Having a Positive Mindset as The Underdog
There are many underdog scenarios in which you can find yourself in hockey.
Some examples of being the underdog are:
- Playing against the defending champions or divisional winners.
- Facing off against a team with a better record.
- Going against a team with more experience or speed.
- Playing a team on a winning streak.
- Competing against a team stacked with great finesse players.
There are also some circumstances surrounding your team that can cause you to be underdogs, such as:
- Having a young squad.
- Being beset by injuries.
- Coming off a bad year.
- Changes in coaching staff or team turnover.
- Losing key players for the entire season.
No matter the circumstances, being the underdog should not seal your fate or guarantee a loss. If you head into the game with the right mindset, you can pull off the upset… It may not be easy but it CAN be done.
What mindsets can you adopt as an underdog?
- Pessimistic Mindset – In this mindset, negativity runs rampant. When you are pessimistic as an underdog, you believe you have no chance at all… You see the opposing team as a powerhouse, so why even try.
- Optimistic Mindset – In this positive mindset, you understand what you are up against… You know you will have to claw your way to victory but you have the nothing-to-lose attitude. This optimistic mindset is motivating… It lights a fire under the team. When you believe you have a chance, you will ramp up your efforts in order to increase your chances for success.
The Vegas Golden Knights are an NHL expansion team made up of players who were left unprotected by the other teams in the league and assembled through the expansion draft.
The Golden Knights also have lost three goalies to injury and have started four different goaltenders in only 21 games. The Golden Knights are the definition of underdog.
There is one problem with labeling the Golden Knights as underdogs… The team has used that perception to their advantage.
In 21 games, the Golden Knights have scrapped and clawed their way to a 14-6-1 record and the top spot in the Pacific Division.
The Golden Knights are on target to destroy the 1993-94 Florida Panthers’ record for most wins (33) and points (83) by an expansion franchise.
Golden Knights forward Erik Haula talked about the benefit of being the underdog.
HAULA: “I hope they treat us like lesser of a team. We’re OK with that. We’re OK with the underdog role for the whole season. We’re trying to outwork teams and prove a point to everybody that we’re all good players. It’s been a lot of fun. We have a great group.”
You can use that underdog status to your advantage by arming yourself with a positive mindset and a determined work ethic.
Try This Tip When Being the Underdog:
When you are the underdog, know you have nothing to lose.
Most people think you will lose but, if you don’t accept that as a likely consequence, you can surprise your opponents and tilt the balance in your favor.
In sum, embrace being the underdog! And make sure your go into the game with high confidence…
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