Hockey Goalie Tips for the Newbie
So you want to be a pro hockey player? On top of staying focused on your dream, there are some things you should do to really get there.
Be a good skater.
Goaltending’s foundation is balance and edges. Better skaters, better goaltenders. 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. Maybe go for one set of 10 reps each, which is about 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.
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. 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.
Goal-tending is 80% mind game. So prior to setting foot on the ice, your mind should be prepared. Go to a quiet spot and spend at least ten minutes alone while building 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.
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 . 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. Leave no room for them to have doubts. When you’re always fit and working hard, they take it as an assurance that you will always be behind them.
Lastly, be aware that even the best goalies know they will have their share of bad goals and bad games. It’s all natural. Do it like the pros – learn about the ways to dismiss those bad days and to not be affected by them. You will get scored on, but it’s not something that should bother you. Martin Brodeur was scored on a total of nearly 3,000 time – now was that enough to keep him from being a world-famous goalie? Obviously not.