The importance of a positive attitude in hockey
As fun and exciting as the game may be, hockey can leave players & teams demotivated. This is particularly the case with advanced level or professional players who are highly competitive and sensitive to failure and success. Whether someone is a beginner or an expert player, a positive attitude is a prerequisite for success. Players need to have a certain mindset to spring back after losing a game. Focusing on past failures or weaknesses puts players in a negative loop of blame-games and complaints. As such, a positive attitude increases resilience and improves interactions with coaches, teammates, and parents.
Make it a routine
Just like accommodating a few hours of practice into your day’s schedule, you need to make positive thinking a part of your routine. It may seem far-fetched initially, but it does happen after a few days of positive reinforcement. You need to condition your mind to think positive day in and day out. Doing so creates a positive neural pattern in the brain which then helps to manifest all positive results. Try verbally voicing encouraging words to yourself. For example, “ I am strong and confident. I am an important part of my team.” Saying it out loud can help make a difference!
Practice, practice, practice
The age-old adage, “Practice makes perfect”, holds true in almost all walks of life, especially in sports. If you are a parent who is putting your child in minor hockey, practice is what would make him/her an expert. The more your child practices positive thinking, the more confident he/she becomes. This will also help your child feel more positive about his/her skills, thus helping improve their performance.
Learning from mistakes
Hockey, like all other games, can be learned by making mistakes. There’s absolutely no harm in making mistakes while one is learning their art. People, especially children, won’t learn unless they make these errors. Children should know that listening to their coach and hearing constructive criticism is be a valuable learning opportunity. Learning from mistakes will certainly help players perform better the next time.
Power of visualization
As you make positive thinking a part of your routine, you should also feed your visualization skills. Hockey players should try visualizing themselves performing well. Picture yourself scoring a goal or an assist. Many experts believe that visualization is a surefire way to manifest something into reality. The subconscious mind, which doesn’t really know the difference between what’s real and what’s unreal, will start manifesting your visuals. In fact, many hockey players in the industry believe in the power of visualization because it has helped them achieve their dreams!
Last, but not the least, hockey players, whether novice or experienced, should be grateful for all they have! A good physique, a skilled coach, supportive parents, and so on! Parents should start to teach gratitude to their children at an early age so that they value what they have. Try starting a gratitude journal – write down 3 things each day you are thankful for, or make it a habit to reflect on giving thanks each night before falling asleep. Gratitude is a great way of reinforcing a positive attitude because it helps players realize and appreciate their circumstances and the opportunities that they have.
Republished with permission from Tim Turk Hockey
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