1. Create a Routine
- Before you play a game or go to practice, get a good warmup in and time to allow you to get into the right headspace for what you’re about to do.
- I prepared for a game by doing a dynamic warm-up, taping my stick, stretching, playing soccer, and stick handling. It was crucial for me to calm my nerves, especially before big games.
2. If You’re Having Performance Anxiety
- Your body doesn’t know why you’re nervous… It just knows that you are nervous.
- I would say to myself, “Hey, I know you’re feeling a little nervous, but those nerves are actually excitement because you can’t wait to get out there and play! (This is a trick I used before school presentations too.)
3. Envision and Trust the Process
- I made sure to always add this into my routine. I would sit in the stands, look at the ice, and picture myself in different scenarios.
- You can also do it in the locker room 5-10 minutes before you get on the ice. Put your head in your jersey, close your eyes, and focus on making good passes or catching passes in stride.
4. Positive Self-Talk
- Cheer yourself on! Be your biggest cheerleader instead of your biggest critic!
- Say to yourself something like:
- “I know how to hit this ball. I’ve practiced it a million times.”
- “Wow, that was a great pass! I know I can do that again.”
- If it wasn’t your best shift say something along the lines of:
- “I know that wasn’t my best, but I know that I can do better on the next one.”
- “It’s hard for me to make good passes right now. I’m going to focus on skating well and getting open for passes for the rest of this period
5. Make a Highlight Reel
- This can either be physical or an imaginative reel (which would be more envisioning).
- When I was in college, I clipped some of my best shifts together. It could be of me making a good pass, taking a good shot, playing good defense, or even blocking a shot. It consisted of clips that made me feel good about my ability to play my position.
It’s all about confidence… And you’re not always going to feel confident, but all that matters is when you step into that cage when you touch those gloves, that you’re confident. And I think that all literally comes from hard work. If you’re not working hard every day, you’re not going to feel like you really belong in there and deserve to win. — Chris Weidman