competing against yourself. When you compete against yourself you will make yourself frustrated and miserable because you won’t be able to meet their standards. Alternatively, when you focus on what you do well, you will experience success one step at a time. These successes will build increased confidence over time. Confidence is like a wild fire that keeps building and growing over time then one day you will shine!

6. KEEP YOUR “WHY” IN YOUR MIND – In goal setting we teach that the most important motivator in reaching your target is in your “why”! Why do we do what we do? What is the purpose and what is in your heart? When we compare ourselves, we are basing our idea of success on the opinions and actions of others and not what is in our hearts. When you focus on yourself, then you will keep sight of your “why”.

7. WE ALL DEVELOP AT DIFFERENT RATES – When we focus on other people, we get distracted on what we should be doing and lose sight of our own path. If you focus on your own development, commitment, perseverance, being coachable and working hard, you will make it! Eliminate distractions in your life (i.e. comparing yourself to others) and maintain a razor-sharp focus on you!

8. USE THE PROS AS ROLL MODELS – Healthy and realistic comparisons to say an NHL player can be a good thing. We can model techniques and professional behaviors that this player has. This comparison can help us set goals and set high but realistic standards.

9. YOU WILL HAVE MORE FUN AND ENJOY COMPETING – When you meet your goals and see improvements in your game you will be happy and when you are happy, you will have more fun. Having gratitude for the gifts you have will brings happiness. Having a deep sense of purpose will keep you motivated, patient and confident. All this has to come from inside of you and not by comparing yourself to others as this creates distractions within you!

Part 2 of this article will look at some techniques you can use to eliminate comparing yourself to others.

Enio Sacilotto, is President of International Hockey Camps who operate specialized hockey camps. Enio Sacilotto is the former Assistant Coach of the Victoria Royals of the Western Hockey League (7 seasons) and has coached pro hockey in Europe for 20 years. You can visit his website for free coaching resources and information about the camps; If you have any questions about this article and would like to contribute some ideas, you can call him at 604 255 – 4747 or email at