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Posted by on in Alexander

CONSISTENCY: free from variation or contradiction (Merriam Webster Dictionary)

In the world of goaltending, consistency is something that every coach wants & expects from his/her goaltender. 

Why? Because coaches know that for most every game, they will be able to count on the goaltender to deliver a solid, but not necessarily spectacular, performance.

So, let's look at how your consistency can affect your team.  When your play is consistent:

-       your team will play with more confidence knowing what they can expect from you game in and game out

-       you will be showing positive on-ice leadership quality and, at the same time, earning your team's trust

-       it gives everyone that extra layer of security so they can play their game without doubt, knowing that you are going to handle your end and that you are reliable and dependable  

As a goaltender, what you don’t need for consistency is:

-       to feel the need to be flashy or super aggressive

-       to play a perfect game

-       to play your best game every time you step on the ice.  (I am sure you would like to, but that seldom happens)

-       not make any mistakes

-       making sure you keep your stats up

But, what you must do as often as possible is:

-       minimize the number of mistakes you make

-       play at the same emotional & energy level game in and game out

-       keep the "lights out one day, play below average the next" performances to a minimum

 I understand the difficulty in this, because for some games you may be excited and ready to go and other times, you’ll feel tired, out of sorts, distracted or genuinely nervous (not just butterflies)

So, how do we develop consistency on ice? It all starts the effort (battle level) we put into each game and our pre-game preparation.  And, to some degree, the consistent habits we develop when we are away from the rink such as following a regular off ice training program and developing sound nutritional, rest & sleep habits.

It is tuning into the mental game and learning to relax and letting the game “happen”. And how can we best do that? By following a repeated, pre-game routine that includes both the mental & physical & which instills confidence in our abilities and narrows our focus to the upcoming game.

So, what are you waiting for!  Find, develop, research, ask, watch, experiment until you find the pre-game routine that works best for you and.........................

FOLLOW IT EVERY GAME!

 

424 03/05/20

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Posted by on in Alexander

 Prepare for the opposition

  1.  Through your own experience, by viewing video or by viewing statistics determine players to watch on the opposing team (this prepares you to deal with the better players on the opposing team because you know who they are and their tendencies.  Usually the better” players are the betterplayers game in and game out.   (this will also prepare you for shootout situations)

 2.  Again through your own experience, by viewing video or discussion with your head or assistance coaches, determine the type of game offense this team usually plays or the combinations you will most likely see (this prepares you to formulate a plan for your reaction to most of opposition zone entries & power play, plus how you will need to communicate with your defense for a stretch pass, wide rim, dump & chase or beat the “D” and net drive situations etc.)

 3.  Similarly, you should make yourself aware of the opposition tendencies once they penetrate the defensive zone on 5 on 5, 5 on 4, or 5 on 3 situations (thiwill allow you to develop a game plan for reaction to each of these pressure situations so you improve your chances for success)

Reminders
 
Pick one or two self-reminds to take with you into the game.  Here is a quick list of some self-reminders you might use:

- track every puck into and away from your body, gear, stick etc.
- focus on getting into position quickly on passes
- re-position quickly on rebounds
- set my feet before every shot
- fight to find pucks in traffic
- be patient
- be under control (physically & emotionally)
- help my “D” by communicating with them
- get out & handle all pucks that are near the net
- battle for every puck
BREATH

Physical Warm-up (typical)

Pre-ice

1.  Dynamic stretch / warm-up (10 – 15 minutes)
2.  Technical movements include quickness and agility exercises with tennis balls or “reaction” balls either alone or with your goaltending partner.  (10 minutes)
3.  Static Stretch (5 minutes)

On-ice

For the first couple of minutes – movement drills (saves & crease movements, slides – do outside the crease) then team warm up (discuss with your coach & team mates the most effective warm up for you)

Focus on the process of the warm up and not whether a shot goes by you and into the net.  IT IS A WARM UP ONLY TO PREPARE YOU TO PLAY. 

IN GAME - BE ACCOUNTABLE

 

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