Game On Magazine September 2015 - Page 72

Kids, Read This! Riley Dudar Evolution Hockey Your Life Can Get You Out of a Slump Riley Dudar, centre, right behind the Allan Cup with 2015 champs, Southeast Prairie Thunder T here are going to come times during your season when things just aren’t going your way. The coach is on you, you don’t like your linemates and you’re just not having much fun at all. Don’t panic. While frustrating, this is all normal. You are not a failure and your coach doesn’t hate you. Maybe its just time to have a quick chat with your linies about how each of you sees the game and likes to play. In any case, it is important to try and identify why you are in this slump and develop effective strategies to correct the problem. It’s also important to develop strategies so you don’t let these on-ice frustrations carry into your daily life. First, it’s important to understand that you can’t play a perfect game. Mistakes are going to happen and they can’t be fully avoided. Instead of trying to play a perfect game, or have the perfect shift, I want to encourage you to focus on playing a functional game. In hockey, playing a functional game means shooting when its time to shoot, chipping the puck in or out instead of making a high risk play, going to the tough areas on the ice, being in shot lanes, having your stick on puck while defending and so forth. Nothing is perfect about that game plan, but you most definitely wil