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How to Prepare for a Playdowns Game

By Ontario Minor Hockey Association, 02/19/16, 12:15PM EST

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These are some important keys to success

There’s something special in the air when Playdowns season arrives. The trip to the rink has a bit of an added edge and maybe you tie up your skates just a little bit tighter. The intensity of chasing #RedHats grows with each passing game and it is important to stay focused and level-headed when the games mean the most.

Here are some ways to prepare yourself for a Playdowns game.

1. Start Early

Preparation for a game doesn’t just start on the car ride to the arena. Getting a good sleep the night before a Playdowns game is crucial to ensure that you can perform at your physical best. Eating healthy meals and drinking the proper liquids will only help your cause. Cutting outside distractions as soon as you step into the rink will help you focus on your goal.

2. Focus on the ‘Now’

Worrying about the mistakes you made last game won’t do anything to help yourself focus on the game that is being played right now. Whatever you have done up to this point has been important for your team to get this far in the Playdowns and it wasn’t because of anything that went wrong. On the other side, letting your mind wander too far down the road isn’t useful because you have to get there first.

3. Don’t set expectations

Let the game come to you. Giving yourself goals to achieve during a game will only distract you from playing at your best. PERSONAL goals have nothing to do with the TEAM and could end up hurting what develops on the ice. Take an extra second and make the pass to the open player and you’ll find that the team celebration is better when it is shared.

This goes for parents as well. The players have a job to do on the ice and a game plan to execute. Remember - kids sign up for hockey to have fun.

4. Always have an underdog mindset

If you go into a game expecting to cruise to victory, you could very well end up finding yourself digging out of a hole pretty quickly. Underdogs earn their victories and never give up when it seems that all of the odds are stacked against them. Fight for every loose puck and dig into the corners – you don’t want this Playdowns game to be the last time you’re on the ice this season.

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