SportMedBC strives to be a trusted resource for Best Practices in Sport Medicine, Exercise Science and Health Promotion. It notes that “mental health is just as important as physical health when training for a sport. Four factors contribute to this health: mental, emotional, social and meta-mental (reflection, discussion). Mental skills training helps athletes to prepare and consistently perform at their optimal level for that day and for that context.”
One element of mental skills is the setting of sport specific athlete goals and managing a year-long schedule of training in order to reach individual and team goals.
Players on the Gloucester Devils in the National Ringette League (NRL) are no different.
NRL players, although committing a lot of time to ringette, have many other time consuming commitments they need to prioritize. The NRL is for Open aged players (18 years old and older), which means that within the same team there are players from all different stages of life and different realities to consider. After brief chats with a couple of the Gloucester Devils ringette players, you can get a better understanding of how athletes of all ages and stages in their lives can manage the challenges of a national ringette league player has to deal with. Here are some of the things the athletes need to manage during the season: school, work, practices, travel, on-ice, off-ice, fitness training, coaching, family and a social life.
Although everyone is dealing with different variables, the one thing that always keeps the girls on track is a committed manager who keeps them updated. Every Monday, all the girls check their emails to open the one sent from Cheryl Youldon that breaks down the weeks ringette schedule. Although we do have a schedule out in advance, it seems that the girls prefer the weekly reminders to stay on top of things.
For time management the NRL Devils use calendars with their lives mapped out as opposed to having it all written down in list form. Most of the girls use calendars and agenda’s to keep organized during the ringette season.
The majority of the athletes in this league have been balancing a busy ringette schedule since U-14 (Tween). Therefore, they are used to being very busy and they are all used to managing their time to accomplish all their goals. The main thing they all need to keep in mind while managing the NRL schedule, is that ringette needs to be a priority. The girls agree that as long as everyone keeps it a priority, attendance, commitment and results will be positive.