Momentum Changes in Hockey
Momentum is critical to your hockey team’s success. When your team feels like you’ve got momentum, you feel everything going for you. Your team can’t make a bad play or miss a shot on goal. You play fearlessly. Momentum in hockey keeps your confidence high and the puck out of your end of the ice.
However, momentum in hockey doesn’t always go your way. Sometimes, your team can lose momentum after making a mistake or mental error. When this happens, it can be difficult to regain your momentum.
When your team loses momentum, you might start to doubt yourself and think negatively, focusing on your mistakes. Are you still beating yourself up over a missed shot on net or bad pass? When you start to think negatively, it’s much harder to regain your momentum.
Coach Dan Bylsma of the Pittsburg Penguins knows all about changes in momentum.
“I think [momentum] is a big part of the playoffs in general. There’s momentum in those games. There’s riding the wave in periods, getting goals, getting two-goal leads and keeping teams down, that’s a big part of the playoffs.”
“It’s such a great spectator sport because of that, those emotion rides, because of the mentality of teams. You know, winning a game and then forcing the next game, those are big, big factors in every playoff series. Every playoff series you can talk about them,” said Bylsma.
What can you do when you lose momentum?
Ride the wave. To regain momentum you have to start somewhere. Think of each shift as a new opportunity for success. As each new opportunity comes along, keep a positive mindset. Have the faith that your next attempt on goal is going to turn the tide. A shift in confidence is all that it takes for you to regain momentum.
Once you find that you’ve got momentum on your side, keep playing aggressively to keep momentum. You don’t want to protect your lead. Realize your aggressive play helped you get into your current position. Continue your fearless performance.
The bottom line: you’ll probably experience changes in momentum during a hockey game. You’ll want to hang onto your momentum by playing aggressively. If you lose momentum, don’t fret. Think positively and wait for the next opportunity to snatch back momentum.