In your Q3 seminars, we discuss the need to be 100% responsible for your results.  This goes far beyond physical strength and game fundamentals.  Preparing to win requires full mental focus, organization and the ability to minimize distraction.  The time spent in mental preparation can be the difference maker when it comes to performance and on-ice success.

The two most common traits that successful champion athletes share:

  1. Organization
  2. Ability to harness adversity and eliminate the noise

For young athletes, understanding mental preparation also means understanding the full scope of your schedule.  School assignments, homework, training times, practice times, when to eat, what to eat, when to decompress and have fun with friends…all of these things are key components of an athlete’s life.    The secret is organization.   It serves and support the outcomes that you are committed to.  And it isn’t hard to do with a little bit of advance planning.

Get your game schedule in ahead of time.  If you have a game on Tuesday, champions start planning for what they need to accomplish on Saturday, Sunday and even a bit on Monday to get ready.

Check your gear â€“ Is it clean?  Skates sharpened?  Laces in good shape?  Neck guard in the bag?

What is your school schedule leading up to the game?  Exams?  Assignments due?  Plan to study in advance to eliminate the stress of last minute ‘cramming’ to prepare.

Pre-game Meal Planning â€“ talk to your parents about what you need to eat to maximize performance and when you want to eat it.  What time are you leaving for the game?  Ask the questions and make a plan to ensure proper nutrition and stress-free travel time.  Take ownership of making that plan into reality by being prepared and ready.

The second trait requires on-going training to help champions gain the mental strength and focus to work their way through the challenges that are inevitably part of the game.  Adversity and chaos are coming – how you handle

it is what will set you apart.

Self Talk & Inner Strength â€“ when you are faced with a challenge or something that is negative and draining, how do you reframe it and keep moving forward?  What keeps you focused and on your game?

Recognizing Adversity & Chaos â€“ you can’t avoid it or ignore it.  You recognize that ‘stuff’ happens and know how to remain composed and clear during stressful times.

Remember – in both hockey and ringette, the game itself is organized chaos.  Rarely can you control the play.  What you can control is how well you prepared in advance, how you react to changing situations and how well you manage yourself when things don’t go your way.

Preparing your mind and your body to stay focused and grounded allows you to enter the playoffs with the mindset of a CHAMPION.

Champions Inner Power Checklist

Physical Power (body) – how is my body feeling?  Did I get enough sleep?  Am I hungry, thirsty, sore?  Take action now to correct the situation.

Emotional Power (heart) â€“ how does my heart feel?  Where are my emotions?  Am I peaceful, happy, sad, angry?  Look inward to strive towards emotional equilibrium.

Intellectual Power (mind) â€“ Do I have all the information that I need from all sources (coaches, parents, advisors, teachers) to maximize my performance opportunity?  If not, take action and ask the questions you need to gain the knowledge you require.  Satisfy your intellect first to avoid distraction from the game at hand.

The 5 W’s to consider:

  • Who am I being?
  • What do I want?
  • Where am I now?
  • When do I need to be ready?
  • Why is this important to me?

Spiritual Power (inspiration) â€“ Am I connected to myself, my goals and my individual journey to achieve them?  Am I telling…and living my own truth?  Am I fully in the centre of my own “Circle of Safety”?  Am I asking the right questions or seeing answers as a distraction?

Mental toughness is about training yourself through consistent and relevant habits aligned with YOUR goals.  This will help you prepare for any and all situations that come your way, good and bad.  You define and own how you handle them.  Being 100% organized and responsible allows you to look after what needs to be done in each moment with clarity and vision towards your ultimate goal.

Good luck to each of you in the playoffs!  I look forward to seeing you in your Q3 Seminars this spring/summer.