Hockey Goalie Tips for the Newbie
So you’d like to be a professional hockey player? Besides staying committed to your dream, there are more concrete things you can do to increase your chances of getting there.
Be a good skater.
Goaltending’s foundation is balance and edges. A good skater is usually a good goaltender. Prior to every practice and game, your warmup has to include simple skating drills. For example, use a T-push for long crease movements and shuffles when you need to change your position side to side. None of these two should take long. Perhaps aim for a 10-rep set for each, lasting around two to 10 minutes. Professional goalies’ routines usually include such skating drills. Do as the pros and you will one day be in their place.
Work on your hand skills.
When the butterfly save came about in the 1990s, goaltenders were too focused on on-ice coverage that they ended up overlooking their hands somehow. During warm-up, do simple puck-catching and corner shot block drills. Get 30 pucks in the slot, and, during your butterfly, have somebody shoot at your hands. This is often part of professional goalies’daily warm-up.
Prepare yourself mentally.
Believe it or not, goal-tending is 80 percent a mental game. Be prepared then before hitting the ice. Look for a quiet spot where you can be alone for at least ten minutes, building up focus. Visualizing games and seeing yourself playing them right can help you immensely. It can mean the difference between a good and bad decision at the right or wrong time.
Maintain good physical fitness.
As the goalie, you need to be the hardest worker and fittest player on your team. Every year, Mike Richter of the New York Rangers’took home the fitness award. Hall of Famer Ed Belfour used to be a triathlete . Brian Elliott of St.Louis has a reputation for being one of the hardest-working goalies in history. As a goalie, you serve as the rock that your teammates look up to. Leave no room for them to have doubts. 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. It’s all natural. Like the pros, you should learn about the importance of shrugging it off and not letting it get to you. You are going to get scored on, but don’t fuss over it. 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.