Stick Notes is a psychological memory aid for the thinking part of your hockey game. Psychology 101 says that we can remember 7 to 9 memory items; if we rehearse them frequently.
Has your coach given you instructions before your hockey game? Did you remember those instructions each and every shift? Did you make a game plan before the game? Have you even thought about the most important point once during your game? It is so easy to Not think. You just play. It is so easy to lose concentration.
Below is a Christian Hockey Camps International version of STICK NOTES includes 4 encouraging verses from God’s Word and 10 Stick Notes for Offense and Defense. Plus, there is a white space to make your own notes. That is a lot of Notes for anyone to remember, especially for one hockey game. STICK NOTES will help. But you have to look at them.
Each STICK NOTE on the STICK NOTE patch is described here.
DEFENSE AND OFFENSE
KNOW WHO’S ON THE ICE - You need to know if the other teams best player(s) is on the ice. You don’t want to make a silly mistake because they will make you look silly. Best players are skillful. They can do hockey moves that ordinary players cannot do. Like skate fast, make terrific passes and shoot quickly. You need to know. You need to know who on your own team is on the ice with you. Get the puck to your Go To Player(s). Your best players are also skillful. Remember that.
DECIDE QUICKLY – Move the puck quickly. You team mates need the puck when they need it, not when you are ready to give it to them. Think about that. They may be ready to break over the blue line. They may have beaten their coverage and are breaking up ice. Get the puck to them. Know before hand what you will do with the puck if it comes to you. What you will do if you get the puck, will change moment by moment as players on both teams move about the ice. You have to recompute your next action every few seconds. Do it. Be ready. Make decisions quickly.
MOVE YOUR FEET – Always keep your feet moving. This is one of the most frequent comments that the commentators make about a hockey team:” They weren’t moving their feet.” Remember, you are standing on blades. It is easy to get off balance and be awkward at the worst possible time. Even if you are up on your wing waiting for a pass, keep your feet moving. If you are on the blue line do not stand still, keep your feet moving.
BETWEEN MAN & NET – You have to protect your own net. Don’t let your opposition have unobstructed access to your net. We call that a penalty shot. Stay between your man and your net. Give the opposition all kinds of problems getting to your net. Stay between your man and your net.
GAP CONTROL – Keep the distance between your man and you very short, even if he doesn’t have the puck. If he is covered, his team won’t pass to him. If he does have the puck you will be close enough to bug him and separate him from the puck. Knock the puck off his stick.
STICK IN PASSING LANE – Keep your stick in the passing lane between two of their players. You might redirect the puck or you might intercept a pass. The puck might hit your stick. You could cause a turnover.
GO TO THE NET – The puck has to go through the blue paint in front of the net before it goes into the net. Think about that. So where should you goalscorers be? Be at the net. You will score.
BACK CHECK HARD – Be persistent. Keep trying. Keep on the puck. Strive to beat your man. Don’t let him go when you are chasing him. Follow him and make him get rid of the puck. At least you made him give the puck up. Strive to get into a better position, especially when trying to get into a defensive formation. Back check hard and cover someone.
PUCK UP THE BOARDS – This is the safest pass to make. Pass up the boards to get the puck out of your defensive zone. Avoid passing across your zone especially if opponents are in your zone or on your blue line.
SHOOT THE PUCK – Don’t make that one-two stick handle and then shoot. Receive the puck on a pass and shoot all in one motion. One time those shots that you can. Don’t try to beat one more defense player to get into a better shooting position; especially if you are in the slot. Shoot the puck.
WHEN TO USE YOUR STICK NOTES
Use your STICK NOTES to prepare for your hockey game and while sitting on the bench waiting for your next shift. Assess the flow of the game and review a few of the STICK NOTES that you need to remember to set them in your mind. Then go.
HOW TO USE YOUR STICK NOTES
After a few practices and a few games, you will have internalized many of your STICK NOTES. Pay attention to the coach and add notes that s/he wants you to concentrate on.
Glance quickly at your STICK NOTES. Rehearse them in your mind. Then go. Be consistent. Use your STICK NOTES every game. You will make fewer mistakes.
Your game will indeed improve as you apply your new hockey knowledge.
Have a good game.
The following books are great references on the psychology of hockey.
1. “The Complete Player - The Philosophy of Winning Hockey” by Dr Saul L Miller, Stoddart Publishing Co. Limited
2. “Hockey Tough - A Winning Mental Game”, by Saul L. Miller, Human kinetics
3, “The Mental Athlete - Inner Training for Real Performance in all Sports”, by Kay Porter, Human kinetics.
The Stick Note is a 4 inch by 7 inch patch.
The Stick Note wraps around your stick handle positioned between your gloves.