Preparing your mind as well as your body is essential for success on the hockey pitch. Read on for some top mental preparedness tips for hockey players.
Tune Your Focus
All hockey players have other stuff going on in their lives – a day job, a family, the usual stresses of life. When you set out on the pitch to play, however, you need to tune your focus to the game in hand, eliminating your woes and worries where possible. If you are experiencing problems with focusing on the game it might be good to do some meditation ahead of a big match. Tiredness and stimulants don’t help, so be sure to avoid drinking, caffeine and late nights in the run up to a game.
Develop your own winning match persona. This can be as ridiculous or subtle as you wish, but could really see you making the difference. Perhaps your match persona is a blend of yourself and your favourite professional hockey player, perhaps instead it’s a golden eagle, or a Norse god. You don’t need to tell your teammates about this if you feel embarrassed, just keep it to yourself and step into your match persona as you step out to play.
This sort of mental preparedness is used by many sportspeople, from footballers to swimmers. Before the match you need to ‘visualise’ the gameplay. Play out the game from start to finish, thinking about how you will overcome each attack, each challenge and each tackle. Keep replaying these important match-defining moments until you feel confident in your moves and decisions. This is more about the ‘process’ than it is about the ‘outcome’. This means that rather than simply visualising a win, spend your time visualising how you rise to the individual challenges on the pitch.
Other than these tips for mental preparedness, it’s essential that you are physically prepared. Ask the question are there free hockey drill videos online?, then search for them and practise them every day. Players who do more field hockey drills are more likely to achieve than those that don’t.
From visualising the process to developing a match persona and fine tuning your focus to the game at hand, there are plenty of ways to get brain ready as well as body ready before a hockey match.