I have been doing a series called Mental Minutes for Junior Hockey dot com for the last few months. I’ve posted them on The Mental Game website under radio so they may be found easily. I thought what I would like to do is write about them here as well, but perhaps go a little more in depth or add a little something. So here goes.
Mental Minute # 1
The week prior to a game don’t change what you typically do with regard to your normal preparation (warm-up, routines, food, etc.). Yes, my first tip is to be cautious about what tips you add! However, there is one big exception – sleep.
I strongly suggest preparing yourself for games by going to sleep and getting up at approximately the same time for an entire week prior to a game if you can. Trying to play after getting a few less hours than you’re used to, or getting up a few hours earlier than normal, can affect your coordination, emotion control and decision making (ie. your performance!). You’ll have a big advantage over other players.
Something else you can use to help in your recovery. NAPS. If time allows taking a Power Nap will help you get refocused. The science of sleep has been giving us insight into understanding about NAPS. You know many great and creative people have used power naps to allow themselves to do incredible work and athletics is no different. What we have learned however has to do both with duration and timing. 10-20 minute power naps give you the best bang for the buck. Longer naps while regenerative may leave you feeling sluggish for a while. Here is a link to a nap wheel by Sara Mednick. It helps you decide the best time to take a nap based on when you woke up. NAP WHEEL