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The Mental Game in the Finals

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  • The Mental Game in the Finals

    Ok Fellow goailes! Here's the situation. I am going into a game 2 of my beer league finals down 1-0 in a best of 3. I let in 2 soft goals in gm1. What are some things I can do to help me bounce back in Gm2. We need to win to forse a Gm3. Any advise would be greatly appreciated. I am pretty confident that my team will bounce back but I know that I need to be better. My team doesn't give a lot of shots which makes it harder.



  • #2
    I like to go play drop in with super high level players. I find that compared to the pros and semi pros in the drop in, my regular game is in slow motion.



    • #3
      Forget about what happened last game. Show up earlier than usual and practice basic fundamentals. Keep your focus on only the next shot, do not concern yourself with what could happen.

      You'll do great. Good luck.


      • #4
        have a couple beers with your team before the game to calm your nerves. Then go on the ice and do what you do, youre a hockey player.


        • #5
          Forget about game 1. This is game 2.

          Focus solely on game 2 - there more you think about the soft goals in game 1, the more likely you'll choke in game 2.

          Just play your usual game and you'll be fine!


          • #6
            Thanks for the replies(especially the couple of beers part). I plan to go about business as usual. I think i will be fine. We haven't lost 2 in a row all season. Like I said, the toughest part is that my team doesn't give up many shots so it makes it harder.


            • #7
              positive outcomes

              Before the game make sure that all your mental thoughts are about positive outcomes if you dwell on negativs get ready for more negative outcomes.

              During the game focus and think about only the next shot. Once again if you have a "dont get scored on" mentality its not going to go well, you need to have a "make the save" or "Stop everything" mentality

              These mentalities may all seem to carry the same message but belive me your subconcious mind thinks of them very very differently

              If I say "dont think of a pink elephant"

              what did you do for at least a splt second?

              your concious mind can controll your subconcious mind if you learn to trick it. It can be difficult to learn to replace all negative or fearful mental images or thoughts with positive ones but I believe this is pretty much what separates athletes who "Choke" and those who are "Clutch"


              • #8
                I find that preparation keeps anxiety away. At this point, there's really nothing you can do to make yourself a better goalie, and any tangible amount.

                Just do your best.


                • #9
                  Jarliy you are right, preparation keep anxiety away. "If you fail to prepare, prepare to fail."


                  • #10
                    In the words of Chubbs Peterson, find your happy place.

                    I had never been in a championship series before and last year our beer league team made the finals which is a best of 3 series.

                    1st game: treated like any other, posted a 1-0 shutout.
                    2nd game: the realization that it was a potential championship game crept into my head and let in a couple softer goals (Ones I felt I could have had). Lost by 2 goals (forget what the score was).
                    3rd game: Wasn't able to shake the nerves and same situation. We lacked scoring all series and the difference were the extra couple they got on me in game 2 & 3.

                    I find that going to my happy place before an important or nerve racking game/event/function/etc gets you mentally alert, excited/happy, but keeps your mind off of the what is making you nervous.


                    • #11
                      Thanks For all the very helpful advice. I think I'll be fine. I have never been in a situation like this before. I do have a great team in front of me. Should be fun.


                      • #12
                        I usually keep in mind the amazing feeling of winning and playing well with knowing that if I don't play well, I'll be fine. Really...What is the WORST thing that is going to happen if you don't play well?

                        The absolute worst thing that can happen to you is you lose. Then, you continue on with life. A week from that day you will probably rarely ever think about those games again.

                        Compete and stay as sharp as possible knowing you can win the game. Bare down like if you stop one more shot you win.

                        But just keep in mind it's a game. Winning feels great, struggling and losing will make you stronger. Either way you'll live to see tomorrow.

                        This isn't to say that you should give up or accept losing. If you give it your best and it doesn't work out the way you want, nothing that bad will come of it.


                        • #13
                          Pretend its the third period when you start.

                          Focus on the puck and positioning.

                          Think of your stylistic challenges and how you can solve them, before the game
                          Execute on the ice.
                          For example, I tend to play too deep in my net because I am big. When I get on the ice, my mantra is 'puck', 'position', 'CHALLENGE' (AKA come out of my crease for shots)

                          Every good game I've had this season, I have done 30 mins of yoga and meditation before. TBH I should do it all the time but its only beer league, so I only do it for big games and it seems to help with mental focus.


                          • #14
                            At the end of the day, doing whatever mental tricks that work for you is key. But pretty much talk to any pro coach or goalie, and they will all tell you that what you're trying to achieve is mental neutrality.

                            You don't want to be thinking about anything, it's all just a scenario playing in front of you. You dont have any emotions toward your team, the opposition, or the referees. You can't even conceive of an outcome occuring, there is no win, no loss, no game being played. Your conscious mind is literally shut off, your subconscious only works on one task, to focus on the ****ing puck. Your body will be just fine on auto pilot and make the save so long as you are focused on the ****ing puck.

                            Playoffs are not the time to think about if you are playing good, if you are playing bad, technique, life, teammates, friends, enemies, etc. Just get in the zone and focus on the puck.


                            • #15
                              Focus on the next save.

                              Nothing before happened, nothing will happen after

                              Focus on the next save

                              Stay in the moment