7 Ways to Prep for the Season
With the season is right around the corner and this is when the real work starts. First things first: you've got to know that every practice, every game, and every moment in between is an opportunity to grow—not just as an athlete but also as a person.
Here are seven, brief, ways to get ready for your season ahead:
1. Be Present: Mindfulness isn't just a buzzword; it's a practice that can help you immensely on the ice and in the classroom. Being present helps you focus on the task at hand, whether it's executing a perfect pass or acing that midterm paper. Let's not forget, you're a "student-athlete"—both words matter and student always comes first.
2. Set SMART Goals: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound. Sounds a bit academic, right? This framework has stood the test of time in both athletic and business circles. Break down your long-term objectives into smaller, manageable milestones.
3. Teamwork Makes the Dream Work: No one can win a hockey game single-handedly. Build connections with your teammates. Know their strengths, embrace a collaborative culture, and how you fit into that dynamic.
4. Embrace the Grind: There will be tough days, physically and emotionally. That's not just okay; it's expected. Your ability to weather those challenges is what sets you apart. Adopt a growth mindset; see these challenges as opportunities to improve (Dweck, 2008).
5. Be a Leader, In Your Own Way: Not everyone wears the "C" on their jersey, but leadership isn't confined to a title. You can inspire others through hard work, positivity, or even by lending an ear when needed.
6. Nutrition & Recovery: You wouldn't run a Ferrari on regular gas. Similarly, your body needs the right fuel and rest to perform at its peak—Listen to it.
7. Set Expectations: Adding expectations to the mix is crucial. This is a two-way street between you and your coaches, and even among teammates. Know what is expected of you on and off the ice. But don't forget to express your own expectations, too. Setting clear expectations is all about getting everyone on the same page, fostering mutual respect, and creating a culture of accountability.
8. Don't Forget to Have Fun: At the end of the day, you started playing a sport because you love it. Never lose sight of that joy; it'll sustain you through the ups and downs.
Be great, savor the moments, and make this season one for the books.