Don’t ever count yourself out of the race. No matter how it looks, there’s always a chance to show your fighting spirit and finish the race well. It also means giving it all you’ve got until the very end, no matter what the outcome looks like (ie. you’re ahead by 3 goals). It looked like it was over for Boston when the Leafs had a 4-1 lead in the third period of game 7, but the Bruins had other plans.
Just this past year in the USA vs. Canada women’s gold medal hockey game at the Sochi Olympics, the game was 2-0 for the Americans with time ticking down in the third period. When there was only 5 minutes left in the game and the Canadians were without a goal, much of the country was likely expecting a silver medal, but it’s not over until it’s over. The Canadians could have gotten down on themselves, but they weren’t going to give up that easily. Canada scored with only 3:26 left in the third period to make it 2-1, and then tied the game with only 55 seconds left. Marie-Philip Poulin scored in overtime, making it one of the most exciting hockey games ever. Never count yourself out of the race.
“No matter what was going to happen we were going to fight until the end, and we would never give up.” – Caroline Ouellette, member of Team Canada
Game Plan: Come up with some affirmations or power thoughts (or search for some examples online), keep them where you can see them, and say them to yourself often. It may seem kind of silly when you start doing it, but just like lifting weights builds physical strength, repetition of positive affirmations builds mental strength. Here are some examples of affirmations that were given to LA Kings players by sports psychologist Saul Miller to choose from:
- I am a winner. We are winners.
- I am committed. I am willing to do whatever is necessary to achieve our goal.
- My mind is a force I use to make things happen.
- I am mentally tough.
- I get stronger, tougher, and sharper with each shift.
- I make a difference every shift.
Some other examples of affirmations:
- I am enough
- Today, I am brimming with energy and overflowing with joy.
- Happiness is a choice. I base my happiness on my own accomplishments and the blessings I’ve been given.