Hockey Goalie Tips for the Newbie
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.
At the core, goaltending is about balance and edges. Better skaters, better goaltenders. 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. You don’t have to take long with either. 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. Do as the pros and you will one day be in their place.
Improve 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. Put 30 pucks in the slot, and let someone shoot at your hand while you’re in your butterfly. This is often part of professional goalies’daily warm-up.
Prepare yourself mentally.
Most pros would tell you that goal-tending is predominantly mental. So before you come in contact with the ice, be sure your mind is ready. 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.
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 used to be a triathlete . St.Louis’ Brian Elliott is known to be one of the hardest-working goalies ever. Your teammates regard 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.
Lastly, be aware that even the best goalies know they will have their share of bad goals and bad games. 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 got scored on almost 3,000 times throughout his career – now did it prevent him from being a world-renowned goalie? You very well know the answer.