The Players Voice – Mental approach of Drag Flick

There is already (some) information available out there about different drag flick techniques and exercises, but like in so many areas of such a rich tactical and technical game like hockey, I was curious to listen about the mental approach of such a special area of the game.
Decided to ask some of the most outstanding executers in the world about their mental preparation or approach before the ‘moment of truth’.
Have a read and take your conclusions.
Thanks Victor, Blake and Alex for your receptiveness to this article.

Victor Charlet (France)

The moment before a drag flick is the most important moment of the penalty corner. This is a moment when you feel very alone but you are with the team. Seems very long but in reality is a very short moment.
During this time, drag flickers determine where he will shoot (in link with the last corner or in relation to the analysis made before the match).
You should also analyze the opponent defenders of the PC because normally you know them so you can adapt your pc to them.

It is also the moment when a fight takes place with negative thoughts.
Personally I am a mental trainer so I know this process.
For my PCs I will try to be in ‘autopilot’, means that with all of my training practice, the drag flick is in me, becomes something almost instinctive. I do not need to think how to do it because it’s part of me .
And what’s funny is that when I score I can’t remember my movement while when I do not score I remember all my movement…
You have to get into your routine (which is unique to everyone) to avoid negative thoughts like “I have to score” “if I score we win” … etc.
The routine is unique for all dragflickers. It’s something that needs to be worked.
Personally I always say the same thing “As in training”, I also think to look at my ball all along my execution which will allow me to finish my movement and to invest maximum power and precision. Basically I am only thinking about myself and my technical execution. I feel ‘alone’ in front of the goal.

Blake Govers (Australia)

I prepare mentally with the ‘quiet eye technique’ but have adapted and tried other ideas and use it how it’s best suited for me from trial and error.

Usually through the ‘quiet eye technique’ you control your breathing to lower heart rate, focus on the goal which helps with the routine of the flick.

Alex Hendrickx (Belgium)

I prepare myself mentally by thinking about one specific aspect of my dragflick to focus on (for example not rushing the movement), this way all the rest becomes ‘less’ important.
As dragflicker you have done so many dragflicks in your life already so you know how to do it, it is a routine.
The thoughts I have before shooting on goal are thus focussing on only one aspect of the technique. Before a game I do visualisation in the dressing room, this is where you take a short time to visualise the things you wanna do during the game, in this exercise I often project myself putting the ball in the goal.

Thank you,

Bernardo Fernandes

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