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Why Did I Take That Penalty? How Do I Not Push Back?

Your defender puts a hand in your face. You feel a flash of anger. You get a quick chill and that tingling feeling in your stomach. You push them down. It feels good. The whistle blows. You're called for a penalty. You yell at the official, pointing at the player on the ground.

You gave in to an impulse. Everyone has impulses or quick, intense urges. They're normal, but everyone has trouble managing impulsivity in some form. An impulse often arises as strong emotion(s) with thoughts attached, like: anger and the want to push back; frustration and the urge to yell; rage and the desire to break your stick, cheap shot, or 'go hunting' for your next hit. All of these behavior-thought combos have a common theme - there's an intense negative feeling and the urge to seek relief by doing something right that second. For example, you will feel less angry after you break your stick; you might feel embarrassed sometime afterward, but not as uncomfortably angry.