"Confidence is a beautiful thing." Chico Resch, former NHL goalie and New Jersey Devils television color commentator
Chico uttered this moments before the Devils landed their third goal behind Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Bernier. LA which had not given up a goal in over three games, and NJ which has been struggling to score goals, was blitzed by the Devils for three goals in the second period. The Devils began to gain confidence after their first goal and began to take over the game. New Jersey scored 3 quick goals but mainly because they were moving their feet and outworking the Kings.
“Confidence is the most important single factor in this game, and no matter how great your talent, there is only one way to obtain it-work.” - Jack Nicklaus, Golf Legend
To be a confident hockey player you need to have an understanding of who you are as a player and person. This is the foundation of confidence. However, you are not going to have total belief in your game unless you do the hard work to become fit. There is no replacing or bypassing the third layer of hockey confidence to get to the top of the pyramid. Hard work, commitment, and discipline cannot be replaced. Players must do the hard work of getting into shape physically and mentally so they can use their talents in highly competitive games. Being fit, strong, fast, and skilled and being able to produce in pressure situations is the greatest source of confidence. Thus, you must put in the work so you can then trust your preparation once it is game day.
To develop confidence in your game you must have the commitment to good daily habits and routines that fuel your training.
“If you train hard, you'll not only be hard, you'll be hard to beat." - Herschel Walker, ex-NFL player
I preach TCB to the players I work with; take care of business! This means do what you need to do to have great energy and focus at practice and games. And, TCB goes for every day, not just the day before the game.
TCB Principle – Take Care of Business!
- Commit to daily life and training routines
- Get fit and strong
- Set achievable, difficult goals every day and go after them (it will build confidence)
- Minimize your stress when possible (or deal with it)
To be confident in games you have to live with discipline. Get good grades in school and finish your homework on time (or maybe even ahead of schedule) so you don’t have to stress about it. Eat healthy, get your rest, stay hydrated, stretch, and workout. Set a schedule for your workouts. Get a consistent and sufficient amount of rest. Follow a healthy diet that fuels your body and helps you grow from the workouts. Drink lots of water and avoid soda and caffeine, especially when training and competing.
Getting the most out of yourself also means setting goals that get you outside your comfort zone and push you everyday to get better. Learning a new skill, or doing a learned skill faster with more pressure will enhance your confidence and improve your performances. Stay focused on your goals and work towards them. Don’t forget your goals to be a great hockey player!
Finally, minimize your stress when possible. Take care of school work and avoid “drama” and fights with friends and family by being a good communicator and good person. Making good daily decisions will keep you on the path to your goals to be a great hockey player. Too many talented individuals lost their dream because they drank and drove, experimented with drugs, or just made bad decisions. Stay sharp and keep your eye on the prize – your goals. You will achieve them with hard work and discipline. It is actually the only way you will reach your potential.
(To read more about how Disciplined Preparation Habits Create Consistent Performances go to the Hockey Edge Newsletter archive link on the right column of this blog)