When we think of the young hockey players in our lives, we often think of kids who are just having fun, playing a game that they love. And, while this is true in most cases, it’s also true that these young players have a lot of stressors in their lives. They’re often shuttled from practice to game to the next activity quickly, with very little downtime or time to just relax.
Sadly, though, these very “breaks” that young players are all too often lacking are the very thing that could lead them to greater success.
Taking small breaks can lead young players to be more present, relaxed, and connected, both on and off the ice, all of which will help with focus and overcoming mental blocks, things that all players can use help with.
If you have a stressed out young athlete in your life, encourage your child to enjoy a mental break each day. Even just three minutes a day can be useful!
In this three minutes, encourage your player to just plain relax, to take deep breaths, and visualize being in a calm, quiet, happy place. Instruct your child to clear his mind of any thoughts or worries that bubble up to the surface and to just focus on relaxation.
It may not seem like much, but you’d be surprised at just how effective and helpful these brief, three minute “time outs” can be. You’ll likely see a positive change in your young player and in his or her overall well being.