Tips and Tricks for Hockey Goalie Amateurs
So you want to be a pro 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. 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. You don’t have to take long with either. Perhaps aim for a 10-rep set for each, lasting around two to 10 minutes. Professional goalies’ routines usually include such skating drills. If you do as the pros, you will be one yourself in the future.
Perfect 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. Make sure to catch pucks and block shots to the corner as part of your warm-up routine. 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.
Be ready in mind.
Goal-tending is 80% mind game. Be prepared then before hitting the ice. 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 may spell the difference between a smart decision and a total blunder at any given time.
If you’re a goalie, being the hardest worker and most physically fit player on a team is a must. 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. Brian Elliott of St.Louis has a reputation for being one of the hardest-working goalies in history. As a goalie, you should expect your teammates look to you as their rock. Never give them reason to doubt. The fitter and more hard-working you are, the more reassured they will feel about you always being there to watch their back.
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. As the pros do, learn about the importance of not minding it, and of never letting it affect your drive for your game. 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? Obviously not.