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By Enio Sacilotto

With all the ups and downs of the COVID-19 situation, it is sometimes hard to maintain a positive attitude; it easy to live with a negative mind if we allow it. It does not have to be that way!

Positive and negative emotions are a part of life and are unavoidable. We need to recognize the emotions, accept them, deal with them effectively and move on. COVID-19 is out of our control, but our attitude and how we look at things is under our control. We choose to pick the negative mind or look to have a positive mental attitude, PMA.

     A PMA will give you an edge over your opponents, as many benefits include:

  • It will lead to high performance and success.                                           
  • It will increase your energy levels.
  •  It will help you achieve your goals.
  • It will make you happier.
  • It increases your self-esteem and confidence.
  • It will give you an optimistic view of the future.
  • It will help you believe in yourself and your abilities.
  • It will help you look for solutions rather than focusing on the negative and what is wrong.

Here are nine that will help you choose a PMA:

  1. Avid venting – People think that we will feel better when we get things off our chest. Research shows that when we complain to others, we are more aggressive afterward and do not really feel better.
  2. Hang out with positive people – The fact is that negativity is contagious; the more we surround ourselves with negative people, the more negative we become, so choose your company wisely.
  3. Emotional detachment.  When we are around negative conversations, do not attach to the negativity. When we attach, we allow the anxiety, fear, worries, and negativity of others to affect us. Be mindful, notice the negativity around you, and emotionally detach from it. Do not wrap yourself into it and let it affect you. Be compassionate to the other person, be non-judgmental, understand where they are coming from, but don’t let them impact you.
  4. Train your mind – use intentional and purposeful self-talk. Research shows that the world’s best athletes and high achievers use the power of their thoughts. Powerful thoughts lead to confident body language and positive action. Here is a worksheet that can help you change negative to positive thinking.
  5. Be possibility-oriented – Set realistic goals. Look at your potential and consistently strive for high performance.
  6. Visualize – what you see in your mind’s eye is what you get. Visualize a bright, positive future for yourself. High performers focus on what they want to happen, not what they want to avoid.
  7. When negative things happen, which they will, accept them and do not dwell on them. Better yet, take a time-out, get away from your sport and working out, do something that you enjoy, lift your mood and have some fun.
  8. Be prepared to put in the work. Like increasing your physical strength, you need to work out and get under the bar and lift the weights. Training your mental skills are the same. Plan and use some of the nine strategies and create your PMA!
  9. Practice Mindfulness – Research shows that everyone who practices mindfulness reaps all kinds of benefits, including a positive mental attitude!   

Here are some pre-planned specific thoughts to train your positive thinking and make it automatic:
• I make every open shot.
• I control the game.
• I make my teammates better.
• I deliver the puck/ball, so my teammates can easily score.
• I am in fantastic shape and better conditioned than my competitors.
• I am mentally tough. Nothing can stop me from achieving my goals.
• I am a winner.
• I constantly learn, grow, and improve my game.
• I perform well under pressure.
• I am a good teammate.
• I work hard and produce results.
• I can be trusted and never let down my team.
(these power statements are from

Enio Sacilotto is President of International Hockey Camps and operates the Mental Edge High-Performance Coaching. Enio has 38 years of coaching experience (professional hockey in Europe and the Victoria Royals (WHL)). Currently, he coaches the North West Hawks U15 and the Croatian National Men’s team. If you have questions or are interested in any of his services, contact Enio at or call 604 255 4747. Website: