As we watch high school hockey playoffs finish up, as well as clubs beginning to wind down their season, we see many instances where the brain is the biggest difference between winning and losing.
Even in the NHL you see how the mental game makes a huge difference as teams try to keep a playoff spot or get into position.
As a coach this may have you thinking about working with a sport psychology consultant. If so, good for you. Be mindful that it should be based on the benefit you think your team can derive from it based on their level of skill, age, and experience. However, what I have learned from years of working in sport psychology is that the mental skills and attributes that are taught can be beneficial to children or adults, to novices or experts, and to rookies and veterans. The key is how you approach it.
Dr. Sean McCann of the United States Olympic Committee's Sport Psychology Division has listed out 10 very important principles for successful mental training.
"USOC Sport Psychology's 'Top Ten' Guiding Principles for Mental Training"
By Sean McCann, USOC Sport Psychologist (Excerpt from Olympic Coach Magazine, Fall 2007)
Review these principles if you are thinking about bringing in sport psychology consultant. Your team will benefit from taking an appropriate approach to the mental game.