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Pre-competition Preparation (Part 1)

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Game day preparation is vital to the success of the goaltender; especially at a high caliber level of competition.  To neglect this important area is to jeopardize the potential for you to play at your best.  

Proper preparation will give you a sense of control over an otherwise seemingly, uncontrollable situation and allows you to rehearse your reaction to game situations as they might develop.  Proper preparation will also give you a measure of confidence and you will go into the competition feeling at ease and comfortable.

Preparing the mind

Breathing: take 5 minutes and work on your breathing (this helps calm your mind and relaxes your body) 

Inhale for a count of two… hold the breath in for a count of one… exhale gently, counting out for four…  and finish by  holding the breath out for a count of one. Keep your breathing even and smooth. If the 2-4 count feels too short try increasing the breath lengths to 4 in and 6 out, or 6 in and 8 out, and so on.  But if longer breaths create any anxiety there is no need to push yourself. The most important thing is that the exhale is longer than the inhale, not the absolute length of the breath

Visualization: 5 – 10 minutes of visualization work will effectively bring you into “game mode”

Find a quite spot without distractions.  Create a mental image (visualization) of different game situations in your mind as though they were happening and you were   looking at them through your own eyes. (watch the puck coming at you and hitting your equipment, or you catching the puck or controlling the rebound. In other words, you are successfully making the save. Try to do this for 5 - 10 minutes. It will be difficult at first and perhaps you will only be able to concentrate for a few minutes.  But as you practice more you will be able to concentrate longer)

(visualization and breathing exercises can and should be practiced regularly both at and away from the rink)




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Guest Saturday, 19 September 2020