Do you want the ability to use a powerful tool that is (free) and used by many Elite Level Hockey Players?? If you want to raise the level of your game...you should!! If you remember during the Stanley Cup play-offs there were images of Mike Cammalleri of the Montreal Canadians sitting on the bench with his stick well before the game focused on the ice and clearly visualizing. He has a pre-game routine before every game to get his mind focused on the upcoming game. That is just one example of many if not most of the top players that use this important tool to elevate their game. I have seen clips and articles on Crosby, Ovechkin, Ryan Miller among others using this mental tool to elevate their games....and who can argue with any of these guys accomplishments!! Below are some tips from Brett Henning and his book 7 Pre-Game Habits of Pro Hockey Players
Visualization is the ability to see yourself positively completing or reliving a scene only in the mind.
It’s been proven to mentally raise a players confidence, decrease anxiety/fear, and physically improve his performance in the specific visualized area.
The most common form of visualization is seeing yourself completing a specific task in the future. We’re going to use it for hockey by visualizing scoring goals, making the big save, winning the last-second faceoff, etc.
You already use visualization everyday whether you know it or not. When you lie in bed on Sunday night and think about everything you have to do that week. When you think about what you’re going to say to the cute girl sitting beside you in English class. When you go to the grocery store and plan the night’s/week’s meals. When you think about the weekend’s hockey games. These are all some form of visualization. You will get deeper and clearer thoughts by practicing visualization techniques regularly.
Limits begin where vision ends. The problem with most people is they think negative thoughts about future activities. One surefire way for success is to stay positive.
“80/20 rule”: Nearly everything in life falls under this concrete rule. Applied to hockey this means that 20% of the on-ice actions you take, make up 80% of the results. Use this rule to narrow down what you want to visualize about.
The most important aspect of visualizing is that you have to actually feel the experience in all of your relevant senses—sight, hearing, touch, and smell. The more intense and real the feeling, the greater the impression is created on the brain.
Visualization’s 3 Steps
1. Relaxing the body and mind
§ Muscle relaxation
§ Breathing exercises
§ Listen to relaxing music
2. Visualization: Vividly experience the game in advance:
§ Slow Motion
§ Game Speed
§ Fast Forward
3. Let It Go: Slumps are mental obstacles that have become bigger than life for the person going through it. It’s a negative loop. There are two ways to get out of a slump:
§ Cure it through laughter.
§ Reframe the obstacle/belief 7 different ways.
I hope this helps!! If you have any questions about Visualization techniques, etc. please feel free to ask.