Hockey is, first and foremost, a sport. That means that it requires physical ability and physical skills. However, hockey is not all about physical skill. No, it is almost as much mental as it is physical. You have to have your mind right and in the game if you’re going to be successful, and a player is never too young to get mentally ready to play hockey to his fullest potential.
If you need some help getting mentally focused or getting your child more mentally focused and in a mindset more amenable to hockey, then here are some simple tips and techniques to try.
Something you may want to try or get your child to try is visualization. With visualization, before you play a game or try to learn a new skill or anything in between, you want to picture yourself doing so successfully.
Sit down somewhere quiet, close your eyes, and picture yourself winning the game, making that shot you’ve been working on, or otherwise having success. Try to visualize the scenario in as much detail as possible.
This type of visualization has been shown to help improve actual success by mentally preparing you for what you are about to do and providing you with a positive attitude and increased confidence.
Get “In the Zone”
Another thing that can be extremely useful is to figure out what gets you “in the zone” and then to purposefully seek out those things that put you in the right state of mind.
Maybe you have a favorite movie that makes you feel positive and capable. Maybe there are songs that make you feel like you’re ready to take on the world. Spend time noticing how you react to certain media, and when you find things that help increase your positivity and mental clarity, make use of these things as tools before you play or practice.
Remember, your mindset goes a long way in determining your performance. If you’re not mentally focused or are feeling down about yourself and your skills, your performance is probably going to reflect that, but if you’ve worked to get focused and positive, your performance will reflect that as well. The choice is yours!