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Playing At The Next Level

Playing At The Next Level Put in the work - Every day

Some time ago I did a short survey with a goaltending coach who had worked at U18, Junior A, & University level & also, a goaltender (not from the same team) who had played through each of these levels.  My intent was to attempt to get a perspective, outside of my own, on some of the major skills & attributes necessary to play "up" at each level.  Most of these will also apply if you are playing U15, U16, U18 or at a higher level. My question was as follows: 

"List 6 things you feel a goaltender must have or develop as they move up those three levels”.  Obviously, there are others, but these were the first that came to mind for the coach & goaltender 
(Coach Perspective) 
- need to develop their anticipation of play in the defensive zone 
- ability to recognize and be able to react to opposition systems such as (PP) zone entries etc. 
- excellent rebound control 
- ability to find loose pucks in traffic (the amount of front net traffic increases as you move up each level) 
- the physical strength to handle traffic to fight for loose pucks when play is in tight to the net (not only is there more front net traffic, but the players get bigger as you move up each level) 
(A goaltender's perspective) 
- able to balance (time management) all facets of their life 
- keep the different aspects of their life separate (hockey time is hockey time, study time is study time, off ice training time is off ice training time etc.) 
- confidence in their skills (confident that all the work & practice will make for a successful transition to the game) 
- a short memory (live the game in the present) 
- deep motivation to succeed  
- knows game time is battle time 
I think you can see, from the responses, there are some key things you need to understand about moving from level to level.  One thing, I would like to add is "SPEED".  Everything gets faster moving from level to playing level...shots travel faster, passes are quicker, players skate faster, plays happen faster.  The whole game moves faster. 
And to quote the goaltender who helped me out, "many times, especially at the start of your first season at a higher level, it is as much about being able to "keep it all together" as it is about how well you stop a puck" 

All Shots on Goal ARE NOT Equal
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