TAKE 5 with USA Hockey's Guy Gosselin


In sports, there is one given – expect the unexpected.

As fans, this excitement of not knowing what will happen next is a big reason why we attend, watch and talk about sporting events. For athletes, the unexpected, while thrilling, demands proper preparation to be successful.

Guy Gosselin

Guy is the U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team assistant coach and ADM Regional Manager. He is also a two-time Olympian, having skated with Team USA in the 1988 and 1992 Olympics.


1. How do your athletes prepare mentally for a big game?

A Coach may want to discuss what to expect from an opponent and how to react in certain situations that could occur on the ice. Talk about the previous training sessions building up to that game and encourage players to be confident in their performance. As a coach you can almost control the atmosphere in the locker room by your actions. 

2. What do you think is the key to good preparation?

Make sure that all players are in top physical shape, which leads to having a confident team. Most winning teams will tell you they're confident about stepping onto the ice and will perform to their expectations. Doing the little things such as proper hydration, rest, food, and warm-up will contribute to mental focus and being well prepared.

3. When a member of your team doesn't feel like they have their "A game", what do you do?

Even professionals have off days. Players need to understand that staying positive and keeping your composure will assist in working through those hard times. As a Coach you could remind your players to focus, keep play simple and to play together as a team. 

4. How do you prepare for the unexpected?

The unexpected is inevitable in sport! Hockey is a game of mistakes, learn from them. Understand that things aren't always gonna bounce your way. How you respond to the unexpected will have an impact on your performance. 

5. What is your advice to youth sport parents to help their kids prepare for the unexpected?

Parents! Please expect the unexpected! Hockey is a progression of skills, and takes years to master those skills! Try to keep your composure and stay positive when the unexpected happens. Most players know when they've made a mistake. As Adults it's our responsibility to create a positive learning environment. It will only help motivate children and grow their love for the game.

Come back next month for another exclusive TAKE 5 Interview.

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