Kevin L. Willis, PhD
Sport Psychology Consultant
Peak Performance Coach
Level 5 USA Hockey Coach
"My mission for creating The Complete Player Mental Toughness Program is to provide essential mental coaching that, I believe, every player should be required to have"
 
Hi, my name is Kevin Willis, aka, Dr. Dub, and I am a Sport Psychologist, Hockey Coach, Hockey Dad, and Hockey Fan. 

My passion for hockey, and specifically the mental game of hockey comes from my obsession with wanting to understand how the 1980 Mens Olympic Hockey Team, made up of college kids, how they beat the best hockey team on the planet.  
Growing up in the 70's in Virginia, I didn't have hockey were I lived. I played baseball, soccer and football, but I think I might be a reincarnated hockey player because from the minute I saw my first hockey game, and then witnessed what happened with the 1980 Miracle on Ice, I knew my life was changed forever.

Growing up inspired by the 1980 Miracle on Ice, I found that my whole approach to playing sports and understanding competition was different.  I began to see competition, not just based on the physical skills of one player versus another, but as a dedication, commitment, and toughness to what it took to win and be successful.

As a freshman in High School, I had no chance of making the varsity team, and yet I not only made the team, But I made the team as starting catcher, something that I thought was impossible, but something I set out to do and somehow achieved.  

I was beginning to see sport and competition in a different way and I couldn't seem to get the idea out of my head that with the right attitude, training, and purpose, what someone can accomplish is really only limited by what they believe and how hard their willing to work.  

But let me back up a little .

Even though I didn't grow up playing hockey, when I did discover it, I became a student of the game. I watched as many games as I could. But since hockey cost 10 times what it cost to play baseball or soccer my parents we're pretty clear that I could watch, but playing wasn't an option.

And that was tough because like I said, I knew that hockey was somehow my calling but as a kid you can only do what you can do. So I set out to learn everything there was to know about the game. And throughout this entire time I never let go of my fascination of wanting to understand how a bunch of college kids beat a bigger, faster, more experienced team from Russia in the 1980 Olympics. That became my mission to understand how something like that can happen! I had to know.

So, in college I decided to study psychology figuring if I can't learn mental toughness by playing hockey, I will understand it through academics, research and fueled by my ridiculous passion for the game.

Now, fast-forward to my early 20's, when I finally get a chance to play hockey for the first time. I quickly learned that playing hockey is a whole lot harder than it looks.  

I won't bore you with the details of my mens league career, although I will say that we won the B-League championship twice and I was the scoring leader both years. I know, I know, incredible huh … I would have you check out my stats in hockeyDB.com but for some reason I am not in there :) 
The point I want to make is, although I didn't come up in hockey, I know I am bound to hockey in some psychic way. And so my path to becoming a Level 5 USA Hockey Coach, Sport Psychologist, Peak Performance Consultant and Certified Mental Game Expert grew from my passion and commitment to understanding how to use a players mental game to enhance their overall performance and success.  

To pursue my dream of becoming a Mental Toughness Coach in hockey I partnered with my mentor Dr. Saul Miller, author of the popular book titled Hockey Tough.  

Together, Dr. Miller and I worked to make the material of his book available online. Not only did we convert his coaching into online training, we interviewed players coaches and scouts from the NHL, AHL, ECHL, NCAA, and teams across Europe and we asked them to share their insight into what it takes to play hockey at the highest levels and we made that coaching available on the internet.  
Building on my work with Dr. Miller, I created TheCompletePlayer.com to develop my own mental game coaching workbooks, workshops, team coaching and one-on-one coaching so that I could work with players, coaches and parents to better understand the mental side of hockey and to help them find not only more success, but more enjoyment in the game.  

One thing I have found is that to be a top player, you have to recognize that the path is difficult. And if you don't love the game, if you don't have a passion and motivation to work through the tough times, then no matter how skilled you are on the ice, it will be difficult for you to move up if you aren't mentally tough. 

So for the past 20 years coaching players in this great game, from mites to juniors, I have always tried to emphasize that in addition to teaching the kids hockey skills like skating, passing, and shooting, that I would make sure they learned mental toughness skills that would give them an edge over their competitors. I knew that talent was important in hockey, but that talent alone wasn't enough. 

If a player wants to reach their potential as a hockey player, they must continually build their mental toughness skills right alongside their other hockey skills. And sadly, I have seen far too many times, that players that fail to do this will inevitably fall short of their true potential.  

So, long story short, that is why I became a Performance and Sport Psychology Specialist working with players, teams, and parents helping them to reach their full potential and play hockey at higher and higher levels.  

My mission is to help players develop the grit and toughness it takes to take their game to the next level. I know this training works and I promise that if a player will dive into this kind of training with the same enthusiasm and commitment as they do their other hockey skills, and if they will use what they learn, then they will become a better player. Not only that, but the game becomes so much more enjoyable. 
My goal is to help players reach their goals, and I do it by coaching mental toughness in hockey. 

So if this sounds like something that will help you or your player, or your team, or if you're a coach or a league board member and you think coaching like this can set your program apart from the others … then I invite you to learn more throughout the site

And when you're ready, I would love to have a chance to talk with you to see how we can put this kind of coaching and training to work in your unique hockey situation.

If you're still reading at this point, thank you for taking the time to learn more about me and about TheCompletePlayer.com.

I look forward to meeting you one day.

See you at the rink!
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