Do You Have A Pre-Game Routine?Nov 03, 2020
In order to play your best hockey, players need to realize that there’s some prep work that needs to be done prior to games. Playing well isn’t like a light switch, where you can simply turn it on and you’re ready to go.
You have to develop a routine to follow, so you program your brain to start preparing for a game in order to set yourself up for on-ice success. This will ensure you are not scrambling before the drop of the puck, and channelling your energy for peak performance.
This routine starts at home prior to leaving for the game. Establish a checklist when packing your bag, to make sure all of your equipment has been accounted for. Look over your gear to make sure everything is in working order. From time to time get a screwdriver and tighten the screws on your helmet. They always seem to loosen. Jerseys and socks are a given, but someone on the team always seems to forget to bring them during the season, so double-check.
Make sure your laces are in good order. I suggest having a couple of extra pairs in your bag, just in case. If you need tape for your stick or socks or need skates sharpened, give your parents a heads up, so they can plan on leaving a bit earlier if you have to stop at a hockey store on the way to the rink.
Once at the rink, most teams do a warm-up, followed by a stretch. Prior to this, do a final bag check to make sure you have everything. Fill up your water bottle and tape your sticks. Start frequently taking drinks of water so you’re properly hydrated before the start of the contest. Now it’s time to start really focusing on the game.
During the warm-up and stretch, start going over situations that may happen on the ice. What are your assignments on draws? What are the other teams' power-play tendencies? Go over all the little things that happen in a game that could determine the outcome if not properly executed.
Once the stretch is completed, continue drinking water while getting your gear on. Visualize yourself doing things perfectly. Scoring a goal, setting up a teammate with a perfect pass or making a great defensive play.
Typically, coaches will have a pregame chat to go over a few things to be aware of regarding the opposition. What their power play set up is, neutral zone fore-check and maybe a couple of players you need to shut down. Once the meeting is down, time to punch in and go to work.
Establish some type of consistent pre-game routine and I’m confident you’ll start seeing more consistent performances because of this extra effort.
Remember to always Work Hard and Dream Big!! Til Next time…. All The Best!!