Claude Giroux couldn’t have scored 241 NHL goals without some skill.
But, according to the Flyers’ captain, that’s not the only reason for his success.
“I think most of the game is mental,” Giroux said in an interview with NBC Sports Philadelphia. “I think a lot of players spend a lot of time working on their speed and their weight and making sure that they’re ready, and they don’t put enough time for the mental part of it. When you get to the third period and you have a chance to win the game or tie it up, I think mentally, if you’re able to be strong and put everything that is around you not in your head, you’ll be able to just perform better.”
Giroux made his NHL debut as a 20-year-old on Feb. 19, 2008. He’s experienced his share of low moments since then — and plenty of high ones, of course. He thinks his willingness to reach out when he’s been struggling has been key, including during a 21-game streak without a goal in 2013 that lasted from April 15 to Nov. 9.
“It’s important to have different people talking to you, and different people for you to talk to them,” he said. “I’ve been doing some stuff since I was probably 20 years ago. I think it’s important to reach out. I remember one year I didn’t have a goal for the first 20 games of the season and I would go back home and I would have a tough time. I’d have a lot of struggles.
"Usually when we have a bad game it continues with a second and third bad game, so it’s important to know how to act and how to think. If you keep things too personal and you think about it too much or you want it too much, sometimes it’s just going to get worse.”
NBC Sports Regional Networks has launched a multi-platform campaign on mental health and men's health, HeadStrong: Mental Health and Sports, for the month of November. You can find more information about the initiative here.
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