Hockey

Enhance Mental Resilience on the Hockey Rink

At Champions Mindset, we are dedicated to offering top-notch performance training technology, techniques, and programs tailored specifically for hockey players. Whether you aim to sharpen your decision-making skills on the ice, boost your memory for tactical positioning, sustain focused attention during intense gameplay, or develop composure under pressure, our customized programs are designed to empower you and elevate your performance on the ice. We are deeply committed to helping you gain a competitive advantage over your fellow players.

Hockey is a sport that demands complete commitment and concentration in every play. As you advance to higher-level teams and tournaments, your mental resilience becomes increasingly vital.

Many players find themselves trapped in a fear-based mindset, afraid to make mistakes. This leads to tentative play, overthinking critical decisions, and a lack of belief in their abilities.

At Champions Mindset, we specialize in working with hockey players to unlock their full potential and excel in the mental aspect of the game. Here are the most common situations we help hockey players with:

Forwards:

The desire to score can be so intense that it consumes their thoughts, leading to worry, gripping the stick too tightly, a loss of confidence, and overthinking in the scoring area.  Missed scoring chances can be attributed to factors such as a lack of accuracy, timing and awareness. Failing to capitalize on scoring opportunities can be demoralizing, impacting players’ confidence and belief in their abilities.

How we help:
Our specialized programs and techniques are designed to address these challenges, helping forward players regain confidence, overcome mental barriers, and develop the necessary skills to excel. With our support, you can break free from the cycle of frustration and unlock your true scoring potential on the ice.

The fear of mistakes can have a profound impact on forward players. It often leads to a chain of events during a game that hinder their team’s offensive chances or result in goals against, missing scoring opportunities, turning over the puck, or committing penalties. This fear leads them to play it safe, hesitate or panic with the puck, and lose the impact they can have on the game.

How we help:
Our tailored approach is aimed at transforming your mindset from fear to an attack mentality. We guide you to focus on what can be controlled, and view mistakes as valuable learning opportunities. Instead of getting caught up in the pursuit of perfection and impressing others, we help forward players regain their lost confidence, conquer their fear of mistakes, and cultivate a resilient mindset on the ice.

Overthinking decisions can be a significant challenge for forward hockey players, affecting their confidence and creating indecisiveness on the ice. The struggle to determine whether to shoot or pass, skate with the puck or dump it in, make a hit or play the puck can lead to hesitancy and a lack of assertiveness. This indecisiveness hinders players’ ability to trust their instincts and make quick, effective decisions during gameplay.

How we help:
Our sports psychologist works with forward hockey players to help players develop strategies for effective emotional regulation, allowing them to control anger, maintain composure, and bounce back from setbacks. By learning to manage emotions, players can enhance their decision-making skills, stay focused on the game, and perform at their best when it matters most.

Defence Men:

Struggling to breakout poses a significant challenge for defense hockey players, leading to a fear mindset that hinders their performance on the ice. The constant worry about making mistakes, fueled by the fear of negative consequences such as being yelled at by the coach or benched. This fear mindset results in overthinking and playing tentatively, which further diminishes their effectiveness on the ice. 

How we help:
We understand the struggles defense hockey players face when it comes to breaking out effectively. Our specialized techniques are designed to address these mental barriers and empower defense players to overcome their fear mindset. We help them regain confidence, let go of perfectionism, and develop a resilient and proactive approach to the game. By working together, we can help you break free from the cycle of fear, unlock your full potential, and regain control of your performance on the ice.

Playing it safe and adopting a passive defending style poses a significant challenge for defense hockey players, hindering their ability to effectively protect their zone. When defense players become fearful of getting beat, they tend to play too far back, resulting in skewed gaps between themselves and the opposing players. In contradiction, this approach actually makes it more difficult for them to play solid defense.

How we help:
We work together to help you overcome the fear of getting beat, refine your gaps, and develop the confidence and positioning necessary to excel in one-on-one situations. Through our tailored strategies, we aim to enhance your defensive abilities, maximize your impact on the ice, and contribute to the success of your team.

Lacking confidence is a common challenge faced by defense hockey players, primarily due to the emphasis on avoiding mistakes and making safe plays in the sport. The defensive role requires players to prioritize defensive soundness, which often hinders their ability to make confident plays with the puck. Witnessing others getting reprimanded for mistakes further reinforces the survival mindset of avoiding errors rather than striving to contribute, make an impact, and thrive on the ice.


How we help:
We recognize that missed opportunities to score goals or make game-changing plays can be frustrating and dent players’ confidence and self-belief. Our comprehensive training approach focuses on enhancing accuracy, timing, and awareness to capitalize on scoring chances, thereby boosting your confidence on the ice. Additionally, we provide assistance in dealing with the emotional challenges of playoffs and inconsistent performance, ensuring you regain confidence and motivation. We work together to build and maintain your self-confidence through positive self-talk, managing self-doubt, and fostering belief in your abilities. Improved confidence translates into better decision-making, assertiveness, and the ability to perform under pressure.

Goalies:

Being a goalie is undoubtedly one of the most challenging positions in hockey. Given the significant impact they have on game outcomes. The immense pressure that goalies place upon themselves to single-handedly determine the outcome of a game often leads to excessive stress and unhealthy pressure. This mindset creates a cycle of being overly critical and experiencing fluctuating confidence levels based on performance results. As a result, goalies often feel overwhelmed in high-pressure situations and struggle to consistently perform at their full capabilities.

How we help:
We recognize the goalie-specific responsibility of being the last line of defense and the immense burden of being perceived as the team’s savior. Our training focuses on developing mental resilience, allowing goalies to quickly recover from allowing a goal and maintaining composure throughout the game. We work on techniques to deal with disappointment and bounce back emotionally, promoting mental stability and a strong mindset. We help you find the balance between shouldering responsibility and maintaining mental well-being, allowing you to thrive as a goalie and contribute to your team’s success.

Goalies face a unique pain point when it comes to goals against, as even a single “weak” goal, a rapid succession of goals, or a high number of goals against in a game can unravel their confidence and performance. The tendency to hold onto past results and allow them to influence their mindset leads to a cycle of self-doubt and underperformance. Some goalies internalize their mistakes, berating themselves, while others may, at times, silently place blame on their teammates. Regardless, all goalies suffer from the tendency to tie their confidence solely to the results instead of recognizing their true capabilities.

How we help:
By working together, we can help you break free from the cycle of negative self-perception, release the weight of past results, and regain the confidence to perform at your true capabilities. Our goal is to empower you to bounce back from goals against, develop a resilient mindset, and make timely saves that contribute to your team’s success. Our techniques and strategies aim to enhance mental focus, ensuring goalies remain fully engaged and poised in high-pressure situations.  Let us support you in finding the mental clarity and belief in your abilities necessary to excel as a goalie and thrive in the face of adversity.

Having a rough start to a hockey game can be an immense pain point for goalies, affecting their confidence and performance throughout the entire game. The nerves and pressure that goalies feel before the game even begins can be overwhelming. They often perceive the start of the game as more important than any other phase, leading them to put unrealistic expectations on themselves to be flawless from the very beginning. By placing such importance on having a strong start, they unintentionally rob themselves of the confidence they need to perform at their best. Instead of entering the game with a calm and composed mindset, they approach it with trepidation, fearing that any mistake early on will have a lasting negative impact on their performance.

How we help:
Our goal is to provide goalies with the support they need to navigate the challenges of a rough game start. By focusing on the process rather than fixating on outcomes, goalies learn to remain present and engaged in the moment. Through a combination of mental training, visualization exercises, and goal-setting techniques, we help goalies cultivate a strong mental foundation that supports consistent, positive starts to games.

Meet Your Coach

John has established himself as a highly sought-after professional, working with a diverse range of organizations, individuals, and athletic teams to enhance their performance. He has collaborated with renowned sports organizations like Hockey Alberta, the Edmonton Oilers, and the Ottawa Senators. Notably, John served as the Mental Performance Consultant for Team Alberta during the 2015 Canada Winter Games. His invaluable contributions have consistently propelled individuals and teams toward remarkable achievements. For the past 15 years, John has excelled as a Sports Psychologist and Executive Coach, collaborating with athletes and teams across all sports at every level, from amateur competitors to Professional and Olympic caliber athletes. His expertise lies in helping athletes overcome slumps, conquer fears and mental blocks, and unlock their full potential.

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