Hockey players who have played in the playoffs know that the energy and intensity behind games becomes different. They fight all year to get there, but only one team can be the champions. These are five things that make the playoffs games unique:
1. The overall intensity is higher because of the importance of each game
The game becomes quicker, the hits harder and less about thinking more about being, it becomes very intuitive and creativity is key.
2. Players struggle with the dilemma of playing hurt vs playing injured
As playoffs come at the end of the season some playoff matches become a game of attrition. Many player cross the line into playing injured but their effectiveness suffers. Awareness is key. Accepting soreness, fatigue, and pain without it becoming an energy drain is essential. Focusing on the moment helps.
3. Playing time is given to those who are most effective
Coaches are going to ride their horses in order to win. If players can’t handle the pressure they will sit. Nothing is personal. Players must increase their awareness, energy, engagement and confidence to meet the challenges that come with intensity of each game.
4. Players truly understand the meaning of playing for each other
A deep bond is created in the adversity of playing in the ebbs & flows of the playoffs. They understand they are experiencing a once in a lifetime experience together. The players, coaches, moments and lessons they experience will have a lifelong effect.
5. Momentum shifts in any series, can happen at any time
A timely goal, an awesome save, a fight, you just never know when it will happen. Even a coach or GM addressing the media can have an effect. Energy flows to team who imposes their will on the other. Success (mastery of the process) is not luck, it has to be intentional.
The mindsets of the players and coaches are tested and those with the will to withstand the physical, emotional and spiritual tolls, and rise to the occasion are the ones who ultimately end up being the champions.
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- The Ten Qualities of a Playoff Difference Maker!
- Five Things to Consider To Be Successful In The Hockey Playoffs!
- PODCAST | The Playoff Push with Kelvin & Aaron