Hockey is a fast paced and physical sport that demands both athleticism and skill. As players rise the ranks, the mental game becomes more and more important.

Those that consistently play with confidence, trust their training, and relentlessly play their game have a significant competitive advantage.

But many players get caught in the fear mindset – afraid to make mistakes. They end up tentative with the puck, overthinking key decisions, and doubting their abilities.

We work with Hockey Players to improve their mental game and consistently show up in an attack mindset. Here are the most common situations we help hockey players with:

Struggling to Score or Get Points:

  • The Problem
    They want to score so bad that they can’t stop thinking about it – they start worrying, holding their stick too tight, losing confidence, & overthinking in the scoring area. In turn, this makes it harder to get points and leads to a downward spiral in performance.
     
  • How We Help
    We help them let go of worrying about the results. They can care but they don’t have to worry. We get them to reconnect to the love of the game so they can relax and just play. Once they get back into this mental state – they stop trying to force it and let it happen. Then the points start to come.

Afraid to Make Mistakes:

  • The Problem
    They make a turnover or giveaway, the coach gets upset, they start to fear mistakes, play too safe, start hesitating or panicking with the puck, and stop having the impact on the game that they can. This often starts to decrease a players ice time or starts happening because they are not getting the ice time they want.
     
  • How We Help
    We help them go from a fear mindset to an attack mindset. We give them the tools and perspective to overcome the fear, trust their training, and impose their will on the game. Instead of being caught up in trying to be perfect and impress their coach, scouts or teammates, we help them focus on what they can control, see mistakes as learning opportunities, and start playing with unshakeable self-confidence. Regardless of the current amount of playing time, they now have the tools and the mindset to go out and make the most out of every shift. Which is the best way to earn more playing time.

Overthinking Decisions:

  • The Problem
    They struggle to decide whether to shoot or pass, to skate the puck or dump it in, to make a hit or play the puck. These lead to less confidence and more indecision.
     
  • How We Help
    We help them to stop trying to be perfect and over analyzing every decision. Instead, we get them to focus on being aware and doing what they feel is best. They trust their training and follow their instincts.

Struggling On Breakouts

  • The Problem
    They worrying about making mistakes. Maybe their coach yells at them or benches them for mistakes. They start focusing on trying to be perfect and not making mistakes, instead of going out there and making plays. Bottom line is they are in a fear mindset and they are holding themselves back. They lack confidence, overthink, and play tentative. This often starts to decrease a players ice time or starts happening because they are not getting the ice time they want.
     
  • How We Help
    We help them overcome the fear and build an attack mindset. We give them the tools and perspective to overcome the fear, trust their training, and impose their will on the game. Instead of being caught up in trying to be perfect and impress their coach, scouts or teammates, we help them focus on what they can control, see mistakes as learning opportunities, and start playing with unshakeable self-confidence. Regardless of the current amount of playing time, they now have the tools and the mindset to go out and make the most out of every shift. Which is the best way to earn more playing time.

Too Safe or Passive Defending

  • The Problem
    Defence will often get afraid to get beat and play too far back. Their gaps are off and this actually makes it harder to play good defence. They give up zone entry too easily, the opponents are able to generate more shots, and they are often left with no speed so they get beat more in 1on1 situations.
     
  • How We Help
    We help them push their comfort zone so they no longer fear getting beat. Instead of sitting back they push the pace, have tighter gaps, and shut down plays earlier. They also develop a more assertive and attack mindset that is fierce and embraces the physical battles. They no longer play passive or timid, but learn how to effectively play with an edge.

Lacking Confidence with the Puck

  • The Problem
    Hockey in general encourages players to avoid mistakes and to make ‘safe’ plays with the puck. This makes it especially hard for defence to make confident plays with the puck when their main priority is to be defensively sound. They see players get in trouble for making mistakes, so instead of going out there to contribute, have an impact, and thrive, they end up in survival mindset that is focus on avoiding mistakes. This mindset holds them back from playing at their capabilities and maximizing their impact on the game.
     
  • How We Help
    We help them understand that playing in attack mode offensively with the puck doesn’t mean they are playing recklessly. They can play smart and simple hockey while still making confident plays. We help them own their capabilities and develop a mentality that wants to thrive, grow, and maximize their impact on the game.

The Weight of the Team on their Shoulders

  • The Problem
    Goalies have one of the toughest positions in all team sports because they have such a big impact on the results of the game. Many goalies put too much pressure on themselves as if they can single handily win or lose a game. This mentality leads to a lot of stress and unhealthy pressure. They are way too hard on themselves and have yo-yo confidence based on their results. They end up feeling overwhelmed in high pressure games and struggle to consistently perform at their capabilities.
     
  • How We Help
    We help
    goalies to see their role in a healthy way – to stop putting all the need to, have to, should’s, and expectations on their shoulders. Instead of thinking they can single handily win or lose games, we help them understand that although they have a big impact – they don’t score. Even if they let in 5 goals, the team could win 6-5. Or if they post a shutout, the team could tie 0-0. This healthy perspective helps them get back to enjoying the game and making saves. As they build up their mental toolbox they stop tying their self-confidence to the results and start staying even keel regardless of what’s going on around them. They become unshakeable and start consistently performing at their capabilities. This is the mental state where the ‘pressure’ no longer gets to them, they shake off the goals against, and they make the big time saves.

Derailed by Goals Against

  • The Problem
    Many goalies can get unravelled by one ‘weak’ goal against, a series of goals in short amount of time, or too many goals against in a game. By holding on to past results they get into their own head and stop performing at their capabilities. Which results in more mistakes and goals against. Some goalies beat themselves up while others at times blame their teammates (at least in their own head). Regardless, they all suffer from tying their confidence to the results instead of their actually capabilities. 
  • How We Help
    We help them to find the balance of caring about their performance while being able to accept the results, learning from them, and keep moving forward. We help them develop a mindset that lets go of perfection but still holds oneself to ever raising standards of execution. This way they are now able to bounce back after goal against and stay focused on what they can control.

Shaky Starts

  • The Problem
    A lot of goalies feel the nerves before the game even starts. They believe the start of the game is ‘more important’ than the middle of the game. As such, they put unrealistic pressures on themselves to be perfect. Many goalies also feel like they need to have a good start to the game to build confidence. Which is clearly problematic cause that means they are not starting the game with confidence and are now less likely to have a good start.
     
  • How We Help
    We help them channel their nerves, manage their expectations, and give them the perspective to have calm & confident starts. Nerves are just a form of energy that they need to learn to embrace and channel toward the process. Having high expectations for results is not inherently bad but they need to be able to manage those expectations instead of causing unrealistic goals and unnecessary pressure. The bottom line is the new mental state combined with the fundamental tools and strategies helps them to consistently start games off calm and confident.
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The CEP System for Hockey Players

At CEP, our purpose is to help you achieve Consistent Elite Performance.

In order to do that, you need to spend more time in the ZONE.

The problem is, like most hockey players, you spend too much time in your own head.

This can be frustrating and discouraging because you have put in all this work to develop your physical abilities, but your mindset is causing you to underperform.

We understand that working on your mindset can be difficult and confusing.

That is why the CEP System has 3 simple steps that have helped 10,000’s of athletes get in the ZONE:

When you join our programs, you will stop spending so much time in your own head and start achieving Consistent Elite Performance.

Get Started with a Free 1-on-1 Intro Session

The CEP Mental Skills for Hockey Players

Since working on your mindset is not so tangible, the first step in the CEP System is to complete your Mindset Assessment. It breaks down your mindset into the 7 Mental Skills that you need to develop in order to play in the ZONE.

This breakdown not only helps us determine which mental skills to prioritize in your program, but also ensures we keep you accountable to making progress.

Now that you can see what you will be working on, let us show you HOW you will work on it – the CEP Mental Toolbox.

The CEP Mental Toolbox for Hockey Players

All of our athletes consistently implement these 4 Fundamentals to get in the Zone on game day. The Alter Ego is at the core, and the other 3 strategies create a continuous Prepare-Play-Reflect Process that maximizes your ability to show up as your best self.

Mental Preparation is used before games and practices, the Reset Routine is used during, and the Reflection Process is used after. When you consistently implement these cyclical strategies, it results in an upward spiral in your mindset and performance.

There are also 7 Support Tools that help optimize the 4 Fundamentals. Integrating these tools into your Prepare-Play-Reflect Process will help you overcome your biggest mental blocks.

The key to optimizing your performance identity always comes back to consistently implementing and refining the 4 fundamentals.

This set of tools is key to building the right habits before and after games, as well as away from the arena or field. These habits not only include what to do, but what not to do. For example, frequently checking stats is a common habit athletes need to remove or limit.

These 5 Tools help you manage daily stresses, create effective feedback mechanisms, and build an optimal environment to maximize your mental and physical preparedness for game day.

To support these tools, you also have the option to integrate the most current technologies for elite athletes (e.g., Whoop, Muse, HeartMath).

The final set of tools is the pinnacle of working on your mindset. It helps you be the best leader you can be and positively influence others. These 3 Tools work together to optimize the ‘soft’ skills of leadership.

Most athletes will not start their programs working with these tools, but as they master their performance identity and elite habits, they naturally become better leaders and are primed to tap into these tools.

Hockey Player Case Studies

1-on-1 Coaching Programs for Hockey Players
We work with Youth, Amateur, and Professional Hockey Players

The 1-on-1 coaching sessions are in person, on zoom, or via phone and they are schedule based on your needs and availability. You start with a free 30 minute 1-on-1 intro session, then your coach will recommend which option will be the best fit for you. The first session in your program is generally 1 hour and the remaining sessions are 30 minutes. Here are the options for amateur hockey players:

Try It Out – Risk Free

Start with a free 30 min intro session. Once you choose a program, then we promise that within the first 30-Days you will be satisfied with your program and see results or we will give you a 100% refund. You choose a program that you plan to complete – you are not locked in and can stop at anytime.

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More Hockey Player Case Studies

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FAQ

The results-based commitment means that we will work relentlessly to ensure the athlete is performing at their full capabilities. We do this by maintaining a pulse of the athlete’s mindset through weekly check-ins and going beyond the allotted hours if needed. We take this proactive approach instead of relying on them to message us.

Because of this level of commitment from us, we ONLY select athletes that are highly committed to achieving Consistent Elite Performance into these programs, and once in, athletes are required to meet certain expectations to stay in the program.

Acceleration Days (approximately a 2 hr session) are meant to expedite your journey up the Mindset Mountain. When and how these sessions are used are unique to each athlete and their needs, but generally, they are used for either:

a) Reviewing a recent game performance, where your coach has either watched video prior to the Acceleration Day or has watched you perform live (if possible). In the session, your coach will give you their analysis of your game, particularly in regards to your mindset and body language. This will facilitate important dialogue that will help you achieve optimal performance through better alignment of your mindset and actions.

b) Tackling a meaningful opportunity for growth, such as: develop the fundamentals quickly, help you break through a major mental block, or take a high-level assessment of your overall situation, then narrow down on the greatest opportunities for growth and create a highly detailed plan for development going forward.

The rule of thumb is that our programs are NOT covered under most benefits because Dr. Cassidy Preston & the CEP team of coaches are not clinical psychologists and are not licensed to diagnose or treat mental illness. They are coaches and consultants who help athletes strengthen their mindset, get in the ZONE, and achieve Consistent Elite Performance.