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Eight Benefits of Practicing Mindfulness in Hockey!

In Leadership by Walter Aguilar

Competitive and professional hockey players have a multitude of challenges that can create stress reactions and fear in their lives. The following are just some the issues athletes will experience throughout their careers:

  1. Injuries/playing hurt
  2. Performance expectations
  3. Performance slumps
  4. Money/contract issues
  5. Sport/personal relationship issues
  6. Politics of  sports
  7. Transitioning out of their hockey career

-Mindfulness – Choosing to be in the present experience on purpose, as if our life depended on it, non-judgementally.-Jon Kabat-Zinn

Inspire Connect Lead

The following are eight benefits athletes can expect from practising mindfulness in hockey & life:

  1. Self -Awareness– Knowing how they show up in their game and lives. This helps them choose new behaviours and make conscious choices of how they want the moment to unfold.
  2. Acceptance– Learning to accept what they can and cannot control. By focusing their mind energy on what they can control, they will create positive outcomes.
  3. Lowered Fear & Anxiety– Horizontal thinking (past or future) is a major cause of fear and anxiety. Calmer and confident athletes make wiser decisions and play better.
  4. Better approach to handling anger & resentment – Understanding why they are angry and then they can learn to manage their emotions in a more constructive way in dealing with in the game & life’s challenges.
  5. Boosts creativity & intuition – Better emotional management allows athletes to tap into their highest creativity and intuition. Helps them get into the “zone” more consistently and experience flow.
  6. Enjoyment of the game returns – They enjoy the experience of playing the game again and can overcome outcome performance based stress. When enjoyment of the process returns, positive outcomes are sure to follow.
  7. Improved relationships – Whether it is with coaches, teammates, authority figures or their personal relationships, being mindful improves these relationships in the moment.
  8. Lowered risk of depression or relapse – They learn to be aware of the story teller in their minds. Then, by taking responsibility for the story and re-framing it, helps curb depression and/or relapse.


Mindfulness is a state of being. It is also a choice. How a player handles themselves off the ice, also affects how they show up on the ice (and vice versa). Choosing to practice mindfulness allows a player to tap into their potential more consistently. Then, they will not just be playing the game but experience the joy of being the game.

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About the Author
Walter Aguilar

Walter Aguilar

Walter Aguilar – is a Certified Professional Coach and COR.E Performance Dynamics Specialist. Using the mind/energy connection to performance, he teaches a unique approach to peak performance. He specializes in teaching mindfulness for hockey using the COR.E Performance Dynamics energy leadership system. This is based on the 7 levels of energy that thoughts create. These affect awareness, confidence, engagement, creativity and intuition. His equation of Performance = Potential – Interference, provides a framework for success in hockey and life.


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