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No Obstacles. No Fears.

As another hockey season quickly approaches and athletes are wrapping up their off-season training regimens, new obstacles begin to take shape.

With tryouts and training camps upon us, there is a certain amount of both uncertainty and anxiety that can creep into an athlete’s mind. If these feelings are not dealt with, they can, unfortunately, have a negative impact on the athlete’s performance and that’s not what you want after spending all summer working hard in the gym and on the ice, in order to get better.

These mental obstacles must be met head on. Avoiding them, trying to navigate around them or trying to change your path of the vision that you set out for yourself, will not work. These obstacles can be fear of not knowing people or your environment or a fear of not being comfortable in the training camp testing.

Don’t avoid these fears. Address them right away. The longer the wait, the bigger the obstacle becomes in your mind. If the environment is unfamiliar, go out to camp a couple days early, see the rink, get familiar with your surroundings. On the first day of camp introduce yourself to as many people as you can, from staff to other players.

You might be surprised how many other people feel the same way you feel and are more than happy to get to know you and talk to about what’s in store for everybody. Go out and make friends.

If there is testing, send a request to the team asking them for a copy of the testing protocols so you can look them over and go over them with your current coach and your trainer.

All these things have fairly simple solutions. I’m not saying they’re easy to address because everyone handles stress differently, but they are all obstacles that can be overcome and they are obstacles facing everyone at camp. Even many of the veterans.

So as you prepare for the season make a list of any concerns or fears that present themselves as obstacles in your quest to be successful and then make a plan to overcome them. Write it all down and execute it.

In doing this, the obstacle actually becomes the way to you achieving your goals.