How to Let Go of the Past and Refocus
Have you ever wished you could have a fresh start to your hockey season after your team lost the first few games? Or maybe you had a bad game you just want to forget about?
You can’t go back in time and replay those games. And thinking about those games over and over doesn’t change the results.
But you can wipe the slate clean. The mindset of wiping the slate clean is moving on from past games and starting over. That is the best news for athletes. Even if you played the worst game of your life, you can wipe the slate clean and start anew.
If you have been benched for a few games, you can choose to wipe the slate clean and work your tail off in practice. Being benched the last game is over and done. It’s time to move on.
If you lose a playoff game, you can choose to wipe the slate clean and prepare for the next playoff game. Losing the last game doesn’t mean you will lose the next playoff game. Wipe the slate clean and re-focus on what’s ahead of you and not what happened in the past.
If you fell short of your goals and the season is completely over, you can choose to wipe the slate clean and work hard to improve your skills in the off-season. There’s nothing you can do about the previous season. Wipe the slate clean, let go of the past, and focus on what you need to do in the present to lift your game to the next level.
“Wiping the slate clean” is a two-step method:
(1) letting go of the past and (2) refocusing on the process instead of outcomes.
“Wiping the slate clean” is how Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Carter Hart is approaching the 2021 off-season.
The 22-year-old Hart was 9-11-5 in 27 games during the 2020-21 season. Statistically, Hart was one of the least effective goalies in the NHL.
Complicating matters, Hart missed the last 13 games of the season due to a knee injury.
Teammate center Kevin Hayes stated the team has a lot of confidence in Hart’s abilities and recognizes how hard he works.
HAYES: “I think [Hart will] get away from the rink, reset and figure out his best way to go about getting back to where he was.”
Hart sees the past season as a learning experience and feels the off-season is an opportunity to rest, reset and prepare for the next season.
HART: “I think going forward, this is only going to help me with my career going into next season. Have a great summer of training, and I’ll be ready for next year. I’m looking forward to having a clean slate next year.”
At any point in time, you can wipe the slate clean and start over. Wiping the slate clean is a choice that you make to let go of past outcomes and refocus on aspects of your game that will improve your performance next time.
Tip for Wiping the Slate Clean:
On a white board, write down parts of your game that were not up to the level of your play such as mistakes, missed opportunities, or break downs in your game.
Wipe the whiteboard clean, then write down what you need to do to play better; stay focused on the ice, be more aggressive for loose pucks, shoot the puck instinctively, etc. your shots.
Every game is an opportunity to start all over.
Related Articles on Hockey Mental Game:
- Be Ready when Your Number is Called
- How Hockey Players Cope with Difficult Conditions
- Hockey Players That Worry Too Much
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