Can You Make The NHL Through Hard Work Alone?

Updated: October 8, 2014

The answer is probably not…but you can get REALLY close.

This is a story about Bobby Robins, who is playing his FIRST NHL game tonight at 32 years old for the Boston Bruins.

(Watch the game tonight and show your support)

Bobby Robins - Hard Work

I’m going to explain what I have learned from Bobby both as a teammate and following his career.

Let’s get one thing straight.

I’m not talking about the kind of hard work that most players think of or talk about… “I’m a hard worker” or “you worked hard out there.”

No. I’m talking about laying it on the line and sacrificing everything you have during a shift, getting back to the bench, resting, then doing that again all game. Then taking that same mindset into your practices and off-ice training.

I’m talking about the brutal, obsessed, bloody, focused type of hard work that most players don’t even understand. How ever hard you THINK you work you are 4-5 gears away from hitting this level.

This is the type of “Hard Work” that could literally be the reason you make the NHL.

And this isn’t about fighting. Fighting is just one small part of why Bobby is where he is as a NHL power forward.

You can’t play in the NHL just by being a fighter, the game has changed and those days are long gone. You better be able to play and you have to earn your spot on a team from talent and skill.

So how did Bobby, a former teammate of mind and great friend to TEAM 247 HOCKEY, end up playing his first NHL game at age 32, and what can you learn from him.


Bobby has this unreal desire to win, but even more than that I’ve never seen anyone that hates losing as much as he does.

The guy just flat out competes every second he is on the ice and he goes to war every shift. That is his mindset.

The dude is one of the most fierce competitors I have ever seen play and if you want to play at a high level you should learn from that.

You HAVE to be willing to take hits, battle in front of the net, be the first one to lose pucks in the corner and do ALL of the little things to help your team win hockey games.

Most players that think they work hard have NEVER played one shift as hard as Bobby plays every shift.

Are you willing to do WHATEVER it takes to win? Prove it.


This is a little weird right? But stay with me for a second here.

You can’t cheat this game, it will sniff you out every time. If your behavior isn’t aligned with your words and your attitude, you aren’t going to reach the full potential.

If you say you want to be an elite athlete, you can’t eat and train like a normal person. You can’t spend your time playing video games. It just doesn’t match up with your goals and that will catch up with you.

That is called pretending. And pretenders can only pretend for so long. Pretty soon you get around authentic people and they will chew you up and spit you out.

Bobby found that out the hard way when he showed up for his Ottawa Senators training camp after college. He got sniffed out pretty quick and that forced him to do a lot of soul searching. After you read this article I recommend you go read a blog post he wrote called “Metamorphosis.”

It talks about this experience changing his attitude, addiction to tobacco, and behaviors and that is when he aligned his actions with his goals and he started building momentum.


Look at him in those clips below. He is always supporting his teammates. You don’t see him slamming his stick, complaining, yelling at a teammate for not passing him the puck. The guy is positive leader and supports the players around him.

When he steps on the ice he leads by example. In the locker room and on the bench he is encouraging his teammates.

Watch his attitude in the video below where he is profiled by the Boston Bruins show “Behind the B” and see what I’m talking about. Are you bringing this positive attitude to every game and practice?


Bobby was the first player cut from his Junior tryout after High School.

So many parents and players are focused on making the team right NOW…and you get devastated if you are not on the best team at 12, 13, 14, or 15.

This is a marathon, it’s not a sprint.

If you are working hard and training the right way, you are going to keep improving. If you keep improving you are going to keep moving up. If you keep moving up there is nothing that can stop you.

Bobby’s focus was to get better everyday. Sure, it took him longer than most NHL players but here is where it led him. Tonight he will be playing in front of 18,000 fans and reaching the ultimate pinnacle in the sport.


Bobby became obsessed with training. He lived and breathed off-ice hockey training.

I’m not just talking about strength and conditioning.

I’m talking about stretching, flexibility, power skating,

He spent time every single day working on his weaknesses and making sure to improve them.

From the time he wakes up to the time he goes to bed he is preparing for hockey. Whether it is work in the weight room, stretching, meditation to train is mind, visualization, studying game film, the food he puts in his body, off-ice skill work, or recovery with a lacrosse ball to prepare for the next day…

This insane dedicated and focus is required if you want to play at the highest levels of the sport.

Are you training this way? Or is it just an hour of your day and then you are done with it?

I promise you this…YOU CAN DO MORE.


Bobby knows that what you put into your body is what you expect to get out of it.

He has studied and learned about elite athlete nutritional habits to help him maximize

This may seem like a small advantage but when you think about the fact that you have more energy to train and more focus, it ends up being the driving force behind everything else that you do.


He has the mindset of a warrior.

Focus, determined, dedicated to learning and improving, and becoming the best person he can be away from the rink.

These are the traits of a true warrior.

Never letting yourself quite.

Doing the things that you don’t want to do.

Sacrificing your own short term rewards for the greater good of the team.

Not allowing the immediate gratitude of junk food, skipping workings, or even taking one shift off slip into his mind. He doesn’t’ allow it.

I’ve always said that MENTAL GAME is going to be the most important thing that we can teach you at 247 Hockey because as your skills improve, which they will, the only thing holding you back from success or failure is your MIND.

Toughness, discipline, focus, determination….sure they all sound cliche’ but they are actually skills. You can TEACH yourself these habits, you don’t have to be born with them.

Set goals for yourself and improve a little bit each day.


1) Share this article with someone that it can help

2) Watch Bobby’s first NHL game tonight if you can. It is at 7:30 EST.

3) Follow bobby and his career, learn form him.

Twitter: @bobbyrobinspro

Let Bobby know you that you are supporting him, learning from him, and following his journey. Tag @247HockeyLife in your tweet.

Here is an interview we did with Bobby that you might enjoy. It goes through more about his daily habits and rituals.

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