In any given season there are highs and lows associated with winning and losing.
When a hockey team is winning, there is flow and a feeling like they are on top of the world. However, when that winning streak flips and becomes a losing streak, it can be mentally and physically draining on both coaches and players.
The momentum of losing takes on a life of its own. Players and coaches begin to force their game. Their performances suffer and the flow that came with winning becomes just a thing of the past. Losses beginning to mount. Teams begin to focus on trying not to lose rather than focusing on winning.
From an energy perspective, whatever we focus on expands and becomes our reality. That is why losing can continue longer than anticipated. The team becomes mentally fragile and can begin to start blaming each other or external circumstances. So, if you ever find your team going through a losing streak, here are ten things you can do to shorten its duration.
- Accept what is. Embracing the fact that things are what they are, without judgement, is the first step in moving forward.
- Understand that it is not the past that creates the future, it is what each individual player and coach commits to being in the moment that will create an end to the streak.
- Focus on the process not the outcome. Have a one shift at a team mentally and strive to be better than the last shift. Only in the moment does a hockey player any power to affect the outcome.
- Learn lessons from the losses and ease up on the good and bad judgements that are prevalent in many game video review meetings. Instead talk about being more or less effective in the moment.
- Trust the process. Every season has its ups and downs. Trust the game plan, your players, and the journey. Since the only constant thing in life is change, know that things will turn around as you focus on helping your team be their best in whatever moment they are in.
- Be audible ready. If what you are doing is not working don’t be afraid to try something else. Trust your hockey instincts.
- Be 100% energetically engaged in your role. Whether you are a player or coach, be fearless and present in the moment. Stay externally focused on the game rather than trying to overthink it.
- Manage your thought world. During the game, high performers are most effective when they are seeing and feeling the game. Mismanaging emotions can often lead to taking bad penalties that can put your team behind the eight ball.
- Stay united and connected as a team. A team that wins together must also learn how to lose together.
- Understand that with every perceived failure (loss) there is an equal and equivalent opportunity. Every great and successful hockey team has had its team character forged in the fires of adversity.
Featured image credit: Chris Mast