Tips for the Hockey Goalie Amateur
So you’re aiming for a career as a pro hockey player? On top of staying focused on your dream, there are some things you should do to really get there.
Be a good skater.
At the core, goaltending is about balance and edges. The better you skate, the better you can tend your goal. Prior to every practice and game, your warmup has to include simple skating drills. For instance, a T-push is great for long crease movement;shuffles are for smaller side-to-side movements. Both don’t need to take long. A single 10-rep set for each, which can be anywhere from two o 10 minutes, is usually good enough. These skating drills are part of most pro goalies’ routines. Following the footsteps of the pros will lead you where they are.
Work on your hand skills.
As the butterfly save arose in the 1990s, goaltenders start focusing too much on on-ice coverage, to the point that they somehow forgot about their hands. Make sure to catch pucks and block shots to the corner as part of your warm-up routine. Get 30 pucks in the slot, and, during your butterfly, have somebody shoot at your hands. Professional goalies usually do this during their regular warm-up.
Prepare yourself mentally.
Goal-tending is 80% mind game. So before you come in contact with the ice, be sure your mind is ready. Find a quiet corner where you can be alone and build focus for about 10 minutes. Imagining yourself playing and playing it right can be a great help to your game. It can mean the difference between a good and bad decision at the right or wrong time.
If you’re a goalie, being the hardest worker and most physically fit player on a team is a must. New York Rangers’Mike Richter bagged the fitness award every single year. Hall of Famer Ed Belfour was once a triathlete. St.Louis’ Brian Elliott is known to be one of the hardest-working goalies ever. As a goalie, you should expect your teammates look to you as their rock. Never give them reason to doubt. By staying fit and working hard, they will feel more assured that you will always have their back.
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 can get scored on, but there’s no reason to let it 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.