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Nostradanglus 11-07-2007 07:31 AM

On not being a spectator
 
So this is a big sports psychology question I have been struggling with for some time.

I have played a heap of sports, but in each one, particulary in team sports, I find I become more of a passive player than an active one. Its like I become Woody Allen, with a million thoughts running through my mind and with little action to follow it.

For example, in a defensive situation, I know where I am meant to be, but instead of being there I am thinking of being there and just end up watching the play instead. It reminds me of that scene in the Matrix where Neo and Morpheus are sparring and Morpheus says "stop trying to hit me and hit me!"

Its the kind of feeling a player gets when they aren't experienced, but even in games that I have played and have been comfortable with for years (such as rugby) it can still happen to me.

I just want to blank my mind, pull my finger out and get the friggin play done.

Has anyone else had this sort of persistent problem? And if so, what have you done to alleviate it?

:help:

Nizdizzle 11-07-2007 08:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by WORDMARK (Post 11101734)
So this is a big sports psychology question I have been struggling with for some time.

I have played a heap of sports, but in each one, particulary in team sports, I find I become more of a passive player than an active one. Its like I become Woody Allen, with a million thoughts running through my mind and with little action to follow it.

For example, in a defensive situation, I know where I am meant to be, but instead of being there I am thinking of being there and just end up watching the play instead. It reminds me of that scene in the Matrix where Neo and Morpheus are sparring and Morpheus says "stop trying to hit me and hit me!"

Its the kind of feeling a player gets when they aren't experienced, but even in games that I have played and have been comfortable with for years (such as rugby) it can still happen to me.

I just want to blank my mind, pull my finger out and get the friggin play done.

Has anyone else had this sort of persistent problem? And if so, what have you done to alleviate it?

:help:

Honestly, it just sounds to me like the game hasn't slowed down enough to you, which is usually due to inexperience, but you say that this happens in sports you've played for years too? Well, not sure what to say but tough luck :(

ShowmeHawks 11-07-2007 10:19 AM

It kinda sounds to me like you're just being lazy. I don't mean it in a bad way, because I'm that way too sometimes. In the words of Nike...just do it.

Nostradanglus 11-07-2007 10:50 AM

Hah, it probably has alot to do with laziness.

But the funny thing is that when I am in a one-on-one situation I dont think at all and work my tail off to beat the other person to the puck/ball.

Maybe I get lazy in a group situation, or maybe the simplicity of those one-on-one's just makes it easy for me to react quicker.

ShowmeHawks 11-07-2007 03:06 PM

React quicker or react at all? I think I'm having some trouble understanding what is really going on here.

Jarick 11-07-2007 03:41 PM

I hear you, when I first started league play again last month, I felt like I was watching my line and team lose constantly. I ended up having to slow down physically to keep up with the rest of the line, which helped me feel like I was part of the action. Also, reviewing video really seemed to help as well.

The book Hockey Tough recommends to have ABC's for each zone/situation. You right down and draw the three most important things you have to do on the ice, and repeat over and over. So for me, my ABC's are:

A - Stay in position
B - Move my feet
C - Communicate with my teammates

Just repeat over and over and over until you find yourself doing those things on the ice without thinking. I think if you can identify the things you need to do and make strides towards them, you should feel more a part of what's going on. And if you don't, perhaps the pace is too fast or slow for you?

MikeD 11-07-2007 07:11 PM

1. KEEP YOUR FEET MOVING
2. Dont THINK....DO

I am betting when your are being a "spectator" your not moving. Keep the feet going/skating.

Sorry but its the only advice I can offer.

Marconius 11-07-2007 07:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by WORDMARK (Post 11103552)
Hah, it probably has alot to do with laziness.

But the funny thing is that when I am in a one-on-one situation I dont think at all and work my tail off to beat the other person to the puck/ball.

Maybe I get lazy in a group situation, or maybe the simplicity of those one-on-one's just makes it easy for me to react quicker.

Simple sports psychology, my friend. In a one-on-one situation you know that you're the only guy who can make the play , so you drive yourself to do it. In a multiple player scenario, there is a natural tendency to assume other players will make the play.

Think about how a player splits a pair of defencemen in soccer or hockey. Each defenceman assumes the aother will step up to make the play and the offensive player blows right through them.

So while it is understandable, only you know the motivation:

- a 'respect' for the other players, giving them the right of way to make the play, especially prevalent in 'rookies'

-maybe, like you mentioned, too many x-factors in play....too many unknowns

- maybe you just need a break from sports in general, try some other hobbies

- straight up laziness, even

sc37 11-07-2007 08:14 PM

Well sometimes you do spectate cause your just plain playing your position. Don't always feel the need to be near the puck, you need to learn to play without it.

But when you do watch, like some have said keep moving and get open or at least in a spot where you could be of help when it's needed.

XweekendwarriorX 11-07-2007 10:20 PM

I sign songs to myself to keep me from over thinking and i alwayswind up where i need to be and or should be been doing it since i was 5 idk why i do it but it helps me concentrate on the play and just somethings to cool to do.

Nostradanglus 11-08-2007 03:29 AM

Thanks for all the responses. They have been very helpful.

Quote:

- a 'respect' for the other players, giving them the right of way to make the play, especially prevalent in 'rookies'
This is ringing alot of bells, especially in hockey situations. I expect more experienced players to make the play, even if they are a few feet further away from it. But come to think of it, its pretty idiotic to expect someone else to do your job for you.

Quote:

1. KEEP YOUR FEET MOVING
2. Dont THINK....DO
I guess thats exactly what it boils down to and should really come with experience in hockey (Ive only been playing it for a few months. ).

Quote:

A - Stay in position
B - Move my feet
C - Communicate with my teammates
This seems like a really good place to start. Since I've always only played pick-up, it is hard to try to learn these things in a game situation where you can't focus on specific game scenarios. I'll keep studying situations and write down my options in them, and hopefully that will start to translate into my game.

Quote:

I sign songs to myself to keep me from over thinking
:biglaugh: Thats awesome! In your head or under your breath? In either case, putting your mind away like that must really help with making crisp decisions.

Thanks once again

MikeD 11-09-2007 12:28 AM

One word of advice regarding mistakes/making bad choices....

When we participate or act we can have two outcomes. Success or Mistake. When we succeed, we learn. When we make a mistake, we learn. When you fail to act, you learn nothing. Mistakes have value, provided they are not repeated, over and over. Watching others to learn the game is best done from the bench or the bleechers. When in your shift ACT.

As you learn the game you will make mistakes. As long as your learning from them and not repeating, dont worry about it and dont beat yourself up over it. Never let fear of failure or mistake prevent you from action. I just thought I would throw that out there just in case. Doubt it(Fear) applies to you but it might provide an eye opener to another reader.

Ulic 11-09-2007 02:15 AM

If I read your description right, you're experiencing a habitual breaking of your mind-body complex. Essentially, the constant action of team sports (the fast pace of hockey in particular) causes you to drift off in a way.

For the highest level of athlete, there is no thought, just action. This is because though experience all decisions have become reflex; a complete unity of body and mind in a sense.

The specific flow of hockey causes you to drift off as you watch the play and therefore become dissociated with the action itself.

My main recommendation would be to meditate. You need to strengthen your realization of body and mind as one. I would sit comfortably in one spot with the lights off. Just close your eyes and focus on slow, deep breaths. Make sure there is nothing to distract you and just hold this position and continue breathing in and out. At the same time only think about your breath. Make it your entire focus. If you do this for around an hour it should help.



....also make sure you're getting enough sleep before the game. Sleep is some of the strongest factors in sport performance but one of the easiest to fix. Go to bed early and eat well on game days. It will help.

Nostradanglus 11-09-2007 04:38 AM

Quote:

One word of advice regarding mistakes/making bad choices....

When we participate or act we can have two outcomes. Success or Mistake. When we succeed, we learn. When we make a mistake, we learn. When you fail to act, you learn nothing. Mistakes have value, provided they are not repeated, over and over. Watching others to learn the game is best done from the bench or the bleechers. When in your shift ACT.

As you learn the game you will make mistakes. As long as your learning from them and not repeating, dont worry about it and dont beat yourself up over it. Never let fear of failure or mistake prevent you from action. I just thought I would throw that out there just in case. Doubt it(Fear) applies to you but it might provide an eye opener to another reader.
Very true. Fear of failure does weigh into many actions (or lack thereof) that I make, not just in sports terms.

Quote:

If I read your description right, you're experiencing a habitual breaking of your mind-body complex. Essentially, the constant action of team sports (the fast pace of hockey in particular) causes you to drift off in a way.

For the highest level of athlete, there is no thought, just action. This is because though experience all decisions have become reflex; a complete unity of body and mind in a sense.

The specific flow of hockey causes you to drift off as you watch the play and therefore become dissociated with the action itself.

My main recommendation would be to meditate. You need to strengthen your realization of body and mind as one. I would sit comfortably in one spot with the lights off. Just close your eyes and focus on slow, deep breaths. Make sure there is nothing to distract you and just hold this position and continue breathing in and out. At the same time only think about your breath. Make it your entire focus. If you do this for around an hour it should help.



....also make sure you're getting enough sleep before the game. Sleep is some of the strongest factors in sport performance but one of the easiest to fix. Go to bed early and eat well on game days. It will help.
Wow....I wasnt expecting to see a post like this on a hockey forum, but it definitely rings very true. Its great to see hockey stereotypes broken like this.

Stilling your mind has alot to do with performance in any life situation. And you are right, the people at the highest tier of whatever they do do not have to think. They just act. In Japan, one of the biggest achievements in any martial art is 'no-dachi', which means 'no mind'. Acting through instinct and reflex is what the greats aspire to do. And you have to still your mind to achieve it.

I have always wanted to make daily time for meditation, maybe its time to ACT and not think about doing it lol.

Once again, thanks to all who have responded. It has far been very eye-opening and is a testament to a forum such as this.

Phoenix 11-09-2007 05:03 AM

Yeah - I think thats one of my biggest problems - I think too much about how to do things. They say that's one of the reasons why adults are much slower to learn sports - because we think before we act whereas kids act then think.
And its also a symptom of my job - thinking :D


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