Tips and Tricks for Hockey Goalie Amateurs
So you’re aiming for a career as 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. Pre-game and pre-practice warm-up should always include basic 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. Perhaps aim for a 10-rep set for each, lasting around two to 10 minutes. Most professional goalies practice these skating drills as part of their routine. If you do as the pros, you will be one yourself in the future.
Improve your hand skills.
When the butterfly save advanced in the 1990s, goaltenders began to work on-ice coverage, to an extent overlooking their hands in the process. 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. The pros do this for their day-to-day warm-up.
Be ready in mind.
Believe it or not, goal-tending is 80 percent a mental game. Be prepared then before hitting the ice. Go to a quiet spot and spend at least ten minutes alone while building focus. Imagining yourself playing and playing it right can be a great help to your game. It can make a world of difference when you’re trying to make a good decision.
Maintain good physical fitness.
Goalies have to be the hardest working and fittest players on any team. Every year, Mike Richter of the New York Rangers’took home the fitness award. 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. It’s all natural. 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 got scored on almost 3,000 times throughout his career – now did it prevent him from being a world-renowned goalie? We all know the answer.