USA Hockey has cancelled Districts and Nationals. Many rinks are closing their doors. The NHL has suspended its season. The NCAA has cancelled all remaining games and the Frozen Four. This is a crazy time.
While there are so many players who are disappointed this weekend, I think it is important to recognize why these decisions are being made. At the end of the day, nothing is more important than player safety.
I think this is particularly challenging for the hockey player to process. We are used to being tough and playing through pain and fatigue. We don’t handle being told that we can’t play the sport we love very well. And yet, that’s what these players are being asked to do.
Not only are games cancelled but many gyms and rinks are closed so even training right now while players are hungrier than ever for next season is a difficult task.
So what can you do as a player right now as the CDC is asking us all to be diligent about health and safety? There are a few things:
- TRAIN AT HOME: There are a lot of resources online to help you improve your strength, speed and skills off the ice without any human interaction.
- IMPROVE YOUR HOCKEY SENSE: Watch clips on YouTube of your favorite players who play your position and take notes on some of the things that they do and visualize how you will implement what you learn in your game.
- CONTROL WHAT YOU CAN CONTROL: Think about thing that you can do today that will make you better for next season. Try to identify some habits that will help you improve. For example, if you want to get more flexible but you always forget to stretch, try stretching while doing something that is already a daily habit. For example, I obviously brush my teeth every morning and night. So now I stretch while I’m brushing my teeth. This is called HABIT STACKING. Build on the good!
- RESEARCH: Research anything and everything that interests you in hockey. Best foods to eat before games, how to get faster off the ice, the mindset of the best athletes… ANYTHING! This is a great way to not only learn but also to fuel your motivation and commitment.
- CREATE A VISION BOARD: Now that you have some time to reflect and begin thinking about next season, capitalize on your current emotions and drive to play and succeed. Think about what you want next season and create a vision board. Put pictures and quotes on a board and put it somewhere you will see every day to help you say motivated each and every day. Motivation and commitment are DAILY DECISIONS.
No matter what, it is disappointing to have a season unexpectedly cut short. But now is the time to start thinking about what’s the next best thing you can do to get better!
Please leave a comment below and thanks for the read!