Hockey Confidence



yeah, I know, confidence is important all the time, but right now teams are looking to finalize their spot in the playoffs and teams will need to ratchet up their play another notch or two if they want to go far in the playoffs … the point is, confidence is important, yeah, but it’s super important right now.

and that goes for everyone on the team … players, coaches, team managers, parents … group confidence like this creates a field of energy that players can use on the ice … they feel a little stronger, they work a little harder, and they battle a little longer … never underestimate the power of the energy of confidence in and around a team.

so what do I mean when I say confidence … well, its that little voice in your head that says you can do it … or that you can’t … when it says you can, then that’s your confidence talking … but when it says you can’t, then that's your lack of confidence.

you see, a lack of confidence is that same voice in your head but this time it’s being a jerk and telling you that you either can’t do it or you’ll probably screw up or fail horribly.

the thing about that little voice is that it’s not always very helpful – sure, when it’s being nice, telling you nice things, telling you things that you want to hear, things that move you forward, then yes, it’s pretty awesome .. and that’s when our confidence is booming.

but what about when it’s being a jerk? … telling you that you don’t have the skill or experience or ability or knowledge or just saying you suck.

let me tell you a little secret about this little jerk voice … its actually trying to protect you … protect you from failure, embarrassment, humiliation … it’s being your buddy and trying to convince you that if you don’t try, you can’t fail and if you don’t fail you’re not a loser.

geez, thanks …

the way to eliminate lack of confidence is to stop listening to that jerk voice and pay attention to the confident voice

so how do you do that? … well, for one, let the jerk voice say whatever it wants, and then you just smile at it and say. “well, that might be true (what you said), but I’m going to do it anyway.

when you recognize that the voice isn’t you … it’s just words and language outside of you … I usually try to put a face on it … maybe pick a cartoon villain character or something … and then when I hear those words in my head, I picture that jerk evil dude standing next to me … a couple of feet away actually … talking to me and trying to keep me from growing and expanding and becoming more than I am right now … and I just smile at it and say “thanks for your input, but I’m going to do it anyway”

you see, when you make that little voice separate from you, then you start to see that they are just words .. words that may or may not be true, but words nonetheless … and I know that you’re someone who isn’t going to hide from the hard stuff … you’re going to lean into it and give it everything you got.

so, yeah, confidence is really huge in the second half of the season and super important in the playoffs … so I suggest right now that you pay attention to the voices in your head, and when they’re supportive and positive … use that energy and confidence, and drive, and commitment to be the best player you can be.

but when it’s negative, and gloom and doom, and you feel your confidence being pressed down … well, this is when I want you to put a face on that jerk voice … look it in the eye, and say … you know what … I appreciate you trying to keep me safe … but I have things to do and right now, you’re not helping me … and then I want you to focus your energy and confidence, and drive, and commitment to be the best player you can be.

how do you do that? … well, skate, shoot, backcheck, forecheck, hunt pucks, battle in the corner … it’s about getting really serious about the skills it takes to play hockey and then executing those skills at a high level … it’s about taking your compete level up a couple of notches and outworking the other guy!

I know this is easier to describe than do … you know we all have that little voice that makes us feel like we’re not quite good enough … but you need to be willing to look it in the eye … prove to your self that it’s not you … its just words in your head.

at the end of the day, confidence feels like a feeling or a thought … but its really all about action … confidence is doing … it’s doing it in spite of what might happen … it’s saying … you know what, I can do this … and I will do this … just watch me!

try it … it works … next time you feel your confidence sagging, pick out the words in your head that are making you think that way, picture those words coming out of the mouth of an evil jerk face gremlin, and then you just smile … say thanks for the input, but I’ve got work to do.

want to learn more about ways to boost confidence, raise your compete level, improve your focus, drive, and motivation.

head over to and check out all of the training I have to offer … a bunch of stuff is free, so head on over and check it out.

I’m Kevin Willis, aka, Dr. Dub, … now get out there and get your confidence on!

Kevin L. Willis, PhD
Sport Psychologist
Level 5 USA Hockey Coach

Focus Clarity Compete Level Grit Confidence Resilience Preparation