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More Than Stick Handling?

You've got it down. The hours of practice, replicating the moves from those online tutorials & summer camps, helping you master each twist and turn of the stick. Yet, when game time arrives, the points don’t seem to follow. Have you ever wondered why this is such a common thing?

1. **Game Situations Vary**: What works in practice or controlled environments may not always translate directly to a fast-paced game in a high pressure situation. The unpredictability of opponents, teammates' movements, and the dynamic play can create scenarios that weren't practiced.

2. **Hockey IQ Matters**: It's one thing to have skill, but understanding the game is equally vital. Knowing when to pass versus when to drive forward, anticipating where the puck will be, or reading the opponent's strategy can be the difference between a missed opportunity and a goal. Stay tuned for more on Hockey IQ in my 'Beneath the Surface' course coming up!

3. **Teamwork is Key**: Hockey isn't a solo sport. Even the best stick handlers need a team that moves cohesively, creating opportunities and spaces for each other. It's essential to build chemistry with your teammates and understand everyone's strengths and weaknesses. Expanding your own skill set to shore up a weakness might seem trivial, but that can allow you to unlock more of your teammates abilities, and vice-versa.

4. **Pressure and Nerves**: Sometimes, the pressure of a real game, with cheering crowds and the weight of expectations, can get to players. This might make you second-guess, hesitate, or rush, impacting your natural game flow. Practicing sport-specific visualization & mental imagery of the game can do wonders for getting used to these feelings in non-pressure environments.

5. **Adapting to Defenses**: Opponents study and adapt. They might have identified you as a threat and could be marking you more closely, making it harder to execute those perfect moves. It's a good thing in the big picture...but can be frustrating if you aren't ready for it.

It's fantastic that you've mastered stick handling like the pros in videos. But remember, the real magic happens when you combine that skill with game understanding, adaptability, and teamwork. Keep learning, stay adaptable, and soon, those game points will come flooding in.

Ready to learn more about how we develop these skills off-the-ice to improve your abilities on it?

Check out our Elite In-Season Programs, here:

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