From 1999-2003 I was lucky to study Sports Psychology at the University of New Brunswick. I loved going to class and learning about the human brain as it pertains to sports and performance. One of the most lasting skills I learned to reflect on was my knowledge of my ABCs. Of course this has little to do with the alphabet and everything to do with playing one's best game.
You see, one's ABCs are the 3 things that a player does well and he or she knows does well. A skater might be best at talking a lot on the ice, because he knows that when he's communicating he's into the game. Maybe he also takes quick and accurate wrist shots from the point and gets them through the legs in the slot. Maybe he also battles hard on the boards and stays low.
Why is this important? Have you ever gone into a game nervous? Or in a slump? Or unsure of how to perform? Well to play one's best game is to play to your ABCs. Think about the three things you bring to yourself and your team. Do it now. Do you drive the net hard with your stick on the ice? Maybe that's your A. Do you screen the goalie? Do you finish your hits? Your ABCs are what you do well.
Now that you've thought of them you need to remember them and apply them. Before games. When you get to the bench. When talking to others about your game. Ask yourself what your ABCs are and did you do them? If your game is going to hell in a handbasket, refocus by going back to your ABCs. Imagine yourself doing them well. You know you do them well. I can almost guarantee that if you get back to your ABCs you'll settle your mind and start playing better again. When you are playing well you can work on whatever "D" is or even "E". These are what you'll do to improve your game and become a more complete player. But start with your ABCs.
Like I said in the title. I doubt your think about your ABCs. Do it now and forever and you'll become a far better hockey player for each team you are on and you'll be more confident and have more fun.
Good luck on the ice,
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