The Importance of Your Game-Time Mindset


USA Hockey Team’s “Gold Medal Mentality”

What separates those who succeed and those who fall short of their goals in hockey?

Talent? Of course, talent is necessary to accomplish goals but there are countless talented hockey players who fall well short of their potential.

Speed? Being fast is certainly an asset but if you are not aggressive, then speed is not much of an advantage.

Size? Being physically stronger than your opponent can benefit your game but if you don’t outwork your opponent then you lose that edge.

So if it is not talent, speed or size that separates those who are successful and those who fall short of their goals, then what makes the biggest difference for hockey players?

The Difference-Maker is your Mindset or How you Approach Each Game

If your mindset is to play aggressively and keep pushing forward, no matter the situation, score, game or opponent until the final whistle, you will achieve much more.

The U.S. women’s hockey team has relied on their ‘gold medal mentality’ during their chase for the gold at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games.

Team USA defeated Finland in the semifinals, 5-0, to land in the gold medal game against their rivals, Canada. U.S. coach Robb Stauber credited the team’s mindset after the semifinal.

STAUBER: “You had to have a gold-medal mentality today. There’s no way you can go out there and do what we did if your foot’s not on the gas. We did things right from start to finish.”

Arch-rival Canada has not lost an Olympic hockey game in 20 years, winning every Olympic gold medal since 2002.

Canada beat the U.S. 2-1 in a preliminary round contest and also defeated the U.S. in the last two gold medal Olympic Games including the Sochi Games where USA blew a late 2-0 lead and lost in overtime 3-2.

USA forward Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson won’t allow the past to affect the present. Lamoureux-Davidson’s mentality is full-steam ahead. The U.S. women’s hockey team is heading into battle with a whatever-it-takes mentality.

LAMOUREUX-DAVIDSON: “We’re super excited to be in this position again. We worked four years to put ourselves in position to compete for a gold medal and we’ll enjoy this for a little bit, but we know that this isn’t what we came here for. We’re ready to go to battle in a couple days.”

Gold Medal Mindset:

  • I’ll focus on our team’s strengths and our strategy for this game.
  • I’ll refocus my mind after mistakes and more forward no matter what happens in the game.
  • I’ll fight until the last whistle of the game.
  • I’ll choose to play aggressively, not tentatively.

The right mindset often wins when talent, speed, strength and size are equal.

Winning the gold requires that you play with a ‘gold medal mentality.’

Start today with learning how to control your focus

Related Sports Psychology Articles:

Free Mental Toughness Reports

Get instant access to a mental game report to improve your mental toughness. Are you making one or more of these “deadly” mental game mistakes prior to competition? You can improve your mental game with one of our free sports-specific reports below.

with our free mental toughness reports, you’ll:

  • Discover if you have positive or negative pregame jitters.
  • Identify your pre-competition mental game mistakes.
  • Learn the important pregame mental skills to boost your performance and success!

Learn how mental game strategies can boost your mental toughness in sports with Dr. Cohn’s free mental game reports!

Leave a Comment