With your adrenaline pumping and the thrill of your endorphins at play, it’s easy to let them all take over. However, despite how helpful they can be with making that one goal in the game, finding a balance between being a team player and a player on a team is integral to a successful game of hockey.

This makes sportsmanship one of the most important moving parts in the game. When your team is working at its best and functioning for success together, it is clear the positive effects of good sportsmanship are at play.

Achieving quality sportsmanship, however, might seem easier when you aren’t in the heat of the moment. Getting riled up in a sport like hockey is easy to get caught up in and maybe it pushes your endurance, but it could also push away your teammates. Learning how to find your calm in the storm of endorphins buzzing can significantly improve focus and performance in the sport.

Gaining control of your mind is the first step to gaining more control of your body, and will even make your physical control come along more easily.    

When you can achieve a calm mindset, you might become more willing to put yourself in your teammate’s skates for a moment, and to play the game more compassionately and intelligently. Emotional intelligence is without a doubt the key to good sportsmanship in hockey.

Practicing good sportsmanship also promotes self confidence in and outside of the game. By trusting your teammates to be team players, you are teaching yourself to be more open and willing to accept and work with others. This promotes a healthy mentality towards others and a more conscious recognition of their humanity.

All geared up and ready to go into the game, it is easy to forget that the person beneath the helmet is also human, just like you. When you remember that in the end you are all just human, the person on the other team might not seem as intimidating as they used to look. This can help you center yourself and focus on the game instead of the face behind the mask and taking the game personally.

Hockey wouldn’t be a team sport if it could be done by one person. The person to your left is just as important as the person to your right. Working with your fellow teammates on good morale and active sportsmanship can truly change the game, just see it for yourself!