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Mind Games: Mental Toughness Training in Hockey

Athletes must train mentally, physically, and emotionally to reach their top game. Some might even go so far as to say that training for sports is a spiritual process involving sacrifice, dedication, and equanimity.

Whatever the specifics, training for and excelling in sports can be a challenging process that requires lots of mental focus. In this article, we’ll discuss some ways that athletes can boost their mental toughness and succeed in the most gruelling situations.

     

 

Hockey Habits and How to Stay Sharp

Players that develop good hockey habits have a much higher chance of staying mentally tough. They can play a much more solid game than players who let the circumstances dictate their emotions and actions.

Hockey player development involves developing a strong mental game. These mental games include mental and emotional skills that prepare one to perform at their desired level. For more articles on great casino topics, visit this website that features the top Canadian casino online.

 

Staying Mentally Tough When All the Factors Seem to Be Against You

Mental toughness in sports is not only mental preparation for hockey. It can also mean being prepared for events that are not sport-related, that need specialized training. Plenty of athletes have fallen to the woes and throes of success.

Not everyone should train to become a professional athlete. In fact, many people struggle with the kinds of mental and emotional skills that athletes strive to develop.

An athlete that only trains physically trains half of their game or less. In order to be mentally tough, athletes have to develop emotional boundaries. This helps them stay grounded under the pressure of recruiters, personal challenges, and significant life events.

Developing confidence during these situations is key to a player’s success in challenging situations. Hockey greats, like Grant Standbrook, offer advice for developing mental toughness. Their lessons focus on developing a mental game.

Expecting the unexpected is another useful tactic in unstable situations. It can help lower anxiety levels and increase calmness and decisive action.

 

Creating an Action-Plan for Staying Tough in Mentally Challenging Situations

Besides improving your attitude, one can also use specific techniques to stay mentally tough when the going gets rough. Some may find it easier to stick to a couple of familiar rituals or habits. They keep you calm and steady under pressure.

Others may find it helpful to create a game plan of sorts and utilize specific techniques when necessary.

One of the main techniques athletes must remember is to play “their” game. So, what does that mean, play “your” game? 

Well, it’s as simple as it sounds. Instead of allowing the tactics and game plan of your opponent to dictate the outcome of the game, stick to your own game plan and see it through to the end. Of course, you may need to alter your game plan based on the intention of your opponent, but you shouldn’t let it take your eye off important goals.

Playing “your” games also means being proactive and self-aware instead of reactive. Much like our emotions, the events in a game can oftentimes be random and catch us off guard.

Creating a game plan that allows you to steady your emotions and play your game is essential and will help you stay mentally tough during the most intense game situations.

 

 

Other Tactics for Staying in the Game

 

Another highly endorsed skill for those looking to develop a mental toughness to improve their game is visualization. Visualization involves visualizing oneself, experiencing an event or action before that event takes place.

According to the expert Daniel Bennet, many athletes use this technique to focus before big games and to stay calm under pressure. Focusing on the breath is a great way to focus the mind and stay in your zone.

Breathing and visualization are a couple of the most effective techniques for increasing mental toughness. They can help you stay on top of your game.

Visualization isn’t only seeing a picture of oneself experiencing something. It requires actually imagining what you will feel and experience.

Imagining yourself experiencing the results you want can be a powerful way to increase the effectiveness of your mental game. It will help you stay mentally tough in challenging situations.

The vivid imagination of specific mental states and emotions is a powerful technique for overcoming many obstacles to success.

 

Conclusion

While watching sports may be an enjoyable pastime that requires little effort and offers enjoyment, playing games at a high level requires a much different kind of mental focus.

The mental and physical stress that athletes undergo in sporting events is immense and, in some cases, can cause irreparable damage. In order to avoid disasters and be successful in a competitive environment, athletes develop mental games. These games help them overcome common challenges and mishaps. 

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com