Five ways to defeat self-doubt for goalies.

How to Stop Self Doubt From Creeping In…

Have you ever just beaten yourself?  By that I mean have you ever let self-doubt creep in and take over.  Maybe you felt perfectly fine when you stepped on the ice, but then a goal that you probably should have had squeaked in.

It tends to get worse during the big game – lots of you are in play-offs right now.  You think to yourself – ‘Here we go… it’s going to be one of those nights’.  That is the self-doubt and self-defeat I am talking about.

I want to share a few tips that will help keep you from falling into that trap and give you a few strategies that will help you get out again.

How to keep from falling in…

  • Trust in your training.  The very best cure for self-doubt is being prepared.  If you can honestly say to yourself, ‘I am more prepared for this game than any game in my life’ when you step on the ice, it will give you that quiet confidence you see in some pro goalies.  Not the false bravado, but the look that tells everyone on the ice ‘I got this’.
  • Tell yourself before hand what you are going to think about.  Keep your focus on the process not the abstract like ‘stop the puck’.  Have a few words – 2-3 that remind you how to be in your best position.  Maybe you tend to stand up in the legs and let your glove drop as a habit that gets you into trouble, so your cues might be – ‘load legs, glove ready’

How to get out…

Maybe you came out feeling great, but things started to go a little sideways on you, here are a few strategies you can use to pull yourself out again.

  • Remind yourself that the next 5-minute of the game does not remember what happened in the LAST 5-minutes.  So because you may have missed a save 40-seconds ago, that does not mean that you are going to get scored on again.  Start the game anew and take it 5-minutes at a time.
  • Remind yourself of your mantra – ‘load legs, glove ready’.  Make that thought all consuming in your background chatter.  Anytime your brain starts to drift off to ‘man-I-should-have-had-that-one-now –we-are-down-by-two-goals’ territory, snap it back to your process focus.  Because if you are busy making a catastrophe of what just happened, you are not preparing for what will happen next.
  • Remind yourself that you can only control what YOU can control, which is how you play and how you re-group.  If the reffing is bad, you cannot control that and everyone else knows the reffing is bad.  If your D collapses like a house of cards, you cannot control that and again, everyone else in the arena sees them do it too.

So those are a few tips that will help keep your head in the game.  You will all find yourselves getting lit up from time to time, heck it happens to the very best in the world a few times every season, so why should you expect that it will never happen to you.

Take your lumps, learn from it, wash it away – – tomorrow is a new day.


off ice goalie training program

Play-offs will be here before you know it – here’s what you can do to be ready.