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The "Most Important" Season

For most of you, the hockey season has wound down. Whatever else you do, make sure you take a little time to stop competing and relax.If you are a younger goaltender, you may choose to play “spring hockey” before shutting down while others will gravitate to another sport immediately after season.  However, whatever you chose to do, make sure you play an alternative sport during the off season. Try to pick a sport that will help you replicate some of the athletic skills of goaltending. (Tennis, volleyball, soccer is among the better) 
But, if you play at a competitive or developmental level, you will also want to take time as soon as possible to plan your strategy for improvement throughout the summer.  Pencil in the start date of your tryouts or training camp and work backwards from there. Right now, next season’s tryouts/training camp might be the furthest from your mind, but trust me, it will be here before you know it.  

I say this, because in my view is, the so called “off-season” should really be renamed "The Most Important Season".  Why?  Because it can't literally be time "off", especially if you play at a developmental/competitive level in Youth/Minor Hockey, Junior or above.  

Here you have an opportunity to retool, refine and develop your physical tools, mental skills and, at the same time, make corrections to your on-ice game at a goaltender specific training camp.   
Most definitely, you need to keep your skates on the ice a minimum number of times during "The Most Important Season".  But, don't associate playing "pick up hockey" or going to non-goalie specific camps/clinics with the idea of developing your technical skills.  Understand as well, that, for the most part, these will expose you to many situations you will hardly ever experience during games. Simply put, THESE ARE NOT GOALTENDER FRIENDLY.  So, there is potential here to develop unwelcome habits over the summer which will be EXTREMELY DIFFICULT, if not impossible, to retrain when the season starts.  Take these for that they are, FUN and an opportunity to get your equipment on and keep the “rust” off.  
Of course, as always, we strongly recommend an off-ice, goalie specific, training program working with a certified trainer.  Generally, you can find one who will provide you with an effective program (even if you don’t have access to a gym) & at a reasonable cost. Now add a week-long goalie camp and you have your "Most Important Season” training covered off.  You might also take the time to investigate opportunities to engage a Mental Performance Coach and/or sign up for a Vision Enhancement/Training Program.  

So, consider this as your Most Important Season development plan: 


  1.  Get you skates on the ice at least every second week (weekly preferred) 

  1.  Sign up for a Credible & Professional goalie camp 

  1.  Search out a Certified Trainer who has experience working with goaltenders 

  1.  Investigate the other opportunities I mentioned above 


Enjoy your summer.  Prepare early & prepare well.  Next season is just around the corner! 

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