Mitch Korn on the Physical, Mental & Emotional elements of goaltending

A couple weeks ago when the Capitals were on their break-week, I was able to catch up with goaltending coach Mitch Korn.  You cannot argue with Mitch’s success record with his goalies in Buffalo, Nashville and now Washington. Like all the top goalie coaches I know, Mitch is a student of the game and so generous…

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Is It All In Your Head?

Did you know that if you take ask an individual to exercise a muscle group to exhaustion – to the point where they cannot possibly do one more rep even if their life depended on it, but then apply an electrical impulse to the muscle, it will continue to contract.

In other words, you circumnavigate the nervous system and apply an direct and external depolarization (electrical impulse), which is how nerves activate muscle fibres, and you can get an exhausted muscle to do more work.

Am I suggesting that this is just mental weakness on the part of the subject? No, not entirely. There could be an exhaustion of the motor pathway by some other mechanism, but we have all heard stories of people summonsing super human strength to perform unbelievable feats.

Okay, let’s step back a bit now and think of the role that mental strength plays in the success of a goalie, not in terms of their neurophysiology necessarily, but in terms of their ability to focus and when necessary re-focus.

I had the opportunity to speak with Nashville Predators Goaltending Coach Mitch Korn a few weeks ago and our conversation kept turning to the mental aspect of the game.

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