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NHL psychologist: pessimists have no place in the team. What can help in the playoffs?

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NHL psychologist: pessimists have no place in the team. What can help in the playoffs?

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David, how did you end up on the Montreal Cadiens booth? The Czech environment is not very fond of a psychologist entering the cockpit in close proximity to players and coaches. Quite often, cooperation begins and ends on the basis of individual conversations with the players. Any advice on how to get through?
“He has two levels. I think that, generally speaking, this is also a mistake on the part of psychologists who could not really explain to the players and coaches what they can and what they do. Most people think that the psychologist is here because something it’s not like there’s a stigma: look, there must be something wrong with a fighter if they need a psychologist!But we’re here to create the right atmosphere, culture and help create a positive environment.For example, I’ll just say it briefly so you have an idea : we try not to say NO to each other. Don’t do it, don’t go there, don’t shoot from there at the goal, etc. On the contrary, it can be expressed positively: do it like this, drive back and forth, because it is beneficial for you and the team, shoot from this place because you have more chances to score, for example. The next thing we try to do is set goals.”

How do you prepare for the first meeting with a club owner, general mager or coach?
“It is important that someone recommend you. This is how it works everywhere. You should then be able to present your plan within 30 minutes, specifically what you can do to help the players. How can they improve with your help. Everything is interconnected and in the end we all care. Score more goals, win more often and succeed in the playoffs. After all, this is the task of the player, coach, masseur and, of course, the psychologist. I’m not with the team to pat him on the back. My work is simple. For players to perform at a high level. Again and again. The beauty of sports is that you are rewarded for good results. But it takes a lot of effort, sacrifice, determition, and you have to go through the process.”


Profession: sports psychologist
Born: 11/17/1963
Currently: Department of Kinesiology, University of New Brunswick, NHL Partner of the Montreal Cadiens (since 2010)
Who has he also collaborated with: Philadelphia Flyers (Roger Nielson), Vancouver Canucks (Mark Crawford), Florida Panthers (Mike Keen, Jacques Martin, Peter DeBoer), with clubs in the AHL, QMJHL, OHL and VHL, in Europe (Lugano, Friborg , Ingolstadt), with the Cadian swimming, gymstics (men), archery and bowling teams, the West Indies and Bermuda cricket teams, with individual athletes (athletics, tennis, fencing, football, basketball, volleyball, synchronized swimming , figure skating, skiing, equestrianism, curling, golf)

Once this is done and you become part of the team as a psychologist, how often do you meet with the players? And do your meetings have order and a regular rhythm?
“This is important to understand. My job is to train and develop psychic abilities. To be specific, I start the season with young players in Laval and we talk about the process. Then I sit down with each player individually for about 10-15 minutes. Then i go with them every month so we can get to know each other better if anyone has a problem with a girl no no this is the place for another psychologist im here to make them work better i will visit the cadiens team about seven times during the season.”

Is it possible to prepare specifically for the end of the match, for the situation of playing without a goalkeeper, six on five or five on six?
“Of course they can. But there’s a catch. Coaches and players prefer to win 4-0 or 5-2 during the season. So that they don’t get nervous and calm. But for the playoffs, they should rather want to win 2-1 or play 2 :2, and then try to win 3:2 in extra time, which means that only many years of experience as a player and coach will be able to sufficiently carry you through these difficult moments, you will acquire a routine, you are stable and even under pressure are able to show that you really you have something.”

How do you prepare the team for the playoffs? Will you have special advice, would you recommend doing something differently?
“Not at all. You need to train well all year round, approach each match one hundred percent, gradually automate everything, acquire habits and daily routines. Then, it’s playoff time, you don’t need to do anything else. A skydiver must also responsibly pack his parachute and jump whether it’s september or may It’s the same in hockey you should test and automate all activities if possible

Source: E15

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