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4 New Year’s Resolutions for Stressed Out Hockey Players

01/04/2017, 5:00am PST
By Kelvin

 

Hey, I don’t think I've actually written about hockey for awhile! I feel refreshed, recharged, and ready to deliver unconsciously fantastic hockey content that will completely change the lives of everyone in your family! In the entire world even!

Alright that might be a bit of a stretch, but truth be told, the break from hockey writing did me great. I know, my life is so hard. But seriously, when you spend every waking moment either watching hockey video, practices, or games, and then you spend a handful of hours every week writing about hockey - oh, and you even host a bi-weekly podcast about hockey…

Yeah, it adds up. 

But all that nonsense pales in comparison to the weight felt by a young athlete who actually plays the game. They’ve been skating, practicing, playing, training, and trying to focus at school for three months at this point (though it feels closer to three years), and if you don’t believe that it all adds up then I’d like to know your secret. 

Christmas tournaments and cousins threatening to commandeer your Xbox adds up to a lot of stress for any child. Here’s a few ways to leave that pressure behind and embrace 2017 with a brave new outlook on hockey and life. 

1. Focus On Homework

School is more difficult than hockey. It might not be as physically demanding, but as we (adults) all know, a workload that overwhelms then brain is much more difficult to handle than one that simply taxes the body.

But if we encourage our kids to focus on doing well in school by doing their homework, studying, and generally caring about school, then the only place left for hockey to exist is in the domain of recreation. It’s a game, after all!

2. Cut Back On…Something

Alright, when the homework thing wears out on February 1st and attitudes, work ethic, and general demeanour start to slip, you’ll know it’s already too late to cut back. So don’t wait. Do you need to be on the ice 9 times each week? In combination with school and other activities, that’s enough to exhaust any young athlete. 

Let your kids be kids for the first few months of 2017. Practices and games aren’t optional, so cut back on extracurricular activities if you can. 

3. Seek Perspective

A lot of young hockey payers get stressed at this point in the season because they’re looking for more out of their game. For most kids, they all want to score more goals. Well, there’s only one player on each team who leads the team in goals, so what else can you do to contribute to the team?

After all, the team is the most important aspect of the game, right?

Right. 

4. Focus On One Area For Improvement

Alright, now that our children are eagerly doing their homework and they’ve got a smile on their face from morning until night, let’s get back to the game, shall we? I find that stress among young athletes creeps in when they think too much. That’s right, I’m advocating for less thinking. Fewer thinking? No, less thinking. 

Anyways, get hyper specific and help your child choose one skill to refine to a razor sharp edge. No, skating or shooting doesn’t count. 

  • Edge control
  • Backhand passing
  • Taking wrist shots in stride
  • Outlet passes
  • Blocker saves (no, goalies, I didn’t forget about you)

These are all great skills to focus on in the first few months of the season before the playoffs arrive. And devoting mental energy to one specific aspect of the game will do a wondrous job of deleting all the negative energy that has a habit of building up over the first half of the season. 

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