Hockey fans know Wayne Gretzky as “The Great One” for his unbelievable talent, and superior hockey mentality. In a recent interview, the hockey legend discussed the mental aspects of hockey. He explained that to be a great hockey player you must display mental toughness and awareness on the ice. This means playing your hardest, reacting to different situations, and keeping up with the speed of the game.
Gretzky explains that pregame warm-ups are key to embracing a hockey mindset. “You have to take advantage of your pregame warm-up. It helps you get in the right mindset to perform,” said Gretzky. Use your warm-up routine to set the tone for the rest of your performance. This will help you avoid distractions, and commit to your game plan.
It is important to have a game plan for your performance before you step onto the ice. “You have to know the team you are playing, and what you have to do win. If you’re playing an aggressive team you have to play fast and aggressive. If you’re playing a really talented team you need to know their weaknesses,” said Gretzky.
After an efficient warm-up on the ice, Gretzky would go back into the locker-room and review his game plan. “I would take a few moments in the locker-room and picture myself on the ice to help me avoid distractions and focus on my game plan,” said Gretzky.
Reviewing your game plan will help you focus on what you want to accomplish and free your mind of distractions. Set time aside before the game to visualize yourself on the ice executing your game plan. See yourself scorings a goal, completing a perfect pass, and defending your zone. This will boost your confidence and put you in a performance mindset.
Use your game plan to give you an advantage over your opponent. It’s important to stick with your plan throughout the game. Questioning your game plan will only distract you from doing what you need to do. Trust your preparation and give it your all each opportunity you get.
Want more tips to help you stay in the zone longer and boost your mental game?