Memo: Hard Work Does Pay Off


The season is near, however it is still the off-season. You have to work hard and everyday you have to work harder.  Whatever your goals are for the following season, write it down and remember that hard work and determination is what will pay off for in your success.  

This week I call in the efforts of a friend, who has taught me that very life lesson.

Steven Vulin is one of the strongest men I know, both physically and spiritually. 

Born and raised in New York, Steve says he can still recall the New York Rangers 1994 Stanley Cup victory. It is not a sport he had the chance to play outside of casual street hockey but his athletic experience and advice has always helped me take my hockey skills to the next level. Seriously. 

Steven instead focused his time around American Football. He grew up in a predominately division 1 program, and he was a full-time starter all of his life. He also competed successfully at track & field and in his one and only year in wrestling he was named to All-Conference. In college, he played a little football as well for a NCAA Division 1 program until he decided to focus most of his time to academics. 

A few years after graduating from Lehigh University, he decided to move his life out to California and turn all of his dreams into a reality. Recently, Steven has started his own construction company, competed at mixed martial arts and worked in various films/shows. Yep, if you ever saw Beerfest then you might have seen Steven. An impressive athlete, a student of life and an aspiring actor/entertainer.

Find out more about Steve through his new blog:

Each day he is writing down his goals, and the blueprint to completing it. Its a common path you have to take towards success. Like myself; He is always learning, he is always studying and he is always working. This is what he taught me. And this is what he is here to teach you.



What is your goal?

Ask yourself that question, what do you want to accomplish?

Once you have that clear in your mind. Ask yourself another question.

What will it take for you to achieve that goal?

Who else has achieved the same goal (or similar goal) that you are looking to attain and how did they get there?

What did they do? 

 How hard did they work to get to where you want to be? Some you will find have extraordinary natural talent, others need to work on it, in both cases, that natural talent needs to be harnessed and coupled with work ethic, otherwise that full potential will never be realized. (Which is why you see all of these gifted highschool/travel players not make it in college/juniors, or gifted college/junior players not make it in the pros, they didn't want it bad enough!)

What skills will you need to acquire to attain your dream?

Will you need to be stronger? Faster? Have better stick handling? Have a better scoring touch?

All of this can be worked on, and anything can be achieved if you take the time to work on it.
Think about when you first study for a test, how well do you know the material? Generally, the more you study, the better you do at that test. Same with athletics the more you work on it (and how you work on it) the better you get.  On that same topic, notice how after you pass that exam, and don't look at the study material for a few weeks, how much if that material will you remember, would you still pass that same test a month later...same with athletics, if you don't keep refreshing your skills, you will get rusty. (Notice how bad even Michael Jordan was when he made his first comeback)

For the last few years, I have been training with top level athletes including the current UFC Heavyweight Champion Fabricio Werdum. What I notice is that even at the top of his game, he continues to work on and perfect the basics, he would train a simple arm bar, or triangle choke for hours. To keep all of these basic moves perfect and then he would work on other skills. So, the moral is to work on and perfect your basics and then add to those skills. In time you will perfect them. (An ancient martial arts quote: "fear the man who has practiced 1 punch a thousand times more than the man who has practiced 1000 punches once") Some skills may be learned faster than others; the trick is to keep at it. Recently I made a decision that I would cross train in gymnastics in order to expand my resume for my acting career, I picked a date and said, "on this day I will achieve multiple back flips" a week prior to this day of July 15 I could barely do a sloppy back hand spring, but I practiced every day and on that final day I was at the gym for 4 hours until I got it, and I did 4 back-flips in a row...

You want to create a relationship with your "ENTER ATTRIBUTE HERE". Write down your goals, write down your try-out dates and tell yourself that nothing will stop you from being what you want to be. So that when you say you will do something, you do matter what.. There are no excuses. Excuses lead to procrastination and failure. Keeping your word means you are geared toward success and you will achieve everything you want in life. Because you said it, you put those words into action.

Look into the hockey world, you will notice a correlation between the best players on the ice; they train for hours on end even if you do not see it and they work on every little detail. It's that extra inch, or that split second reaction that often decides a game.  If you train to the best of your ability, that inch and split second moves in your favor...if you slack in your training, that inch and split second goes to your opponent, the one that wanted it more. Also, I notice that the champs hang out with other champions and top level people. Just like I am building up my peer group of winners to push myself. Ask yourself about your peer group and who you surround yourself with, are they helping or hindering you towards your goals.

I ask you again. What is your goal, and what actions are you committing to in order to get you there.



Steven has opened his blog about training, health, sports and lifestyle. Check out more of his work here: 

Steven also completed in a 10,000 rep challenge with fellow friends and family. Check that out here:


*** I know this is not exactly the hockey lifestyle you may expect. But it is important to go outside the borders of the norm, and look outside for new ideas and new practices that will help you take your game to the next level. Help support the blog by sharing with your friends and family and teammates! Cheers! 


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