I find it interesting that almost all hockey coaches want their players to be more aggressive. What exactly do they mean by more aggressive? When you look at the individual styles of players on the ice, almost all professional hockey players are aggressive, but not necessarily physically aggressive. Take one of the greatest players to ever play the game, Wayne Gretzky. Everyone can agree that he was one of the most aggressive players ever to play the game, but he was as far from physically aggressive as you can get. Can you imagine how successful Wayne Gretzky's careere would have been had he been forced to be more like his teammate Dave Semenko?
Every player has their own personality and as a player or coach, increasing aggressiveness within the players personality is what you want to achieve. Trying to turn a Gretzky into a Semenko and expect to get good results is a recipe for failure but you can significantly increase the level of aggressiveness in the appropriate ways through mental toughness training.
Coaching in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada for the last 12 years I have seen this desire for aggressiveness both succeed but most often fail because the cause is not being addressed. Learning to play FEARLESS is the key to success. As with many sports performance issues, the heart of the problem tends to be fear. Fear can present itself with many different faces, worry, anxiety, doubt, tension, nervousness, scared, timid, indecision, procrastination, lack of confidence, etc. If you individually look at each one of those, can see how all of them could present themselves as lack of aggressiveness? At the heart of all of those symptoms is fear. That’ right, FEAR. If you want to play fearless, you must eliminate the fear! Once the underlying fear is identified, we can plug it into the mental toughness formulas that we use (Performance = Potential - Interference and R.A.C.E.) to address and eliminate the fear that is creating mental blocks, self limiting beliefs and negative performance issues.
If you, someone you know or someone you coach are wanting to increase their aggressiveness in game situations, fire me an email right now while you are thinking about it or call me and we can talk about how you this will get you playing fearless and achieve your aggressiveness goal
Ken Ansell - Your Mental Toughness Trainer