Players in pressure situations, particularly females, tend to overthink what needs to be done in a high-stakes game. At the end of the day, when a championship game stand between you and a gold medal, you just need to have a "good day". There are days where passes are flowing, the net is filling up with goals and bounces just seem to be going your way; but there are also days when this does not seem to be working. So what can we do when this happens? Simple: we need to adapt. As long as you keep pushing forward, stick to the game plan and let your hockey instincts take over, there is not much more you can do then to trust the process and believe in the efforts you are putting in.
Overthinking or trying to overcompensate is actually, contrary to popular belief, costly to a team. You create mistakes you would not normally do. Of course, when you are down by 1 goal with ten minutes left, stress starts to build. But by changing your individual style of play and attempting to be the "hero" on the ice, it can do more damage then good. Hockey is a game of mistakes, and there are going to be days when you make more mistakes than most. What is important is how you react to it as a player and as a team. As a player, when nothing seems to be working or the "Hockey Gods" don’t seem to be with us, usually we think of the objectif as unobtainable. What we must do is see this objectif as a challenge; to find a way to get passed it and stay mentally tough. By regrouping as a team and figuring out what needs to be done, this lazer-sharp focus can be the game changer and swing the momentum your way. Each player is the expert of her own game, and no one knows more what needs to be done then them. All it takes is one spark to turn everything around.
By putting all your heads together, I can promise, as a former competitive player and now competitive coach, you WILL find a way to surmount having bad days. This is something that cannot be explained by using a marker and a board, but something that has to come from within and a willingness to dig even deeper and push even further.
Yours in female hockey,