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Behind the Bench, November 11th Junior Hockey News

Published: Tuesday, 10 Nov 2020  
By: Michael Moore,

Just in- It looks as though Newark, New Jersey is implementing strict protocols that will bring hockey to a complete stop. The rest of New Jersey can play as long as teams and players remain within state lines. It should come as no surprise that as the epidemic continues, authorities are taking more extreme measures. Governor Phil Murphy release a statement to the media containing the following restrictions relevant to hockey in Newark:

"All sports of any kind shall cease immediately for a two week period, and entire teams (players and coaches) must get tested to resume. Testing must happen every week moving forward, and anyone not actively playing must wear a face mask.
All gatherings are limited to no more than 10 people, indoors and outdoors..."

Ugh. I understand that there is a need to keep people safe. My father is in his eighties and doesn't have the strongest health and I am a Type 1 Diabetic and considered to be of high risk as well. Protecting the weak is critical but so much of this seems to be so heavily weighted in fear. Fear of control. Fear of failure. Fear of death. Fear of just about anything seems to be incorporated into our regular dialog right now. I know what is at stake, my father knows what is at stake and neither of us are willing to stop our lives and cower in fear. We still have to be mindful and considerate of those who don't share the same outlook but we refuse to live in fear. We wear masks and we keep our distance from strangers but we go about our day to day routines without persistent or even mandated fear.

I have always been that way. My dad has always been that way. Take the chance. Make the move. Be fearless. It was how I pushed myself when I played in the way -way -back. Considering the circumstances we face today, I began thinking more and more about the concept of embracing fearlessness this week. I asked Coach Littler if head had any more articles about it the concept in addition to the one that touched on it last week. Without fail, Coach delivered. 

Don't be afraid, check it out...

from Peak Performance
Why are kids fearless and present focused? I will explain, but allow me to provide some background details...
I recently returned home from a trip on the west coast of the US near Portland, Oregon with my daughter. What a great trip.
My 9-year-old daughter was swimming with her cousins everyday in the ocean using a boogie board (small surf board). If you are not familiar with the Northern Pacific Ocean, the water is very cold - less than 55 degrees Fahrenheit (about 13 degrees Celsius).
For any person, this is very cold water. I know way too cold for me to have fun. In addition, the 6-foot or so waves were pretty big for a 60 pound 9 year old. As they went further out into the ocean to catch waves, the waves got bigger and so did my fear...
"What if an undertow grabs her? What if she hits her head on something?" I thought as the waves battered her for over an hour! Normal concerned parent stuff.
I was overcome with fear as a parent. But, all I heard were screams of joy and having the blast of her life. She was utterly fearless - taking on the waves as if they were rushes of joy. And enjoying the cold water like it was bath water.
I asked later her if she was scared at any time. She replied, "No, I was able to stand on the tips of my toes the entire time." Freezing water, huge waves smashing her into the sand, the possibility of undertows dragging her out to sea....
She could stand on her toes in the sand. OK, that explains everything.
Why are kids so fearless? Kids play in the present moment. They have no fear of consequences. No fear of failure. No fear of injury.
This is also the reason parents need to observe them!
Why are non youths - and some athletes - filled with fear? Many athletes fear negative consequences of their performance. They worry about the what ifs... "what is I fail?". We simply don't play in the moment like kids do.
Many of my personal coaching students are filled with fear of failure. Fear of embarrassment, fear of injury, fear on not performing up to their expectations, and the list goes on and on.
Sometime along the path between childhood and adulthood, adults learn to fear consequences - negative consequences. For example, many of my students worry too much about what others think about their results or performance.
When you worry too much about what others think or the outcome of your performance, you are not performing in the present moment and fear will paralyze you.

You become tense and afraid to make mistakes.

Fear of failure is one of the biggest obstacles for athletes. It comes in many forms such as the fear of embarrassment, fear of not winning, fear of what others think or may say, fear of losing close friends if you are too successful (fear of success), and many other fears.


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Team VHC

Author: Michael Moore from
Michael is a professional hockey scout and advisor with Victorious Hockey helping North America’s top hockey prospects fulfill their ultimate playing potential.

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