In order to gain a competitive advantage in a sport, people often develop superstitions, rituals, or even pregame routines. Hockey is a unique sport that requires skill to skate across frozen water while balancing n steel blades that are less than a quarter of an inch wide. Therefore there are many ways to gain an advantage, however here are 5 key tips to remember that will help you get that advantage, not just in hockey, but in any sport.
There are many aspects to a sport. A big aspect is the mentality. You always need to have a good attitude in whatever you do. Hockey is a fast paced game with many ups and downs. You cannot let the downs get to you. After you get knocked down, scored on or even injured you need to get back up and continue to try with a positive attitude. If you go into something with a negative attitude, you will likely fall short of your goals. However, if you go into something with a positive attitude you’ll be in the right mind set for success and you’ll have a greater chance of reaching your goals.
Many people who just start a sport will ask others how they think they’re doing. Some are looking for compliments and others are just curious. One way to track your progress in any sport, especially hockey, it to set goals for yourself. Perfect goals to set in hockey are aimed at skating, shooting, and stick handling. Those are the three most important areas of hockey. Some goals to set could be to raise the puck off the ice when you shoot, skate a sixteen second lap around the rink, add ten miles per hour to your slap shot, or hit four out of four on a shooting target. This goes to show that goals are great for tracking progress over time in any sport. Setting goals also works great when you start to find out your limits.
When you start to find out your limits, make sure that your goals are reachable. The reason for setting limits and understanding your limits are to ensure that you don’t injure yourself. Limits should be set just above where you will usually stop. For example, if you can skate for forty-five seconds at a time before feeling exhausted, then you should set your limit for fifty to fifty-five seconds. Setting these limits is crucial. They determine how long you can do specific activities and also sets the tone for how consistent you will be when working out, performing drills, and showing up to team events.
Working hard in hockey is always important. Without hard work you will never find out how good you can be, what your limits are, or how far you can go. This being said, you need to have a consistent hard work ethic and always putting in the same amount of effort for every drill. There will be drills that you may not like, however you still need to do the drill to the best of your ability as if it were your favorite drill. Consistency is not only for effort but in every aspect of hockey. It is important to have a consistent positive attitude, effort, attendance, and team work, amongst many others.
The amount you put into something is the amount you get out of it. That’s what every coach throughout my hockey career has told me. You get on the ice and. do every drill, every shift, and every job to the best of your ability. Hockey is essentially a game of what team has the best players who can skate for forty-five second shifts at a time. When you’re not playing to the best of your ability, you’re hurting both yourself and your teammates.
I have had the awesome opportunity to work around hockey for the past couple of years. I have volunteered, coached, scouted, officiated, and played all across North America. I know what it takes to get to the next level and I am very fortunate to have hockey be a big part of my life still today. The most important thing to know as you continue in the sport of your choice is that you will lose in a championship game you’re going to be let down and at times you’re going to want to give up and quit. What separates a good player from a great player is not if they fail, but what they do next after they have failed. Do you give up or keep going and try harder?
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