Hockey Hall of Famer, Mario Lemieux, is said to have once exclaimed that “every day is a great day for hockey!” However, as the season winds down, player fatigue is a natural occurrence. Indeed, weariness during the playoffs can be exacerbated by a busy, energy-depleting schedule, injury, travel, sleep and even diet.
So how can hockey players gear up for peak performance during the much more intense games of the playoffs? Try the following Ivy Hockey recommendations to make playoff days great days:
KEEP FIT. Eat well, be properly hydrated and proper sleep. In addition, it is wise to taper or decrease off-ice workouts (resistance training etc.) by 40% - 60%
BE PREPARED. Arrive early to the rink ready to go and be sure all equipment is in good repair.
PUSH YOURSELF. Work hard - but work smart! Play within your position and do your job only. Do not try to do your teammate’s job. All you can do is your best at what you are capable of doing.
DEAL WITH MISTAKES. Dwelling on mistakes only fosters more tension and nervousness. Take a few deep breaths, use the mind’s eye (visualization), crumple up the mistake and toss it away. Take another deep breath, refocus, and get back in the moment.
HAVE FUN. Have some fun at practice and encourage teammates to be on the same page. Staying positive goes a long way and can often make the difference in a series. Remember hockey is a game that should be taken seriously but… be sure to have some SERIOUS FUN!
Speaking of “serious fun,” visit the Ivy Hockey Academy website to check out ways to improve your hockey skills and individual tactics: https://www.sportscampscanada.com/hockey/ivy/