Connect with us

Address to the Nation

Address To The Nation: Keep Your Skills – Give Me Effort

I’ve got something to get off my chest.

A bit of a rant, if you will.

I want to tell you guys that you can have all the skill in the world, all the skill in the world, but if you don’t have work ethic – if you do not work hard, if you do not have grit, if you do not have resilience – all that skill means nothing.

See, you can train skills. You can work on all these minor things. You can take all the classes in the world, you can read all the books in the world, but if you don’t apply it, if you don’t go out there and work, if you don’t go out there and get punched in the mouth, if you don’t go over there and go through obstacle after obstacle, it means nothing. Absolutely nothing.

If you look at the greatest athletes in the world, look at Sidney Crosby, LeBron James, Connor McDavid, Tom Brady. Were these guys skilled? Yes. Do they have God-gifted talent? Yes. If you an average person, put in 20, 000 hours of work compared to their 10,000, will you become as good as them? No.

So, skill is important, but if you don’t work hard, if you think that by skill alone you’re going to be able to make it to the top – you’ve got another thing coming. You have to apply those skills. You have to get out on the field. You have to experience the game.

See, I view skill as theory. And I view hard work as practicality. See, skill is what you learn in the classroom. That’s the theory side of it. How things should work. How chemical reactions should happen. How roads should be made. But when it’s practical, when you’re out in the real world, there’s going to be an X-factor. An X-factor that you couldn’t put in the books.

How you deal with that X-factor is going to make or break you. It’s something you could only experience if you’re out in the field, if you’re actually doing the work. And this applies to anything. Sometimes you might think that if I practice this amount of time, if I work on these skills, I’ll become a great player. But what happens when you go up against a great player that has done all that, and then more. What happens when the person in front of you, your opponent, has more skill. How do you apply the hard work along with the skill?

What I’m saying is, hone your skills. But there is nothing – nothing – that can replace getting on the field, stepping on the ice, being in that project.

Let me say that again. There is no amount of skill that can replace doing what you need to do. There is no amount of skill that can replace experience. There is no amount of skill that can prepare you for everything that’s going to happen. So, go out there and DO it. Make mistakes, fall, get back up and keep going.

Because that is what champions are made of.









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.




More in Address to the Nation