Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Mental Game

Being mentally strong in net is so important. First off, you need to prepare mentally for the game before it even starts. The biggest thing is keeping positive before a game. The last thing that you need is to be negative because that will lower your confidence and keep you from having the best game of your life. There are many ways to mentally prepare for a big game but here is one that I find works the best. It's called the visualizing technique.

The way you use this technique is sit back, close your eyes, and imagine the scene. Get a clear picture in your mind when you were playing well and on top of your game. Then create the perfect situation. As you visualize you should become very emotional and confident. Create the image of what you are likely to experience as vividly as possible. See yourself handling difficult situations throughout the game. While remaining calm, playing at your best, making the saves from in close and from a far ways out. Repeat several times, see it happen, and feel it happen. Make sure you only visualize positive things about goaltending and nothing that is negative or will strike fear into you. An example of this is seeing yourself making a huge save when the game is crunching down on you.

Always try and reduce pressure. Pressure is something that you put on yourself. In most cases pressure is something that you make up in your head. What will people thing if i lose. The sooner you accept that pressure comes from within, the sooner you will start shutting it down. Here's some thoughts that produce pressure:

1. What if I don't do well
2. My career is on the line
3. What if they score from the red line
4. What if I blow the game for us
5. How about if the opposition scores first
6. What if I get pulled

Here's some thoughts that will reduce pressure

1. Just do the best that I can
2. Do my job the best I know how
3. I am going to have fun
4. Even if I'm not great today, tomorrows another day
5. Tough situations make me perform
6. Winning and losing is for the fans, I simply perform

Another thing that you must do before a game is make sure that you are thinking right. Reduce your negativism. Think right. Just say to yourself: pressure is something I put on myself, I accept full responsibility of my action. Mistakes happen, its apart of learning, I will give my best effort, and I'm having fun. I will pay the price, I will be successful, I take pride in what I represent. To achieve your fullest potential as a competitor, you must reduce you negative thoughts.

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