Day 7 – What Would Sidney Crosby Do?

This is the seven day of our team’s virtual mid-season training camp. Each day for the next 28 days, there will be a short assignment for you to do to continue your development. These assignments are mandatory for players and coaches. Parents are also encouraged to participate.

Today, we’re going to continue our discussion of keystone habits and picking your guiding master habit.

How do you implement more keystone habits?

Yesterday we saw that there are plenty of keystone habits that varsity student athletes tend to complete on a daily basis. Any of these life-changing habits has the potential to create a chain reaction on nearly every aspect of your life.

Here are some more examples of keystone habits which might work for you (thanks for all the great ideas yesterday!):

  • Make your bed as soon as you wake up
  • Working out every morning at the same time
  • Studying for school for an hour immediately when you get home from school
  • Going to bed at a regular time every night
  • Waking up at a regular time every morning
  • Go outside for a walk to get some fresh air every day
  • Replacing junk food in your diet with healthy alternatives
  • Include vegetables and fruits in every meal
  • Drink more water each day (6-8 glasses)
  • Read a book for at least 20 minutes every day
  • Every evening review your day and think if there is anything you could have done differently to have had a more positive outcome
  • Clean up whatever you’re doing as soon as you are finished
  • Do yoga every day
  • Write in a journal every day (set goals, do a self-reflection, etc.)
  • Shooting pucks every evening after dinner
  • Compliment one friend and one stranger every day (try to pick friends each day)
  • Replace excessive screen time with stickhandling
  • Watch a short hockey training video every day. Think about how I can incorporate it into my training, or not.
  • Drink a full glass of water before every meal
  • Meditating every morning at the same time
  • Planning your day the night before

But what if we are able to complete several of these every day? Certainly, that’s what we’d like to do.

Here are a few ways to encourage you to implement your keystone habits.

Habit Stacking

You already connect many of your habits without even thinking about it.

For example, when you wake up each morning you likely have an efficient set of steps you follow without even thinking about it.

  1. Get out of bed at the last minute.
  2. Brush your teeth.
  3. Take a shower.
  4. Get dressed.
  5. Eat a bowl of sugary cereal.
  6. Rush out the door to catch the school bus.

Your brain already connects these and thousands of other daily habits together. You can take advantage of these strong connections to build new habits. This is called Habit Stacking.

One of the best ways to introduce new habits that will stick is to identify a current habit that you already do each day and then stack a new habit with it.

Let’s take a look at the waking up example again. What if we were to make a few simple modifications. Get out of bed a few minutes earlier at a fixed time every day. Drink a large glass of water. Use the extra time to do 10 minutes of stretching or yoga. Replace the sugary cereal with some yogurt, whole wheat toast and an avocado.

  1. Get out of bed at 7am.
  2. Drink a large glass of water.
  3. Brush your teeth.
  4. 10 minutes of stretching or yoga.
  5. Take a shower.
  6. Get dressed.
  7. Eat some yogurt, whole wheat toast and an avocado.
  8. Calmly walk to the bus, primed for a successful day.

How much better does this look? And yet, with a little bit of planning and effort, it wouldn’t be that difficult to turn this into our everyday routine.

What Would Sidney Crosby Do?

You may have heard the phrase “What would Jesus do?“. It is often abbreviated to WWJD, and became popular particularly in the United States in the late 1800s after the widely read book by Charles Sheldon entitled, “In His Steps: What Would Jesus Do.” The phrase had a resurgence in the US and elsewhere in the 1990s and as a personal motto for Christians who used the phrase as a reminder of their belief in a moral imperative to act in a manner that would demonstrate the love of Jesus through the actions of the adherents. (Source: Wikipedia)

Similarly, if we want to create a personal motto to reinforce the keystone habits and behaviours of a hockey player, we could ask ourselves “What would Sidney Crosby do?“.

You could pick any player that you like or that you think would be a good role model for you. Sidney Crosby, Connor McDavid, Hayley Wickenheiser. You might even pick a favourite hockey coach or teacher. Anyone who you think typifies the bahaviour that you’d like to emulate.

Then, any time that you have a choice to make, you can reinforce a positive behaviour or keystone habit by asking yourself:

  • What would Sidney Crosby do?
  • What would Sidney Crosby eat?
  • Would Sidney Crosby get up and workout, or hit the snooze button?
  • Would Sidney Crosby watch another boring TV show or spend the time working on his stickhandling?
  • Would Sidney Crosby go to bed to rest up for a big game, or stay out with friends?

Coach Steve’s Guiding Master Habit

One final trick your can use to help implement your keystone habits is to make your Guiding Master Habit support several of your desired keystone habits.

Here is my Guiding Master Habit:

Every evening, I plan out in detail the first hour of my day and my first hour at work ensuring that they support my personal vision statement.

Coach Steve’s Guiding Master Habit

Every evening, I take a few minutes make a very simple plan.

A typical plan for the first hour of my day:

  1. Get out of bed by 7am.
  2. Drink a large glass of water. I usually take one to bed with me so the glass is handy.
  3. Brush my teeth.
  4. 10 minutes of stretching and movement preparation. Some days this might be yoga.
  5. 30 minutes of strength training (Legs and back workout). Workouts vary. Alternating days I might run, cycle or use a rowing machine.
  6. Shower and get dressed.
  7. Make a cup of green tea.
  8. Eat some yogurt, whole wheat toast and an avocado.

Most days this routine is very similar, but the specifics (like the workout or breakfast food) change day to day.

A typical plan for my first hour at work:

  1. Boot up my computer.
  2. Spend one hour working on my most important project. Most days this is writing of some sort. A report, campaign or script for a video I’m working on.
  3. Make the most important phone call of the day: Tom.
  4. Stretch my legs and drink a glass of water.

Again, most days this routine is very similar, but the specifics (like my most important project or the person I’m going to call) change day to day.

Only once I’ve completed this hour do I allow myself to check my phone for messages or emails.

By the time my first hour at work is completed, I’ve already got my important things done. Regardless of what else happens during my day, I’ve already been successful.

Over time, these routines have become almost entirely automatic.

Would Sidney Crosby approve? I think so.

Today’s Assignment:

For today…

  1. Complete today’s workout on the TeamBuildr app. Be sure to mark each exercise complete as you finish it.
  1. Think of someone who is already successful doing what you want to do to use as a role model?
  1. Plan out the first hour of your day. Try to include several keystone habits. Be as specific as possible. Would your role model approve?
  1. Plan out a second important hour of your day. Maybe the first hour after you get home from school. Or your first hour at work. Or the hour immediately after dinner. Again, try to include several keystone habits. Be as specific as possible. Would your role model approve?
  1. Based on what you’ve learned today, how might you modify your Guiding Master Habit? Post your answers to all these questions to the team WhatsApp group.