I think we can all agree that Coaching can be very stressful and rewarding at the same time. As Coaches, winning and losing outcomes can become all too consuming and this can cause a coach’s performance to be negatively affected by their inability to manage their stress reactions. Especially, when focusing on losing!
Whatever thoughts are consuming your mindset will have an impact on how you show up for your team at practices or games. If you are overwhelmed from a long losing streak and focused on what’s wrong and who’s to blame, you will create an environment of paranoia, fear and mistrust. If, however, you are composed, confident, and trusting of your players, staff, and process, you increase your likelihood of experiencing success.
Mindfulness in coaching is a state of being not a state of doing. Being in an attentive state of being can help any coach be more present and effective in the process.
The following 7 Traits are attentive and effective for Hockey Coaches:
1. Always trust, protect and create a safe place for your team to develop and thrive
2. Connect effectively with dynamic communication with your players, staff, and parents
3. Do not take things personally or get offended with your players and their parents
4. See challenges as opportunities to learn, adapt and overall growth of the team
5. Focus intently on what is in your and the player’s control – meaning your player’s skills set
6. Be aware of your player’s emotional state. Players look to be inspired and influence, not control and punish
7. Be authentic, confident and 100% energetically engaged at the moment with your team
When all is said and done your legacy as a Coach will be determined by who your players become not just on the ice but off it. Accept what is, make conscious choices, trust and are engaged in the process and unattached to the outcome. In the end, choose to be present at the moment on purpose and be fearless.
Embrace the challenges and pressures coaching brings to you. It’s not always going to go your way; in fact, it’s a long, hard, mental and physical position that at times is very draining during hockey season. Learning how to handle it and continue to get stronger and grow with it can be the most rewarding and enjoyable ride that you could ever be on.
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