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The importance of mindset in youth hockey

“Ninety percent of hockey is mental and the other half is physical.” -Wayne Gretzky

My friend and I went to an Islanders game two weeks ago and we were talking about all the skills that hockey entails. For example, speed, stamina, strength, quick thinking, and hand-eye coordination. The one thing that didn’t come to us was “a strong mindset” and in my opinion, that is one of the biggest skills that a hockey player or anyone playing a sport needs. One of the greatest hockey players knows that too—Wayne Gretzky. He knew how hockey players needed to get better, and it’s all about thinking and creating a good mindset. Thinking where the puck is going to be, and to take a shot when needed.

Working on training yourself to have a strong mindset is like training for a marathon. You start off taking little steps, then with more experience you get better as you go along. It’s not easy though. Training your mind to think positive and to think quickly is tricky. It will take a while but eventually you’ll get there.

My hockey team hasn’t been doing great this season and it really hurts to see the scoreboard sometimes. Although I know in my mind that we may be losing, we are working hard to improve and we can only go up from here. When I think and create a positive mindset my adrenalin starts kicking in because I realize that I’m here to improve and do better as a person and for my team. See, I can look at it like this, or I can say that my team is bad and I should just stop trying and there is no use, but I don’t. I pull through and try my hardest because at the end of the day, knowing that I did the best that I could is all that matters.

Sometimes we do crash and burn. That’s all okay—we are human, things happen. Not everything is going to have “positive vibes”. You just have to tell yourself that it will be like that sometimes.  If you see that you are tearing yourself apart during a game or a practice, you have to let your mindset take you to a positive place, at least you are there, at least you are trying and doing your best.

I hope this helped anyone who is struggling with their mindset. Keep working hard! See you guys next month!

Social media:
Instagram- @agatto97 and @ag.hockey97
Twitter- @agatto87


Annabella Gatto

More about Annabella Gatto

I started playing ice hockey when I was 15. Throughout my journey there has been many bumps in the road but also great sights to see along the way and I'm here to write all about it!