Yesterday I had the privilege of giving a talk to a Junior Hockey team that is starting to ramp up for the playoffs.
The trade deadline has come and gone, and they’ve added a few new faces.
This was my 3rd talk this year to this group.
Kudos to their coaching staff for realizing that the mental game is an important part of their development. They realize it can give their players an edge they need over their competition.
So I created a Mental Performance Playbook for each player and we address different practices in each session.
With prior feedback from the coaches today, my discussion focused on
· Process over Outcome
· Rituals, Routines and Repetition
· Team Culture
· Visualization and self-talk
As part of that discussion, I asked each player to take a few minutes and write down and commit to
· Something they need to START to do.
· Something they need to STOP doing.
· Something they need to CONTINUE doing.
I then had them read it out loud to their teammates and coaches. By doing so they are committing, in front of their peers, to 3 things that they will be intentional about each day. This creates a level of accountability when you write and speak your intentions out loud.
What I learned from this was how many of these young men struggle with negative self-talk and letting go of mistakes. More than 75% mentioned some version of those as the thing they needed to STOP doing.
These negative tendencies can have a ripple effect on your performance if not interrupted. It will infect your physiology and cause you to second guess yourself, lose confidence will slow reaction time.
Think of it like having to carry a backpack full of bricks out onto the ice for your next shift. How do you think that would affect your performance?
Instead, I gave them the tools to Recognize, Reset and Refocus to allow them to become present. This will free their mind of things they can’t control and zero in on what’s next!
What will you commit to START, STOP and CONTINUE doing to improve your performance?