Sunday, March 20, 2011

Kings vs Ducks: Going Mental

Players and coaches alike talk about the demands of an 82 game hockey season, and that the difference between winning and losing this time of the year is often between the ears.  This is the point in the season where bodies start to ache.  Time starts running out.  Pressure builds.  Doubt and fear can set in.

It's the same way for fans.  When you've seen your team through the highs and lows of a long season, patterns emerge.  You sit there watching a game unfold and remember the last time it looked like what you're seeing on the ice at the moment.   You start to see the outcome before the game is even over, because you've seen it over and over already.  Your heart lifts with a tying goal, and then the fear sets in because you see how much time is left.  Earlier in the season, you would have optimistically said "Plenty of hockey left!"  Now you're looking at the same clock, saying "God I hope we find another goal soon."

When your hopes are finally dashed by a villan, you're spent.  You want to be violently angry, but instead you just feel tired and defeated.  You just watched another opportunity get squandered.   At the beginning of the season, it would have been "We'll get these guys next time."  Now you're thinking, "Am I watching us play ourselves out of the play-off and letting THESE jokers in?"


This is the part of the season where the only thing that keeps a team winning -- and fans cheering-- is to stay focused and dig deep.  This is the part where faith comes in.  The choice to believe isn't a logical one, it's an emotional one.  We know in our hearts this team can win.  We ALL just need to believe.

Next up...the Calgary Flames.  Monday.  Staples Center.  Be there with your heart on your sleeve.


No comments:

Post a Comment