In this episode, I’ll talk about
- Why I get stressed thinking about playing hockey.
- What causes stress for a hockey player?
- What can be done to improve our game?
- How to get out of a scoring slump.
- Hockey stuff I got for Christmas.
It’s 2018 – Happy New Year! I hope you had a great holiday season.
Lately I’ve been experiencing some stress before playing hockey. More so for league games, but also for DIH.
Why I get stressed thinking about playing hockey
- I haven’t scored a goal or even had an assist in a long time.
- I feel that a lot of the players are faster and better than me. Many of them are older than me, so this is even more frustrating.
- I don’t feel I have been making good decisions on the ice.
- I’m falling occasionally on my own?
- If I don’t start playing better, I’m not going to get called to sub for any teams in the Over 60 League.
Next I tried to justify my thinking with the following:
- For the past 3 months, I’ve only been playing defense, so the opportunities to score aren’t as frequent as playing forward. Should I tell the Over 60 League commissioner that I only want to play forward?
- I haven’t taken many shots. But many of the ones I take have been wide of the goal (I can hear Dave Lewis yelling at me again). Other players seem to score almost every time they shoot.
- I have some nagging injuries. Maybe this is the reason I’m not skating as well as I think I should be. Although, doesn’t every player over 50 have some injury that is bothering them?
- I’ve made too many bad passes lately. Rushed the zone, then went back to the point, my teammate passed the puck to an empty wing thinking I was still going there.
- As a sub, you can get called to play on any of the 6 teams. Playing with different players seems tougher than being on the same team and line all the time. Only playing occasionally also makes it harder to know the other teams and players.
- I play on the same team every time in DIH and the opposing team usually has the same players, so why am I not doing better? But wait, in DIH the players can be as young as 50, so this can make it tougher than playing in the Over 60 league.
- I’m not getting called much to sub in the league. 3x’s in 15 games – Are the team captains calling other subs first and if they can’t play, then they call me?
These are all poor excuses!
- With all these negative thoughts going through my head, no wonder I’m getting stressed.
- Isn’t this ridiculous, that I’m getting stressed about playing in FUN hockey games?
- Shouldn’t I be happy that I’m still able to skate at my age (65)?
- There are 25 players on the sub list. Many of them have been waiting for years to get on a team. I’m new to the Over 60 League, so I shouldn’t expect to get called to play before these players.
- Do I need to accept that I’m not as good as these other players?
- Should I change my attitude and stop caring how I play? I can’t do that, I want to keep improving. I don’t want to take it easy when I play.
- If I can’t skate hard and play well because of injuries or my age, maybe I should consider hanging up my skates?
- I don’t want to look for a league with less skilled players, because I do enjoy playing against better skaters. But it would be nice to occasionally feel like I’m making a positive contribution to my team.
- OK, it’s time to call the Wambulance for me!
Next, I wondered if anyone else felt this way, so I Googled: stress of playing hockey and found some articles.
I’ll have links in the Show Notes to some good articles I found.
What causes stress for a hockey player?
The 10 “Deadly” Mistakes Hockey Players Make With Their Pregame Attitude – Dr. Patrick Cohn
- Placing strict expectations on your performance.
– Yes, I put a lot of pressure on myself, because I don’t want to let my teammates down. I did the same thing when I played completive slow-pitch softball for 15 years. Although I was a better softball player than I am a hockey player.
- Leaving self-confident to chance
– I’ve mentioned that I think many players are better than me.
- Getting distracted by the hoopla of the game
– There really aren’t any big games, so I’m not sure this is an issue for me.
- Carrying life’s worries into sports
– I don’t think I do this.
- Over-training before the game
– Not me. Maybe I need to work-out between games? Currently I’ve been resting my body.
- Worrying too much about results or outcomes
– Every time I’ve subbed this year we lost. Teammates said I played well, but are they just saying that to be nice?
- Poor planning or lack of a game plan
– I need to do this and keep it positive, instead of thinking the opposing player is so much better than me that I’m going to be lucky if he doesn’t score on each shift.
- Psyching yourself out before the game.
– I do this by thinking I’m not very good.
- Worrying too much about what others think.
Yes, I probably pass too much, because I don’t want players to think I’m a puck hog.
- Allowing fear of failure to be the top motivator.
– I need to stop worrying about making a mistake. This limits me on taking a chance, like taking the puck in the opponent’s zone when I play defense.
NOTE: This article goes into more detail.
Do any of you think about these things?
What can be done to improve our game?
- Get back to Basics. We may be trying too hard.
- Take a week or two off. This may help a nagging injury and clear your mind.
- Start on something simple. Trying to shoot on goal with every shot (STOP trying to pick the top corner like an NHL player).
- Work on one thing at a time.
– Something you learned from a book, watching others, DVD or talking to someone.
– After you learn something, try it at DIH, Sticks & Pucks or Open Skating.
- If you are experiencing issues skating, talk to the person that sharpens your skates. Maybe try a different profile (blade radius) and/or a different sharpening hollow.
My skates profile is 11 foot and my sharpening is ½” hollow.
The guy that sharpens my skates suggested I try 9/16” hollow, so I don’t have to work so hard skating. I may try 9/16” hollow on my skates, but only when I know I’m not subbing in the league. That way I can try them in DIH (if I have an issue it’s not a big deal).
- Green biscuit and a street hockey stick.
– Shoot at a target (use the Snipe): boxes, tarp, etc.
- Get plenty of rest. We aren’t kid’s anymore. If you have a morning game, don’t go to bed at 3 AM.
- Try to learn from better players (talk to the guys you know will help you).
- Watch NHL games (although they make things look so easy).
- Set a goal (pun?). What do you want to accomplish? Skate faster (profile, 1/2″ hollow to 9/16″?), Score more or just get one goal? (first try to make sure every shot is on the net, maybe get a rebound goal)
- Dr. Patrick Cohn: Develop your own Hockey Pre-Game routine. Letting go of life challenges, Fuel your confidence, Prepare yourself to play each shift.
– Consistent mental preparation leads to consistent performance.
- Pre-Game: Stretching (at home, then warm up on the ice).
- Talk to teammates: How should we shoot on the opposing goalie? What players should we watch out for?
- Skate, Skate, Skate. The more you skate and play hockey the better shape your legs and body will be in. Having the stamina to play for an entire game will make you a better player.
- When I first returned to hockey, I was not in shape. Every time I was on the bench, I would look at the clock and quickly estimate how many shifts I had left. I would then pace myself to make sure I still had some energy at the end of the game. Not playing hard every shift, doesn’t help your teammates.
- Be patient and don’t beat yourself up. We aren’t in the NHL.
- Be realistic (we can’t do what we did in our 20’s).
How to get out of a scoring slump
- 5 Tips for Breaking a Scoring Slump in Hockey – Ben Levesque at BuiltForHockey.com
The key to scoring more goals in hockey is Take More Shots.
Wayne Gretzky: You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.
- The top NHL goal scorers take a lot of shots.
- Look at NHL Penalty Shots and OT Shootouts. The best players in the world don’t score every time when on a breakaway (even when they don’t have to worry about someone coming from behind).
- Hockey Psychology Tips – Dr. Patrick Cohn
Look for opportunities. Have Patience and Persistence. If you keep knocking at the door, eventually a shot will find the back of the net.
- Shooting Tips: Coach Jeremy at How To Hockey
- Remember this is a team sport. If you win and don’t score, that’s OK.
- Stop focusing on scoring
- Stop being so hard on yourself and just have fun.
Please let me know if any of you experience stress before or during a game and what you did that helped you.
What suggestions do you have for getting out of a scoring slump?
Hockey stuff I got for Christmas
– Skate Fenders (foot protection – goes over skates)
– Cut-Resistant Socks (feet)
– If These Walls Could Talk: Detroit Red Wings
– Books to help me come up with Podcast Topics and write Show Notes
Let me know what hockey gifts you got this holiday.
Last game: Slap shot: whistle, like icing
Something about me
1970 – My senior year of HS I had a 1969 Chevy Chevelle SS 396 (friend’s uncle’s wife got pregnant).
– 9 months old (10K miles) for $1,500 ($3,200 New)
– Blue with black vinyl top/roof, 325 HP, 373 rear end (faster top end speed) (425 rear end = faster in the quarter mile), 4 speed, Muncie shifter (friend put in a Hurst Competition Plus Shifter with a T-Bar handle), bench seat (bucket seats were cooler).
– Game arena was on a dirt road – I wouldn’t take my car. Drove to the rink we practiced at.
– This was a fun car.
What was your favorite car?
I hope you enjoyed this episode.
Remember what’s important: Have fun, try to avoid injuries and make new friends.
Please share my podcast with friends and other players.
Let me know if you have…
Show Notes for this episode are located at AgelessHockey.com/11
You can also leave a comment at this location
My email is Jim@AgelessHockey.com
Please visit AgelessHockey.com for more information
I value your time and appreciate all of you that have subscribed to my podcast. Thanks for listening!
Have fun playing the greatest game on earth!
STAY ON THE ICE