How Best to Retaliate

Contributed by Tara St. John (Truro, NS)

IT IS SO EASY for anyone to lose their temper, as I am sure everyone has done this at one point in their lives.

On the ice, it is much easier to lose your temper in the heat of the moment, when the other team is on a power play, when someone takes the puck from you, or when someone gives you a nice hard hit! In less than a second our instinct is to retaliate, and hit back, or say something completely unnecessary.

By doing this we have let our opponent know that they have control, they got a reaction out of us, and now they know how they can get to us! So, if we hit our opponent we will get a penalty, which puts our team in jeopardy. If our top players lose control and hit a 3rd or 4th line player on the other team, guess who still has the advantage? The other team
They still have their top players on the ice scoring goals, while one of our top players is sitting in the penalty box.

Sounds like a great strategy on their part, but only if our player allows it!

Let’s back up a moment, and think! If we let them hit us, and laugh and skate away, what type of effect would that have on our opponent? Well, it would let them know that they will not win this way, and we will not lose control, but focus on the task at hand, which is scoring goals.

By thinking about the scoreboard and deciding that that is the overall goal and how you can annihilate your opponent with less than a word or a touch, you can refocus.

Remember to stay in control, and focus on the game, because the only way to win is to put the puck in the net, and you can’t do that from a penalty box!

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