Camryn Heon

Five minutes before our game against Team Iceland, I noticed our goalie had recently gotten her nails done. I was confused at the sight to say the least. I thought, “Why in the world would this woman get her nails painted right before our most important game in the tournament? Don’t you have better things to do?”

To my surprise, my question wasn’t just said in my head.

“Look good, feel good, play good,” she responded proudly and walked away leaving me confused. An hour later, we won the bronze medal game 3-2, and she had stopped the game tying shot made by Iceland.

I guess she had a point.

My team, Team Mexico, had won the Bronze Medal in the Women’s Hockey Division II Group A World Championship.

Out of Men’s and Women’s teams in Mexico, our women’s team is the highest ranked group for ice hockey. Since I was 15 years old I have been fortunate enough to play with the strongest women I know – who still paint their nails pink. I’ve learned so many great things playing with my role models, and now, I’m passing them onto you.

“Look good. Feel good. Play good.”

It’s all about confidence. Something many of us have heard before, and something important you may want to consider going into the new year.

This ideology is something fairly new that sparked up in today’s culture, the logic being that if you look your best, you’ll show up feeling confident, thus, performing to the best of your ability.

The power of “look good”

Our appearance can play a significant role in our self-esteem and first impressions. So why not try to look our best? When you’re able to do all that makes you “look good,” you tend to enjoy yourself more, leading to the “feel good” aspect. By looking your best, you bring a sense of confidence about you; inside you have a feeling that you’re comfortable with yourself and your abilities, and outside, others associate accomplishment with your confidence.

With that said, It’s important to maintain strong self-esteem, even through critical thinking. 

I’ve heard many say, “you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover” but I can attest that most of us do. In order to beat the judgment, it’s important to dress for the occasion, and show your best self.

Your appearance can influence how others perceive you. When you present yourself in a well-mannered and attractive way, often, more people are eager to engage with you and your ideas, leading to new opportunities, connections, and personal growth. Looking the part not only establishes preparedness, but that you’re ready to show up and perform. For example, if your lawyer came to the courthouse to defend you dressed in a unicorn onesie, it may seem that they’re ready for trick-or-treating rather than defending you in the courthouse; you may want to consider finding a new lawyer…

In order to embrace a positive self-image and feel content with the person you want to portray, do what makes you feel at your best. Do everything in your power to “look good.”

Even if that means getting a fresh manicure before your hockey game.

The power of “feel good”

Just like “look good,” “feel good” goes beyond the surface. It relates to your emotional and mental well-being, which is important when trying to experience self-improvement and perform well. Being emotionally fit is the foundation for success at achieving your set goal. It’s hard to give a step that fits all when it comes to being emotionally well, but what I’m trying to say is that confidence, and taking care of your body are the first steps to feeling good.

Confidence represents feeling content with your capability to achieve your goal. When you feel confident in your abilities. You can conquer the world.

Taking care of your body can be described by two key aspects: sleeping, and eating well. Giving your body the proper amount of rest helps you to be the best mentally fit the next day and function well. Getting your eight hours of rest each night helps you stay sharp.

Food is fuel.

So why not fuel your body with the best there is? Eating a good diet can help you feel good mentally and physically.

The concept of “feel good” is often associated with positive emotions, well-being, and a sense of happiness or satisfaction. The power of feeling good can have a significant impact on various aspects of life, including mental and physical health, social interactions, and overall quality of life.

For my goalie, it’s the adrenaline rush before a game mixed with the excitement and confidence that she can block any shot coming her way while also having beautiful nails. Being able to master feeling confident sets you up in a position where you’re able to be content with yourself mentally and establish your goal.

Embrace the nerves, and use your fresh manicure to grab the bull by its horns and say, “I’m ready.”

The power of “play good”

When Deion Sanders said, “play good” he didn’t just mean to have fun and score touchdowns.

“Play good” means being able to excel at the goal you are trying to reach. Whether this means playing to win a gold medal, or striving for a promotion at work, you need to be able to embrace your confidence and emotions to present the best version of yourself and see positive results.

When you show up looking the part, you start believing you are the part, leading to getting the part.

In essence, show up to whatever it is you’re trying to win by looking your most confident; with this, the feeling of excitement will come, and before you can blink, you’ve won.

By striving to “play good” you are trusting in your abilities to compete and show up.

Playing good takes willingness, and drive. So, when you win that medal or get that promotion, accept the fact that your success is due to you (and maybe your nail lady – I’m kidding).

In essence, the power of “play good” lies in the ability to contribute positively to personal growth, relationships, and the overall enjoyment of activities.

It’s about more than just the outcome: it’s about the manner in which one engages with others and the experience itself. Adopting a “play good” mindset can contribute to personal growth. It involves acknowledging mistakes, learning from experiences, and continuously improving oneself.

This concept is not limited to sports: it can apply to various aspects of life where confidence and mindset play crucial roles in achieving success. It suggests that taking care of both physical and mental well-being can lead to better outcomes and higher levels of performance in any area of life.

This is the season of personal growth, right?

This dissected quote is all about finding the balance that suits you and being able to achieve what you set your mind to. The “look good, feel good, play good” mindset isn’t something that will come easy. Rather, it’s a way of life one should work at to achieve their goals.

Leave the old year with your best foot forward, and “play” to the best of your ability.