By a Walter Aguilar – COR.E Performance Dynamics Specialist
Hey, hockey stars of the future! Training camp is the big leagues of practice, right? It’s hard, demanding, and, let’s be honest, sometimes even scary. You’re probably dealing with all sorts of feelings like excitement, nervousness, and maybe even a bit of fear. But don’t worry, I have some tips to help you deal with your feelings and do great at camp.
- Know What Sets You Off
First, you need to figure out what bothers you. Is it because of the pressure to do well? Or maybe you’re worried about what your teammates or others will think? Once you know what irritates or stresses you out, you can deal with it directly.
- Use Mindfulness to Relax
Ever hear of mindfulness? It’s all about focusing on the here and now. When you start to freak out, take a deep breath and pay attention to what’s going on right now, at this moment. You can do this
anywhere and at any time, even if it’s just for a few minutes.
- Picture Yourself Owning It
Close your eyes before you step on the ice and picture yourself getting goals, making saves, or doing whatever makes you feel like a rock star on the ice. Imagining your success can help make it happen.
- Breathe Calmly
Have you ever noticed that when you’re worried, angry, or afraid, your breathing changes? Take deep breaths to slow it down. Take a breath in through your nose, hold it for a moment, and then let it out slowly, twice as long as you did on the inhale. It’s a simple trick that really works to calm you down.
- Talk About It
Don’t keep something to yourself that’s bothering you. Chat with your coach, a teammate, or a family member. Sometimes just saying what’s on your mind can make you feel a whole lot better.
- Remember the Big Picture
Don’t forget—training camp is just one stop on your awesome hockey journey. So, you messed up a play or had a bad day. It happens. Shake it off and get back out there.
- Eat, Sleep, Play, and Do It Again
If you don’t care for your body, your emotions will be all over the place. Make sure you get enough
sleep, eat well, and drink water. Most of the time, a healthy body leads to a healthy mindset.
- Set Goals You Know You Can Reach
Before you start camp, make a list of what you want to achieve. Keep it real, though. If you set goals that are too out of reach, you’ll just stress yourself out more.
- It’s Okay to Ask for Help
There’s no shame in talking to someone who can help, like a counsellor or mental performance coach, if things get too hard. They help you learn how to deal with your emotions.
- Celebrate the Small Stuff
So, you made a great pass, save, or finally got that hard move right? Celebrate appropriately. These
small victories add up and really boost your confidence.
The Final Buzzer
Emotions are a part of life, especially when you’re pushing yourself in sports. However, you won’t be
controlled by them if you know how to deal with them. Use these tips to get the most out of your time at training camp. Do your best and be the best version of who you can be out there.