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Health & Fitness Psychology
SPORT PSYCHOLOGY for Hockey There are 23 comments on this articlex23
Planet Field Hockey
Planet Field Hockey
June 6, 2000 4.5 out of 5
Dr. Saul Miller
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At the elite level preparation for winning field hockey focuses on the physical aspects of the game. Drills are designed to improve conditioning and physical skills like stick handling, passing, shooting and marking the opposition. Mental skills like focus and emotional control are relatively neglected. When people do get around to talking about the mental game it is usually in terms of qualities like pride, character, and confidence, with little awareness of what they can actually do to develop these qualities.

The way I see it, the mind is like a television set. If you don?t like the program you are tuned into on your mental t.v., if you don?t like how you feel , or if what you?re thinking doesn?t give you power, then it?s time to change the channel. My job is twofold: 1) it is assisting athletes to improve their ability to change channels, and 2) helping them to develop better quality programs to tune into on their mental t.v., which predisposes them to act with more focus and greater control.

Let me show you a mental drill to enhance focus and control. It begins with your breathing. Take a few minutes to relax in a comfortable setting and start to observe the rhythm of your breath. Simply watch the breath flow in ....and flow out. Don?t rush the breath. After a few minutes focus more on the ?inbreath? and the idea of drawing in "energy." Be aware that there is energy all around you and with each breath you are drawing some in. Actually feel yourself pulling in the breath. Now think you are directing your energy out into your body, through your shoulders into your hands, down through your hips into your legs and feet, and up the spinal column into your head and eyes. As you relax, breathe smoothly, and feel energy flowing out into your hands and feet, and up into your eyes.

In this state of ease and relaxation imagine yourself in a game situation. Imagine the scene in slow motion (three quarter speed.) Visualize yourself on offence doing exactly what you want to be doing. When your team has the ball imagine yourself running into space, receiving a pass, handling the ball with control, making good crisp passes "on the stick" and shooting with quickness and accuracy. Imagine yourself playing effective defence: head up, stick on the turf, marking your man, playing your angles, anticipating the play, reacting quickly with speed and balance, "like a big cat."

Improving your physical game is similar to improving your physical skills in that repetition builds strength. It takes practice. By practicing your breathing and relaxation skills, defining what you want to do on offence and defence, and then imagining yourself executing well, you will strengthen the mental traces of high performance and actually increase the probability well and the quality of your play. Remember, the mind is like a t.v., it is your t.v. and you control the switch. So take a breath, see yourself making the play, and do it.
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Dr. Saul Miller, "the man who makes things happen," is a world renowned sports psychologist who has assisted the Canadian Men?s National Program.
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Comments on this article
Ronnie Jagday
01-05-2001  8:58 am
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Where have I heard this before?
Seeley
01-17-2001  10:13 am
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Many Coaches of young players leave visualization out of their teaching. Kids can be better at this than adults and they will have more time to practice, and they can use it for any activity, sport or life.
SB
01-24-2001  10:46 am
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When is Saul's next article going to be posted on Planet Field Hockey?
TD
02-24-2001  3:46 pm
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Top notch stuff.Its good 2 know that there are people around who know wot they are talking about when it comes to the psychological aspects of the game.
Harinder Singh Dhanoa
03-13-2001  8:40 am
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This article needs to be filtered to the nursery of hockey,sansarpur.I'm trying to just reinforce your efforts.
amarjit
03-30-2001  6:44 am
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what is saul miller's e-mail address
laura
04-04-2001  2:03 pm
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i think more hockey players and coaches should realize the psycholgical fact about the game. i think it's very important to raise this issue.
amber
04-04-2001  11:07 pm
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bring back saul!
thats great, this site needs more sports psychology!
the more the merrier!
Susan
04-22-2001  6:35 am
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This is great stuff. I did this with my coach once, and it really worked. I used to be really bad at dribbling, but with the visualisation technique i was taught, my game play improved a lot.
New Web Surfer
05-03-2001  7:04 am
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Good Article! I believe we all have pictured ourselves in the big game, whatever our sport maybe...scoring the game winner or making the bis defensive play. The power of visualization is enormous if we could just learn how to utilize. I feel it begins at a young age and should be taught there so it just becomes second nature. Not only is it good for your sports ability, but generally for life as well. It would be nice to see another article from from Dr. Saul.
Uwie
05-18-2001  11:41 am
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Is there any articles about sport psycholgy for teams.
Cause we play hockey in teams, not individual, that's why we call interactive game
Dr. Saul Miller
06-29-2001  11:10 pm
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Hockey players, I have a new book all about sport psychology and hockey. It will be available in September. The book is called The Complete Player and it's published by Stoddart. It was written for ice hockey but many of the psychological coaching tips, insights, and exercises apply to field hockey as well.
Look for it this autumn. In the mean time, remember to keep your head up, breathe easy, and think positive. Make some good luck happen!
Simone B
07-09-2001  2:00 pm
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Very helpful article, I often use the advice given and it really helps me, looking forward to thr next one!
pierre
10-12-2001  9:07 am
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urgent
i'm physiologist student, and for the last year, i must realised a student. i want to establishe the relationship between the physical and the mental coatching.please give me more details of your studie.contact me on wamb9174@wanadoo.be
SHANE RIVERS
08-02-2002  1:22 am
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THE KEY
SPORT PHYC THESE DAYS IS VERY IMPORTANT THAN EVER RULES ARE CHANGING AND ALSO STLYE THESE CAN ONLY COME TO AN PHYSICAL SIDE OF THINGS NOW THESE DAYS PLAYERS HAVE TO REACH BEYOND THAT SIDE AND DEVELOP MENTAL SKIILS AS THE GAME IS ENVOLVING AROUND US AND THE SEASON IS GETTING LONGER PLAYERS REACH A FLAT LEVEL PERIOD WHERE THEY BECOME STALE SO IT IS IMPORTANT TO BECOME MORE FIMILAR WITH SORTS PHYC AND ALSO MOTIVATION THESE THINGS COMBINED WITH SKILL AND TALENT WILL BRING YOUR GAME TO A HIGH I KNOW BECAUSE OF REVELENT EXPERIENCE! IF ANY ONE WANTS SOME HELP ON THESE TOPICS PLEASE BE SURE TO CONTACT ME ON EMAIL AT Shanerivers49@hotmail.com
NZANTs
08-07-2002  11:43 pm
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research
does anyone know of research conducted into the effect an atheletes relationships have on their atheletic performance. specifically in the area of personal relationships eg husbands/ wifes etc.

email me if any one knows of such research. my address is anthony@sportssolutions.co.nz

Thanks
nauroze
09-22-2002  3:19 am
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hockey
plz inform me abt the new techs.theunderworld15@hotmail.com
anu
11-26-2003  9:21 am
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i want to know the qualification required to call urself a sport pscychologist, in india.
please if u can help me

anujakastia@hotmail.com
becky
06-23-2004  10:38 am
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wow
I just finished reading your article and let me tell you that I am a high school serious field hockey player hoping to play in college. I have always had a natural "aura" in me that whatever sport I play, I always use imagination to imagine how the play will work out. I practice hard, I work hard, and run hard. I have to say that your article didn't apply to me because I already have the "mental" part of the game down. I want to thank you though for reporting the mental aspect of the game bacause many coaches don't focus on it and should. If any coaches have some conditioning or practicing tips please email me at BABYCHICK996@hotmail.com
kris
12-20-2004  10:10 pm
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This sort of article is key for goalkeepers as well as field players. When will there be a book written exclusively for us? If there already is one, where can I find it?? Keepers are obnoxiously bombarded with negative thoughts generated solely by their own minds. A poor warm-up could mean a poor performance in the actual match. Keepers need something like this to look back on every once in a while as a reference point to keep themselves in check when no one else can.
Sophie
01-07-2005  6:26 am
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Research/Views on
Was wandering if anyone could help me, I am looking into the effects of physical self perception on optimal performance. There is no specific research into Hockey. So if anybody know's of research conducted into this area that I have not yet uncovered then it would be great if you could email me with views and possible research in this area.

Yours

Sophie

sophs_07@hotmail.com
yu
03-08-2005  6:19 pm
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very informational
chicken wing
03-13-2005  7:05 am
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This was a great article.You could be the best player in the world, but if u couldn't deal with the mental aspect of the game. you'd go nowhere. I had trials just the other day and I was so flippin nervous that I REALLY stuffed up my chances of even being considered.Hopefully this will help me next time to perform at my best.
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