PLAYER TIPS: How to determine what area (s) of your hockey game needs improvement


Optimal preparation for a new hockey season finds its ‘beginning point’ in self-evaluation of a past hockey season to determine where you are at in terms of your hockey performance and what you want to improve. This Players Tips article looks at the implementation of a self-evaluation of your hockey performance and from the findings how to set your goal(s).

Self-evaluation process


Don’t rely solely on memory to evaluate your performance from a past hockey season.  Using a self-evaluation tool measures your performance strengths, identifies your weaknesses and provides insight into your opportunities for improvement, whether it’s technical, tactical, physical or psychological. Then seek out the right plan or resource to coach you or for you to self-employ to improve.

Below is an adapted self-evaluation tool for you to utilise. You may complete this process with a trusted friend or family member or coach who knows your hockey game



Use the following graded system to evaluate your hockey performance

5 – Excellent 4 – Very Good 3 – Satisfactory 2- Fairly Poor 1 – Very Poor

Mindset qualities:

  1. _______Visual Awareness –  notice environmental information, pick up on cues,    placement of team members and opponents when competing
  2. _______Confidence – trust in yourself and your skills
  3. _______Drive – motivated to consistently do your best
  4. _______Execution – follow through to completion
  5. _______Focus – Ability to maintain presence on the task at hand
  6. _______Position – knowledge about your role and responsibilities
  7. _______Team player – Putting the team first
  8. _______Instinct – ability to predict an action and trust gut feelings
  9. _______Strategy – seeing the big picture
  10. _______Risk – taking calculated chances
  11. _______Commitment – readiness to do whatever’s necessary to excel
  12. _______Resilience – shift tactics as necessary
  13. _______Initiative. Self-starter. Do things before others.
  14. _______Coach-able. Receptive to feedback.

Improvement questions:

  1. What’s your reason for playing in your hockey? What do I value?
  2. Name 3 physical strengths that help you in your hockey?
  3. Name 3 psychological strengths that help you in your hockey?
  4. Name 3 areas for physical improvement.
  5. How can you strengthen these skills?
  6.  Identify 3 areas of your mental game that you’d like to improve, e.g., self-confidence, game preparation.
  7. How can you strengthen these mental game skills?
  8. What was your biggest accomplishment last season?
  9. Do I balance my hockey time with other areas of my life?
  10. Do I give back to the game of hockey, e.g., coaching, administration, volunteering, participating in team/club functions?


What was my attitude towards training? Am I time punctual to attending training?

There’s always more to learn. Place a check next to the activities you do:

Ongoing training and coaching

_______Use videos of myself playing with view of identifying improvement areas

_______Watch video of hockey/games and other players for education purposes

_______Read hockey/sports specific magazines and articles

_______Attend hockey clinics and workshops

_______Practise my hockey skills in my own time?

Now that you have collected the self-evaluation evidence you can formulate your season goals and use them to monitor your progress.



  1. What are your short/ long term goals for the new season? Use S.M.A.R.T. principles to write down your goals. Even if you begin this planning process with one goal which you implement, monitor and evaluate is a worthy start.


2. What do you need to do to implement the goals?

3. What events do you plan to compete at this new season?

Develop a baseline at the beginning of the 2017 season and then use the self-evaluation at the end of the season to see where you’ve made gains. Now let’s bring on the 2017 season.

Source: adapted from

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