Once the hockey season gets rolling, the schedule starts getting a bit chaotic, and it can be hard to keep up on running the house in all that craziness. Back in the “old days,” I used to clean on Saturday mornings. Of course, I would do some cleaning every day, but the focused vacuum, dust, mop the floors, clean the whole house time was early Saturday morning. It usually resulted in my then 6-year-old having a complete meltdown, and sometimes this would lead to an all out screaming match.
I’ve mentioned setting a cue for yourself in establishing your routine, but setting a cue can also help you form positive habits and improve both your physical and your mental game. If you have ever tried giving up a bad habit, you know it’s hard because you think about what you are missing. You start to believe you don’t have enough willpower, and that makes it even harder. You need to reframe that thinking by replacing it with the opposite positive habit you want instead, and the most efficient way to do that is with a cue.
Now that you have established what your routine is and have an idea of how that is working for you, it’s time to get into the nitty gritty of taking it to the next level. Hopefully by now you are starting to think about all of the factors that can contribute to your performance. Hopefully, you are also not overwhelmed, but if you are, that’s okay. This is a journey, and we don’t need to worry about how long it will take to get where we want to go because the time will pass anyway. We are going to take this one step at a time.
Last week I talked about the importance of your mental game, but I feel like I need to help you put that into practice. You probably already have a routine in place but likely haven’t given it much thought. I would like to encourage you to do so because you are likely already doing things in a certain order so you don’t forget anything, and this has already become routine for you. Many players aren’t consistent, and they can’t figure out why, and this is going to not only help you be more consistent at first, but also help you tweak that to improve your performance.
Tis the season when parents and players alike are thinking about the next opportunity whether that means a combine, a showcase, or a tryout. It is important to formulate a plan to ensure success, and I believe a key differentiator in players who “make it” and players who don’t is their mental game. Since I also believe every practice, every workout, every shift, and every game is a tryout, consider adding these things into your regular routine on practice and game days so they become a part of who you are as an athlete. The first thing to think about...