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.
Practice skating skills.
Goaltending is mainly based on 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. 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. Following the footsteps of the pros will lead you where they are.
Perfect 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. 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 your mind.
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. Picturing yourself in actual play can help you improve your game. It may spell the difference between a smart decision and a total blunder at any given time.
Maintain good physical fitness.
As the goalie, you need to be the hardest worker and fittest player on your team. Mike Richter of the New York Rangers won the fitness award year after year. Hall of Famer Ed Belfour used to be a triathlete . St.Louis’ Brian Elliott is recognized for being among the hardest-working goalies of the sport. 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.
Finally, know that even the best goalies understand that bad goals and more bad games are all part of the package. 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? You very well know the answer.