It’s important that hockey players acquire mental toughness. Mental toughness enables hockey players to perform at their best during games. Developing mental toughness, will also help players face other facets of their lives with confidence! Below, are some tips that will help players develop a mental edge that will win games!
Be Positive No Matter What Adversity You Face
It’s important that hockey players keep a positive attitude irrespective of the situation that they are in. For example, players with injuries should take the proper and necessary steps to heal. They should stay positive that in “no-time” they will be on the ice again, ready to battle. When facing a difficult opponent, players should also stay positive that they will find an opportunity to counter-attack. Players need to learn to play games with a calm demeanor which will help them limit mistakes and not make rash decisions. Additionally, hockey players should remember that they can use their emotions to their advantage.
Be an Encourager
A hockey player’s demeanor can change the entire atmosphere of a room. Players should not be afraid to assume leadership roles and ensure that the words they say are uplifting. Having the ability to speak positively to others and even yourself, during a difficult game or season, can be the boost that a they or the team needs to make a comeback.
Don’t Put Too Much Pressure on Yourself
Hockey players may feel that they have to live to the expectations of their family, teammates and coaches. While it’s great that players want to perform well for others, that expectation can bring anxiety as well. Players should always be in an encouraging and supportive environment where mistakes are allowed. Too much anxiety can affect a hockey player’s performance and ability. They shouldn’t be too harsh on themselves when mistakes and disappointments occur, however, they should always be willing to receive constructive criticism/ feedback and make adjustments to their game when necessary.
Focus and Cancel out Distractions
Hockey players should learn to tune out distractions and perform irrespective of the crowd’s response. Players must be able to focus on finishing the game in a professional manner and not let past upsets get in the way of upcoming games. Additionally, players shouldn’t be fixated on past wins as well. They should constantly be evolving and moving forward with focus on executing all the techniques and skills that were taught in previous practices.
Hockey players should intentionally put themselves in situations that make them uncomfortable. Coaches should also facilitate game scenarios that will require players to make swift decisions. Creating various game-plays will enhance a hockey player’s ability to make decisions under pressure. Overtime, players will become mentally and physically stronger.
Set Short and Long-Term Goals
All hockey players should set short and long term goals. Goal – setting will help athletes look at the bigger picture and where they need to go. Goal – setting will provide motivation for players to adhere to diets, workouts and practices.
Republished with permission from Tim Turk Hockey
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