5 Habits of Mentally Tough Field Hockey Players
Sometimes, your mind isn’t where it should be, and your heart just isn’t in the game. You can admit it because it happens to everyone. It even happens to the very best most talented players who ordinarily rock at mental toughness.
When you do have those games, you do not play at your best level. Why? Because you are not mentally prepared. This should tell you just how important mental toughness is.
You can take lessons, go to camp, play year-round a hundred years in a row, but if you do not work on your mental game, something will always be holding you back.
5 Habits Every Mentally Tough Field Hockey Player Has
What should you do to gain that mental toughness? For starters, start developing these five habits that mentally tough field hockey players have.
1. A lot of confidence.
If you do not believe that you can do it, then you won’t do it. Out of all the children’s books with real-life, useful lessons, the one you need to follow the most if you want to be a mentally tough field hockey player is the story of the little engine that could.
When you start developing confidence, you start playing better. All the nerves and worries about the talent you are playing and whether you are good enough will be gone. You will know you are good enough, so who cares how good the talent is?
There is a difference between cocky and confident, of course. But if you can find the balance, you will start to see a big improvement not only in your mental state, but in your overall game as well.
2. A great work ethic.
Work ethic is a mental thing. You have to be able to push yourself harder and farther every time you go out there. You have to want it. And you have to work for it. It does not matter what “it” is, just as long as you do your best to obtain that thing you want.
So if you really want to be the best field hockey player you can be, then you need to start working on the mental hurdles you throw at yourself.
· When you tell yourself that you are tired, train your brain to want to get up anyway.
· When your game didn’t go as well as you hoped, don’t let it get to you. Just tell yourself to work harder the next time.
· If you want to give up, don’t let yourself.
While the work you do on the field is physical, convincing yourself to go out there and do it even when it is hard is mental. But if you keep pushing against that mental block, eventually it will fall down.
3. The use of good sportsmanship.
Mental toughness is not all about the game itself. Sometimes it is how you act to your surroundings. Let’s just be upfront about this. People are going to do things you don’t like sometimes.
· Maybe it happens when your teammate made a stupid error that could cost you the game.
· Maybe it was the bad sport on the other team who taunted you when you lost.
· It could be the coach that didn’t give you the playing time you deserved.
· Perhaps it’s the official who blew a call.
It could be a parent, a situation, yourself, and so many more. But at some point something will happen that will make you mad. A mentally tough player will deal with it, though. They aren’t going to yell or scream. They won’t give up. They may want to. But they won’t.
They know how to be a good sport, no matter how hard it is, and they are going to stay cool even when it would be easy to get heated.
4. The keys to reduce stress.
Mentally tough players know how to keep stress levels down. Being overly stressed can cause health problems, burnout, and can also affect your game.
Everybody has things in life that stress them out. However, if you learn to handle them, you will be a much better player. People deal with stress in different ways, but if you figure out the best way for you, then you are going to see a big difference both in your game and in your life.
5. The killer instinct.
If you really want to be mentally tough, then you need to have the killer instinct. This does not mean be showy and over the top with your actions. It just means you need the competitive spirit that is going to make you play your hardest because you want to win.
Andrew Miller wrote an article for Mashable that discusses this very thing. People sometimes think the killer instinct is reflected in big, grand gestures. But it is really all internal, and however that competitive streak comes out of you is unique to you.
If you want to be a great player, though, then you have to develop it. You have to learn to want it more than anybody else.
Why Mental Toughness Matters
You can be physically tough. And you can be a talented player. But if you cannot handle the stress, don’t know how to play in big games, and cannot get along with the other players, then you are going to have difficulties on the field. Learning how to be mentally tough is going to make you a much better player.