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Jackson Slauenwhite

Mental Performance Coach, Ask Me Anything (AMA)

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Hey everyone, I'm a mental performance coach/consultant working in the CHL and with Hockey Canada.

Normally at this time of the year I'm deep into playoff prep, but because the league is currently suspended, I've got a bit more time on my hands.

If you have any questions about the impact of mental performance on the game, sport psych, developing elite players, etc., feel free to ask away!

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On 3/21/2020 at 7:35 PM, Jackson Slauenwhite said:

Hey everyone, I'm a mental performance coach/consultant working in the CHL and with Hockey Canada.

Normally at this time of the year I'm deep into playoff prep, but because the league is currently suspended, I've got a bit more time on my hands.

If you have any questions about the impact of mental performance on the game, sport psych, developing elite players, etc., feel free to ask away!

For non-elite players who play in amateur/recreational leagues, I see that in some of our games, our team performs well and others, our team performs awful.

And on a personal level, sometimes, I don't perform as well in some games as others, regardless of the win-loss outcome. If I see myself not playing as well in the first period, that usually continues into the second and third periods. What would be your recommendation to a player (elite or not) who is regressing to making sloppy plays/sloppy passes/throwing away the puck needlessly, i.e. hockey IQ seems to fall off?

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1 hour ago, caveman27 said:

For non-elite players who play in amateur/recreational leagues, I see that in some of our games, our team performs well and others, our team performs awful.

And on a personal level, sometimes, I don't perform as well in some games as others, regardless of the win-loss outcome. If I see myself not playing as well in the first period, that usually continues into the second and third periods. What would be your recommendation to a player (elite or not) who is regressing to making sloppy plays/sloppy passes/throwing away the puck needlessly, i.e. hockey IQ seems to fall off?

Good question! In simple terms, it sounds to me like you're talking yourself into having a bad game overall once the 1st doesn't go your way.  If you're focusing on the fact that you're having a bad 1st, or you had one, then your focus is on the negative things that happened.  We tend to get what we think about, so if you're thinking about having a bad game, you're likely going to have a bad game. 
In situations like this, it's a good idea to try to focus on your strengths and the good things you can bring for the rest of the game. This shifts your focus back into productive thinking, and will thus be more likely to produce!

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Hey, thanks for making yourself available to us.

Here's my question...  I play in a division that is really a notch or two above my ability levels.  I'm the captain and the guys are my best friends but the truth is I often feel overmatched and I head into the game feeling nervous and that does not help me at all. 

Do you have any tips on mental game prep when you are "playing up?"

Thanks a ton!!

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On 3/23/2020 at 2:56 PM, caveman27 said:

For non-elite players who play in amateur/recreational leagues, I see that in some of our games, our team performs well and others, our team performs awful.

And on a personal level, sometimes, I don't perform as well in some games as others, regardless of the win-loss outcome. If I see myself not playing as well in the first period, that usually continues into the second and third periods. What would be your recommendation to a player (elite or not) who is regressing to making sloppy plays/sloppy passes/throwing away the puck needlessly, i.e. hockey IQ seems to fall off?

 

I've spent a bunch of time thinking about the same idea on what makes some games great and others it seems like you are just swimming against the tide. I think in my experience, it's a lot more mental than physical, and for the mental side of it - rest, stress, distractions - that seems to be the biggest thing. I think it's why the idea of the pre-game nap is so highly valued - it prepares you mentally for being sharp on the ice.

Have you ever stopped to think about things like how much sleep you had the night before a good performance vs. a bad one, or how much mental rest vs. stress you faced that day of a good performance vs. a bad one?

I'm not a performance coach so I don't mean to derail the thread, but in my own experience these are some of the conclusions I've come to in analyzing my own performance.

Literally some games I know exactly (mentally) what I want to do or need to do, yet that connection between the mind and body seems ever so delayed such that when I go to execute I just seem to be forcing it instead of it 'just happening' automatically. Should have had that pre-game nap! 🙂

colins

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12 hours ago, colins said:

 

I've spent a bunch of time thinking about the same idea on what makes some games great and others it seems like you are just swimming against the tide. I think in my experience, it's a lot more mental than physical, and for the mental side of it - rest, stress, distractions - that seems to be the biggest thing. I think it's why the idea of the pre-game nap is so highly valued - it prepares you mentally for being sharp on the ice.

Have you ever stopped to think about things like how much sleep you had the night before a good performance vs. a bad one, or how much mental rest vs. stress you faced that day of a good performance vs. a bad one?

I'm not a performance coach so I don't mean to derail the thread, but in my own experience these are some of the conclusions I've come to in analyzing my own performance.

Literally some games I know exactly (mentally) what I want to do or need to do, yet that connection between the mind and body seems ever so delayed such that when I go to execute I just seem to be forcing it instead of it 'just happening' automatically. Should have had that pre-game nap! 🙂

colins

I'm well rested for the most part. I look forward to games and have a positive outlook before every game. I try to stay hydrated all day on a game day, I'll drink a lot of water.

Looking back, the teams that put more pressure on me make me rush my passes, make bad passes, flub my pass, or dump a puck away (either icing it or just getting it out the blue line without looking to pass or carry it out).

I switch between playing as a winger and defenseman. I seem to do better as a defenseman. When I'm a winger, I'm not always clicking with my teammates and an entire shift was wasted on trying to get out of our own zone. I've not formally played as a forward in a team that was coached. I was a goalie growing up and I played in a minor hockey league in Midgets. Most things I've learned from watching games and tutorial stuff on youtube. Sometimes, I'll forget what I've learned and don't recognize my mistakes until later.

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