As an avid hockey family, we pretty much eat, breathe and sleep hockey. It's not a sport, it's a way of life. So it's no surprise that the long-awaited Olympic event in our household was USA vs. Russia in ice hockey. That the game was a 2:2 tie at the end of the game was exciting. A round of overtime did nothing to change the score on the board.
It was time for a shoot-out. And that is when we sat in amazement. Not that a young man was asked multiple times to perform in a shoot-out while millions watched, but that a young man did so with what seemed to be the greatest of ease.
Most know it was years of practice, years of trying, years of perfecting that brought him to this place. But, it was much, much more than that. It required another element that served this young man well...and a trait that can be developed in all kids. Positive thinking.
You could see it in his smile. Behind that helmet, you could catch a glimpse of his eyes lighting up. In his mind, it was just him and the goalie. And he was about to have some fun. He was up for the challenge. It was just as much a head-game as it was skill, training and talent. It was the power of positive thinking.
The Power of Positive Thinking
In our family, we imagined what TJ Oshie might have been thinking to himself as he geared up to take each shot. He had a look of excitement mixed with near relaxation. It's an oxymoron, I know, yet he seemed to possess equal parts of both.
Here's what we imagined Oshie might have been saying to himself in his head:
"I got this!"
"This is fun!"
"I can't wait to get my signal to go!"
"It's you and me, goalie. Just you and me!"
"This is the moment I've been waiting for!"
"I was born to do this!"
"It's about to go down!"
Now, we have absolutely no scientific research to support this, but we can imagine that Oshie was keeping it positive. It's what anyone must do when they want to persevere, rise above, continue to do their best...no matter what. A constant barrage of positive thinking beats a constant barrage of negative thinking any day. Wouldn't you agree?
What This Hockey Game Can Teach All Kids
Hockey, or any other Olympic sport, offers a ripe opportunity for us to discuss determination, perseverance and the power of positive thinking with our kids. Don't let those opportunities slip by. Imagine out loud with your kids what highly trained athletes are thinking about and get a little silly!
Be sure to ask them also:
"How does thinking positive help people perform better?"
"What happens when people think negative?"
"When do you need to up your positive thinking?"
"How can I help you work on positive thoughts? Should we write them down? Should we make a little poster of them? Where should we hang your positive thoughts?"
Remember, these positive thinking skills will come to bear on every area of your child's life, not just sports. It will assist him in academics, friendships, relationships and help build confidence and belief in himself. Our inner dialogues are that important.
These conversations can be had days and even weeks after the events you watch on the Olympics (or other television programs) with your kids. Take the opportunity cull life lessons from programs you watch with your children. Amazing things can happen!
A picture of my friend of 25+ years and me
in a hockey rink tonight. Her son's/my Godson's team,
were victorious over the Soo Thunderbirds.
I wonder how much positive thinking was
going on there?
Even his shirt is positive! My Godson, pictured with his parents,
after their victory over the #1 Ranked Team in their division!
Way to go Gold Miners!