It is now March, which means that I have effectively come to the last stages of pre-season preparation. The so called 'off season' is now effectively behind me and I'm into the pre season training, which effectively is a six week intensive conditioning programme to get all systems going.
As I look at the calendar on the wall, I realise that it is almost getting to the stage where my work will be put to a serious test. What I started in late September is going to be scrutinised in every sense come April. There will not be a harsher critics than me, myself and I. Coming from a personally dissapointing season, I have a yearning to prove my capabilities and really show that true dedication will make winners out of people. September 2008 seems an awfully long time ago, but my road isn't even half way there. Through this blog and those of others have helped me put things into perspective and gain a new appreciation for the sport. I still think that I am the same fiery fighter inside I was a few years ago. The type of player who will drive to the net and sacrifice everything for the team. This season has to be the one where I step up my game. My on ice performance will be analysed by myself after each shift, period and game.
I am deliberately setting the bar high formyself, because if you don't reach high, you can't achieve anything. If I would have a modest goal I would probably reach it and be happy about it for a while, but not now. Now is the time to raise the performance,preparation and everything that goes on and off the ice.
I can't be gimicky like those professionals that I look up to, but I must be myself. I need to show that Finnish fighting spirit, Sisu as they call it, and bring that to my game more and more. The problem with trying to imitate a pro from the NHL is that you will end up looking like a twat. It is best to find your own personality and what works for you. I am not an Alex Ovechkin, Vinny Lecavalier or Saku Koivu. I am Janne Virtanen, but most importantly, I AM a hockey player. That is all that matters.