7 Habits of High Performing Hockey Players

Success leaves clues. If you want to be exceptional, find out what the best of the best do, and learn from them. We’ll cover clues that success leaves and the habits of high performing hockey players including:

1. Own Your Development

For Super Dave, he had no path and no guidance. He was simply bored and practiced shots, but didn’t have a plan to own his hockey development. 

Are you in the same position? Have you had success from trial and error and developed over time? 

Most players will experiment, but that process might take a long time. With MTT, you have a blueprint that speeds up that process. You can improve on your own, or you can get better more quickly with a coach who knows what he’s doing and giving you feedback. High-level athletes own their development. They aren’t waiting for a parent or coach to tell them what to work on; they take responsibility. But is something holding you back from owning your development?

2. Have an Opportunity Growth Mindset

With a growth mindset, you believe that talent can be developed if you work hard, stick with it, and train. It’s about viewing challenges as an opportunity. It’s wanting to be the best version of yourself and taking steps to improve continuously.

No matter how confident they become, highly-confident hockey players always respect those around them, listen to their constructive criticism, and use it as a chance to improve.

Every ounce of feedback—no matter how big or small—is a chance to grow and improve.

Your coaching staff, your parents, your teammates may not always be right, but if they share feedback with you, it’s worth your while to listen. If several people notice a part of your game that needs work, chances are it does. And then that feedback becomes another opportunity to learn, get better, and continue to improve.


3. Play With Vision and Clarity

High-level athletes have a vision of where they want to be, and that vision shapes their actions. 

There are so many distractions out there, from social media to peer pressure. Do you have the vision and clarity to maintain your focus during practice and games?

For Super Dave, he didn’t want to stay in his hometown; he wanted to do something bigger. He realized that hockey could be the vehicle to reach his goal for something bigger. 

Part of having a vision for high-level athletes is having clarity in their purpose and in the way they want to play. They know where they’re headed. 

When you’re training and playing, high-performing hockey players’ efforts are deliberate because they have a vision of something in the future. They don’t go out to practice and go through motions; they’re intentional and purposeful. 

4. Focus

There is a long term process to focus over time, and high-level athletes have a plan staying focused on the present. By having a plan and practicing to keep their minds where it needs to be, players’ plans become part of who they are. After practicing, they know how to respond when they get distracted.

Hockey players should learn to tune out distractions and perform irrespective of the crowd’s response. Players must be able to focus on finishing the game in a professional manner and not let past upsets get in the way of upcoming games. Additionally, players don’t fixate on recent wins. They constantly are evolving and moving forward with a focus on executing all the techniques and skills that were taught in previous practices.


5. Manage Emotions

Top hockey players know how to manage their emotions and bring their minds back to productive emotions and recharging during a tough time.  

As a hockey player, emotions are powerful; you want to harness them. Use them; don’t lose them. 

When we have low emotional intelligence, we’re blinded by emotions and reacting to what happens around us. But, if you take a step back, you can see your emotions and all the things around you – the puck, the play, the players. You don’t want to be blinded by your emotions; you want to learn to recognize them. 

Are you a slave to your emotions? Here are 6 warning signs you might be.

6. Develop Confidence

True confidence — compared to the false confidence people project to mask their insecurities — has a look all its own. Mentally tough players have the upper hand over the players who feel overwhelmed with doubt because their confidence inspires others and helps them to make things happen.


7. Prepare and Plan

High performing hockey players know that having a plan and preparing before they step onto the ice are the best ways to be the best version of themselves.

From putting in work in the gym and on the ice to working on their hockey sense and improving your mental game, the more players prepare, the more ready they feel to perform.

By doing everything possible to prepare for the struggles and challenges ahead, you’ll be much more confident in any given situation.

There you have it: 7 of the most common habits of high performing hockey players. By intentionally adding these habits to your routine, you will develop a clear, effective, and evidence-based mental preparation plan for your long-term development and game-time execution.