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Address to the Nation

Address to the Nation: Don’t Waste It

We talked last week about gifts. Gifts are things that are given to you. You can’t earn a gift. You can earn an award, you can earn a trophy, you can earn a title, but a gift is something that is given to you, something you are born with.

People are born with different gifts. I know my gift. My gift is being out there on the ice and being involved with ice hockey someway, somehow.

See, the other day I was watching a practice, and just by looking at it, it didn’t feel right. It didn’t taste right. The vibe, the mood, the tone of the practice wasn’t right, and I could see it in an instant. There was another time I was watching warm-ups of a hockey game, and it didn’t feel right, it didn’t sit right. This isn’t what it’s about. And I can detect those things because it’s a gift. And I employ my gifts daily and I use them all the time.

When I step on the ice, I know how to get the most out of players. I know how to motivate them, I know how to teach them, how to direct them in the right way so they can get the most out of their game. And it’s a gift, it’s a skill, it’s not something that everything has.

I used to think that if I’m not doing it, someone else is going to do it better, but I trust the gift that I have been gifted with. And I want you to trust the gifts you’ve been gifted with. Whatever you’re good at, whatever thing you gravitate towards, whatever it is that makes you feel like, wow, I’m really good at this – you’re probably gifted.

You shouldn’t take that for granted, because, 80-90% of the world isn’t as good as you at that. That’s what makes you special, and that’s what gives you the ability to be the best.

Take advantage of your gift. Take advantage of what you have that no one else has. Hone that skill, build it, develop it, study it, get better at it, step by step by step. When you start off good at something, better than 80-90% of the rest of the world, you can then work on it and become the top 2-3% in the world.

You can be an artist. You can be an entrepreneur. You can be a labourer. You can be a coach. You can be a teacher. You can be anything. Once you get into that sweet spot, once you’re starting to do what you need to do, everything falls into place.

That is inspirational, that is what motivates people, what inspires people to look up to you in what you do. It’s not about you; it’s about what you can do for the world with that gift. See, that gift has been given to you so you can then share that with everyone else. Get excited about seeing someone else reap the benefits from your gifting, because that’s what life is all about.

As a coach, I get lifted by seeing other players do better. I get lifted by seeing a player tweak a certain skill, a certain part of their game, and then get that success. They look at me and their eyes are wide open like oh, wow. And I say, yes, it works.

That’s why I do what I do. I’m glad to be gifted with the things I’m gifted at, and I want to use it. Because, the other side of it is, when you don’t use your gift, someone else is missing out.

Don’t let it sit there and not be used. Don’t let it collect dust. Apply it. Use it. Be confident in it. Be confident in who you are, in what you have been gifted with.

Because if you don’t do it, who will?







John knew that he wanted to play hockey from the age of four, and since then he's played in Juniors, Division 1 College, Professional hockey, and won 2 Goodall Cup Championships in the Australian Ice Hockey League (AIHL). When he's not playing hockey, he's teaching others how to play. As one of the founding members of the National Sport Academy (NSA), John's mission is to spread the sport of hockey across Australia, and provide elite training for those pursuing the game at the highest levels. John's drive, tenacity, and continual pursuit to 'Be Better' shines through in everything he sets out to do.




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