Hockey Goalie Tips for the Newbie
So you’re aiming for a career as a pro hockey player? Aside from never losing sight of your dream, there are some things you can do to actually get there.
Practice skating skills.
Goaltending’s foundation is balance and edges. A good skater is usually a good goaltender. Before each practice and game, your warmup must include simple skating drills. For instance, a T-push is great for long crease movement;shuffles are for smaller side-to-side movements. You don’t have to take long with either. Maybe go for one set of 10 reps each, which is about two to 10 minutes. These skating drills are part of most pro goalies’ routines. If you do as the pros, you will be one yourself in the future.
Perfect your hand skills.
When the butterfly save advanced in the 1990s, goaltenders began to work on-ice coverage, to an extent overlooking their hands in the process. During warm-up, do simple puck-catching and corner shot block drills. Throw 30 pucks into the slot, and, in the middle of your butterfly, get someone to shoot at your hands. Professional goalies usually do this during their regular warm-up.
Prepare your mind.
Goal-tending is 80% mind game. So before you come in contact with the ice, be sure your mind is ready. Go to a quiet spot and spend at least ten minutes alone while building focus. Visualizing games and seeing yourself playing them right can help you immensely. It can make a world of difference when you’re trying to make a good decision.
Goalies have to be the hardest working and fittest players on any team. Every year, Mike Richter of the New York Rangers’took home the fitness award. Once upon a time, Hall of Famer Ed Belfour ran triathlons. St.Louis’ Brian Elliott is recognized for being among the hardest-working goalies of the sport. As a goalie, you should expect your teammates look to you as their rock. Don’t give them reason to have doubts. When you’re always fit and working hard, they take it as an assurance that you will always be behind them.
Develop a bounce-back attitude.
Finally, keep in mind that even the world’s best goalies know they will bad goals and bad games at certain times. That is a natural and thus inevitable part of nature. Do it like the pros – learn about the ways to dismiss those bad days and to not be affected by them. You will get scored on, but it’s not something that should bother you. Martin Brodeur had been scored on close to 3,000 times in his entire carer – now did it stop him on the success path? We all know the answer.