In the off-season and before the season begins is an excellent time to recharge and work on building strength. One area that shouldn't be overlooked is building your mental strengths.
One place to begin that process is taking a look at your goals. Goals are about energy.
They are desire channeled into direction and action. Your goals are a force you can use to energize your work habits, color your self-talk and imagery, and stimulate your attitude.
Research has shown that setting goals increases success. Healthy people want to excel. They want to be great... the best they can be. For best results, the goals you set must be a challenge and a stretch.
As you approach a new year and a new season it's a good time to reflect and ask yourself the following questions:
Why do I play hockey?
What do I want to achieve from the sport?
Do I have a long term (hockey/career) goal?
What are personal and team goals I want to set for the comming season?
To achieve your season goals you will have to work on conditioning, stick skills, you?re your understanding of the game, plus your team play and leadership skills.
List your fitness goals for the season (e.g., improvement in strength, aerobic capacity, etc.) List you skills goals for the season...with regard to specific improvements you are going to create in your ball handling, trapping, shooting, set plays, etc. List your mental strength goals for the season (e.g., better goal-setting, more positive self-talk, effective use of imagery, a more powerful, 'winning attitude', more leadership and team support).
Goals direct our energy. If you are clear that your goal is to be the best you can be, then it's helpful to define a purpose or goal for each workout... and every competition. Make it something specific (and if possible, measurable) that way you can assess and acknowledge your improvement.
If you are unclear about something specific you want to focus on consult with the coach. Begin now. Reflect on why you play the game and dedicate your energy to it. Then set a goal for your next work out, your next practice.and your next tournament or game.
Goals are a driving force. They are a way of putting desire to work. To make your goal a reality, get in touch with what you want to do and write it down. Read it, say it, repeat it to yourself. Define the work you will have to do to realize your goal. Then start to work, one day at a time... and persevere to make it happen. Work smart, work hard, enjoy the challenge, and succeed.
Have a healthy, productive, and happy new year. All the best.
(Thoughts adapted from The Complete Player, The Psychology of Winning Hockey, by Dr. Saul L. Miller, Stoddart Publishing, Toronto, 2001).
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