Anthony Donskov

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Hockey Sense: Installment #16: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Hockey Players #7

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I recently received a text message from my older brother outlining his philosophy on leaving a legacy behind.  One powerful line stood out and made me think of what it means to aspire in reaching the ultimate goal of one’s inner potential:  He said “I try and get one day better everyday!”  One day better everyday, a small yet achievable goal centered on work ethic, pride, attention to detail, sacrifice, perseverance, initiative, self-control, confidence and competitive greatness.  Always end each day “One Day Better.”  What is your “One Day” better philosophy as a Coach?  Athlete?  Husband, wife, daughter or son?  I summed up my philosophy as a Strength Coach below. 

One-Day Better Coaching Philosophy:

I am a coach.  I am a motivator, not a babysitter or boot camp instructor.  I will not treat all athletes the same!  I will treat athletes the way they deserve and earn to be treated.  I believe in determination, sacrifice, attention to detail, respect for those that have walked before me, passion, team spirit, and good old-fashioned sweat and hard work.  Lou Holtz once said: “No one has ever drowned in sweat.”  I believe there are NO limits to greatness: no ceiling, or rooftop. “I believe that personal greatness is measured against ones own potential, not against someone else on the team or elsewhere” (Wooden).  I am not a fad, fashion or preacher. I am an educator, teacher, and role model.  I am a Coach!




One day better is an approach that we all can embrace.  We can work on these elements each and every day both in the gym and in our personal lives.  One day better is a small, yet measurable goal in reaching our inner potential.  I use Coach Wooden’s Pyramid of Success as a daily measure of becoming “One Day Better”. 


  • Industriousness
  • Friendship
  • Loyalty
  • Cooperation
  • Enthusiasm
  • Self-Control
  • Alertness
  • Initiative
  • Intentness
  • Condition
  • Skill
  • Team Spirit
  • Poise
  • Confidence
  • Competitive Greatness

What is your “One Day Better Philosophy?”  Will you leave one day better?  How can you attain this and take one step farther to leaving your legacy?  It’s the small, intangible personal elements that leave a mark, a stamp, and a brand of greatness. 

My father’s influence has left a lasting mark on my coaching philosophy, and has redefined what hard work means to me.  It’s not a system based on monetary reward, plaques or trophies; it’s a life changing experience of ups, downs, failures, defeats, winning, losing, discipline, love and FUN!  It’s the fact that how we react, is more important than the event that takes place.  It’s placing importance to the “intangibles”.  The “7 Habits of Highly Effective Hockey Players” can be used to create a blueprint for life not just inside the confines of the weight room or on the ice, but in the classroom, office or in the home.  A system that involves nurturing, leading, loving and growing.  There are no X’s and O’s, dreaming on behalf of your children, future college scholarships, and multi million dollar pay outs.  These habits enable one to achieve success and personal greatness.  These lessons shaped my career as a college and professional player and now as a coach and leader of young men and women.  My “7 Habits of Highly Effective Hockey Players” will not only assist hockey players to achieve their goals on the ice but also, and perhaps most importantly, assist them in achieving success in any endeavor! 

Thanks again Dad.  There is no trophy in the world that can take the place of the lessons you’ve taught me. 

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