Every athlete shares one arch nemesis, time. All athletes try to defy time and prolong the inevitable point where their skills or body can no longer compete with the competition. Some athletes succumb to time early in their careers, while some are able to stretch the process longer than anyone could ever expect.
Jaromir Jagr is one of those athletes that is pushing the boundaries of time and age. While some athletes stick around long enough to see themselves become a shell of what they used to be, Jagr is thriving at the ripe age of 44. He is currently leading the Florida Panthers in scoring and has been a central figure in the Panthers reaching 1st place in the Atlantic Division.
So, how has this 2016 All-Star been able to out-skate and out-play opponents that are over 20-years younger than him? Jagr attributes his success to his training regimen and his overall hockey philosophy.
In honor of motivation Monday, let’s take a look at what Jagr has done to achieve the success he has this season, and how you can learn from it.
As athletes age, many begin to realize that the training methods or diets they’ve used for years become ineffective. To overcome this, some athletes have been known to adopt unusual approaches. Jagr is one of those athletes.
According to a Wall Street Journal article on his recent success, Jagr will skate at night with a 44-pound weighted vest and 4-pound weights on his ankles. He will also shoot weighted discs and practice wrists shots with an 8-pound medicine ball.
Why all the training with extra weight? Jagr believes you have to trick the brain into thinking you are lighter and faster. Not only does this benefit him physically, but it also gives him a more positive mental state. NHL seasons are long and wear on the body. Having the feeling you are lighter and faster is a huge advantage.
Jagr has also adjusted his diet over the years. He has cut out Diet Coke, Coffee and other products with high amounts of sugar. This has led him to being 15 pounds lighter than he was in the prime of his career, which has led to less stress on his body.
So, what can we learn from Jagr’s oddball training? No, weighted vests and ankle weights probably won’t help you (maybe wrist weights for typing). However, the lesson to be learned from Jagr’s methods can be found in his creativity and willingness to try something different. Jagr found flaws in his training and diet as he began to age and decided to break his habits and form new ones.
Every worker will at some point fall into patterns and habits that may work for a while, but eventually become ineffective or even outdated. It is important to recognize when you fall into these bad patterns and work to find creative solutions to correct them.
Jagr’s Hockey Philosophy
Perhaps the most interesting insight in the WSJ article is Jagr’s hockey philosophy that his father instilled in him.
“Never stop skating and always keep your stick on the ice, ready for the puck.” When taken literally, this philosophy has led Jagr to be one of the toughest players to take off of the puck. He is always ready for the puck and constantly moving to put himself in a position to receive it.
Looking at this philosophy figuratively, it’s a good look into Jagr’s mentality that has allowed him to stay in hockey as long as he has. He has been able to skate through adversity and prepare for any challenges that may come his way. This mindset keeps him prepared and focused on what he needs to do to remain an effective hockey player.
Jagr’s hockey philosophy can be easily copied into our own lives. You will be faced with adversity day in and day out, but ultimately you need to be prepared for it and keep going. Adversity will surprise you sometimes, but learning to anticipate when it might happen is a skill that can take you to an elite level at your job and in life.
What Jagr has done at his age this season is remarkable. However, his mindset and philosophies for remaining productive in his profession are very practical and can be replicated by everyone no matter what their profession.