Every time you "work" on your game, whether it be in the gym or on the playing surface, you will have moments of focus freeze. Focus freeze is the moment where you forget WHY you are doing the drill and you are just simply preforming it because the coach or trainer has told you to.
You will never reach your full potential if you do not have PURPOSE in your practice, conditioning or weight training. After you reach certain level, PURPOSE is the single most important driver that accelerates your improvement.
What does this mean exactly? Well, lets use one of my experiences as an example. During the summer in between my sophomore and junior year at Cornell I realized I needed to really focus on my shot in order to score more goals. I broke my weakness down into two categories, strength and shot release. Every day in the gym I did 15 minutes of forearms after every workout and every time I was on the ice I shot every single puck out of the stick-handle as quick as possible. My PURPOSE was to score 20 goals in the next season, which was a lofty goal because I only had 10 the year before. "20 goals, 20 goals, 20 goals" was in my head every time I did forearms and every time I shot a puck.
I have been practicing with purpose for as long as I can remember. Whether it be skating, shooting, stickhandling, puck protection, passing, lifting, or anything else there is always a focus on purpose. And every week I have focus freeze. The trick I have learned is to limit the amounts of focus freeze's by continuing to keep the purpose in mind at all time. The sooner young players understand this, the sooner they will maximize their potential.
Oh and my junior year at cornell I went from 10 goals to 19. It wasn't 20 but its was pretty damn close.