Success is defined by Dictionary.com as “the favorable or prosperous termination of attempts or endeavors; the accomplishment of one’s goals” and as “the attainment of wealth, position, honors, or the like.” Unfortunately, most people tend to lean more toward that second definition; that is to say that they believe success is only truly attained when they have great riches, or at least a great and powerful position. Ideally, most people want both. In reality, though, the first definition- the one that simply points to success as reaching your goals is a much better one.
See, success isn’t about ending up in some perfect position and having everybody love you and heap money upon you. While there’s nothing wrong with wanting those things, they are unattainable for the average person, and they also leave you with a long journey to success with nothing to celebrate along the way.
The “right” way to define success is really just by reaching your goals, whatever they may be. Set small, attainable goals that lead up to bigger goals, and each time you or one of your players reaches one, consider it a “success” and celebrate it! You may also want to celebrate it as a goal when one of your players learns or accomplishes something new or even when he does something off the ice, like making an “A” on a tough test.
The point is to celebrate every single milestone, not just the ones that most people would consider “major.” Even small successes count! And, when you reward small successes in your players and in yourself, you’ll find that everyone is much happier. If success is considered this impossible-to-obtain thing, players will often get frustrated and lose sight of their goals. Even worse, they’ll begin to believe that happiness and fulfillment are something that come later, when, right now, during their one and only childhood, they should be happy and learning to love and be proud of themselves.
Foster your players emotionally and mentally by considering every small victory a success. You’ll quickly find that the more you praise the little victories, the more likely it is that the big victories will follow.