Five tips to work upon while playing a team sport like hockey.
- Don’t ignore the mental aspect of the game. I use mindfulness and yoga to practice mental discipline.
- Don’t get complacent and wait for someone else to make the impact or score the goal, take it upon yourself every time you step on the field.
- Growth often is hard to recognize when you first start, but stick with it and you’ll see the impact over time.
- The more time you spend outside games in that uncomfortable state physically and mentally the more equipped you will be when you have to perform in games.
- Success doesn’t always equate to winning. Success can also be how your life was impacted for the better along the way.
- Become a Team Player — in a team, there are a number of different roles. Each role plays an important part in a team’s success. Find out your role and do it to the best of your ability. You’re team needs you. Being a team player requires you to be selfless and serve the team first.
- Well done is better than Well Said — everyone can talk about what should be done, but well done is better than well said. Leading by example holds more value than words not backed by action. Through your everyday actions, you can set standards, cultivate culture, and influence those around you.
- Crucial Conversations — Confrontation can be uncomfortable, but it can also be the compass of a team. Those that can face problems through crucial conversations involving open communication, honest feedback, and vulnerability will find success on the other side of their conversation and discomfort.
- Be Authentic — A team is made up of unique people from different backgrounds with varying experiences. Be yourself. Reflect on what your core values are and be unapologetically yourself. Through your authenticity, people will love you for both your strengths and your weaknesses. Own them both.
- Invest In Your Team — Get to know your teammates on and off the field, as with anything you invest in. It may take time, but it pays off in the long term. Invest in getting to know your teammates, understanding their values, discovering their motives, and learning who they are beyond the pitch.
Your most recent venture, ‘ the uncommon’ is a field hockey coaching group created and managed by the three of you. Tell us more about it. A motivational quote you live by?
Uncommon was created as a coaching platform to empower athletes to take control of their own development. We hope that through uncommon we can help athletes reach their full potential in healthy and sustainable ways, while having fun and loving the sport. From my experience, you have to see her to be her, so we are putting ourselves out there hoping to inspire the next generation of field hockey players and grow the game in the United States.
Quote- “Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome. Vulnerability is not weakness; it’s our greatest measure of courage” – Brene Brown
Become Uncommon has been a shared goal of ours for some time. We created this coaching platform to inspire, teach, and connect with the next generation of athletes. Coupled with our desire to give back through coaching, we wanted to help young athletes navigate the other areas of high performance training including nutrition, mindfulness, recruiting, and more. Through both online and in-person coaching, our goal is to provide the tools and resources for athletes to own their own development at all levels of the game and create a community of uncommon athletes working together to achieve excellence.
“We are what we repeatedly do, therefore, excellence is not an act, but a habit” – Aristotle.
This quote reminds me, that the actions we take daily, although seemingly insignificant at times, compound over time to create lasting habits and these habits, ultimately, define us. Excellence is like an investment. You need to put in the work today to reap the benefits in the future. It’s not an immediate reward. It doesn’t happen overnight, but instead is a process that through sustained hard work of developing habits you produce excellence.
For me, it’s humbling to know that being present in the moment, I can, through my choices, be the best version of myself.
Uncommon was an idea the three of us have been talking about for a while. Our goal is to bring remote training, as well as in person training, to athletes of every level around the country. We wanted to create a brand that was fresh and try to grow the sport of field hockey in the U.S. The field hockey world is so small and for so long as been exclusive to the east coast – we want to be a part of the team that is working to change that!
Five key factors to follow while preparing for future championships.
Fitness, diets, mental strength, faith, skill (mind, body, and soul).
- Strengthen your Strengths — this builds confidence and certainty. It improves your understanding of your game and always gives you something to go back to when things are going wrong. Your strengths are unique to you so develop further and play to them when the time comes.
- Rest & Recovery — as with anything, leading up to a championship, take care of yourself. Push yourself to the limits in practice and in the weight room, but be mindful of what your body tells you. Make sure you are sleeping enough. Drink plenty of water. Fuel your body properly. Practice mindfulness regularly. Prepare yourself mentally – do what you need to do to be in the right headspace. Rest and recover just as hard as you hit the gym and pitch.
- Control the Controllable — “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”. Ask yourself, what can you do to prepare? This is what is in your control. How do you approach every day? With an attitude ready to attack the game and get better? That’s in your control. Did you watch film and brush up on your opponent’s game? That’s in your control. Did you take a couple extra reps at the skill you’re struggling with to make sure you get it right come game time? That’s in your control. Did you do your workout when away from the team? That’s in your control. Did you practice mindfulness to up your mental edge on your opponent? That’s in your control. While you certainly want to control the controllable come game time, the best thing you can do, is come prepared. Control how you show up— prepared.
- Develop Your Mental Game — the game between your ears is just as important as the game of tactics and technical work on the physical pitch. Practice mindfulness recognizing how you can skilfully work with your mind. Sports are emotional – You’re angry, you’re frustrated, elated, excited, nervous (to name just a few). Being able to practice how you deal with those feelings and thoughts prior to game time will allow you to have more control and greater a competitive edge in your game.
- Enjoy the Process & the People — Your goal, as an athlete, ultimately is to win. But, don’t forget to enjoy the journey and people along the way. There are challenges you overcome, laughs you share, and mundane everyday tasks that may become nagging, but stay present and enjoy the journey.
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Ashley Hoffman Co-founder Become Uncommon, Becomeuncommon.com
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