GTP TV Episode 32: Tips for Tryouts and Training Camp

Hey guy, it’s Maria here from GoalieTrainingProTV, episode 32! Count ’em.

Almost as old as me……..

Anyway, today we’re talking about how to succeed at training camp, tryouts, or even if you’re like, “I already made the team in the spring. I don’t need to watch this.” You know, if you’re just starting up with a new team.

Because Like it or not, the old saying, you never get a second chance to make a first impression, totally rings true. It rings true in sports as much as anywhere else. So this is what you’re going to do exactly. These are habits again that are going to help you through your whole life.


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So you’re not going to worry about whether you did your training or didn’t do your training, or whatever. You either did it or you didn’t do it. That’s done. Now it’s like, “Okay, what am I going to focus on? What am I going to do now?”

You’re going to get on the ice early.

And you think, “Oh, it doesn’t matter.” It matters, because people notice it. The coaches are going to come over and be like, “Wow, I noticed you were the second guy on the ice. That’s really good,” but they notice. What that says is, and what that tells you is, “Oh, this person actually likes playing hockey because it’s fun and they want to be out on the ice,” so get out on the ice early.

Get to know other people on your team. You know, there’s going to be … maybe it’s a team, “Oh, I’ve played on this team for years and we’re the same group of guys.” There’s going to be one or two new guys. Be the guy or the girl who goes up to them, “Hey.”

Maybe you know them. Maybe you know, “Oh, last year you played with the chiefs, now you’re playing with us on the junior Knights. Hey, we played against you guys last year. You, whatever, I remember that. You had a great goal in the semi-finals of that tournament,” or whatever.

Something just to set them at ease, because that’s also part of your job. The more comfortable and relaxed you can make those other people, the easier they’re going to integrate with your team, start gelling with your team, making chemistry.

So be a leader like that. You don’t have to be the captain, just take that leadership role and make them feel welcome.

If you’re in a camp situation, again, sometimes we might have one or two people that we know and we just hang out with them all the time. That’s totally what I do when I go to conferences. I find the two people I know, and it’s just like, “Hey. Yeah, I’ll sit with you.”

But you need to get out there and you need to meet other people, show that you’re interested in being a part of the team, and again, almost act like you’re already a part of that team by getting to know other players.

Use your voice on the ice and be supportive of other players. So use your voice on the ice to help your D know, “Hey, you got a man on,” or help them know when it’s the end of the penalty kill, or things like that.

So use your voice on the ice to be a tool to help your team and the other players on the ice with you succeed, but also use it to be supportive. Yeah, like a guy dinks up a shot or the D man dinks up a play and it ends up in a scoring chance, or even a goal, don’t give them the eye roll and sigh… give them the, “Don’t worry about it Steve. I know you got this next time,” or whatever. Use your voice to be out there and to be visible.

Next, pick up pucks.

You see it at all levels, but the end of practice, then why does some guys just skate right off and other guys stay and pick up the pucks? You stay and pick up the pucks.

And then take your regeneration seriously.

So I’m going to do, I think maybe next week’s episode will be all about regeneration, but your number one job is to rehydrate. Number two job is to have some kind of snack. Usually, we go 20 grams of protein, 40 grams of carbohydrate. It doesn’t have to be a protein shake or anything like that. It can be like a bagel with peanut butter or something else like that, but you want to get about 20 grams of protein, 40 grams carbohydrate.

Then you’re going to do a regenerative module. So that will usually be foam roll. Again, I’ll talk about the details next week, but foam roll, and I’ll explain why foam roll and probably not lacrosse ball.

Some static stretching and some dynamic movement patterns that help not just reset your body, but also reset your brain and your nervous system so that you’re not staying amped up. Then it helps bring you down, reset you, realign you so that you’re maximizing your opportunity to perform well tomorrow. Go home, go to sleep and get a good night’s sleep.

Make sure to double check your equipment.

Because again, you just … you’ll maybe have your glove out because you’re working it in or something, and then you forget to put it in. So double check that you have all of your gear.

Do you have an extra skate lace, a mask strap? Anything like that. Because the last thing you want to is to get bumped off the ice because your skate lace breaks, or your strap on your mask breaks. Then somebody else gets a chance to come out, and get more reps, and show more.

Again, the coaches may feel awful for you, “That’s terrible, that sucks, but we can’t pick you. We didn’t even really get to see you.”


Here’s your do-nots.

This is a huge one. But do not be … like if you’re doing skating drills or conditioning drills, don’t be the middle of the pack for every rep, but then on the last rep be ahead by a mile, or be way, way, way faster. We see that.

When I run camps, I see that all the time, and the kid’s think, “Oh, I’m doing the best at the end, and everyone else is tired.” It’s like, “I know that you’ve been sitting at the back of the pack. I know that you’ve been dogging it for the other four reps. Whereas these poor guys have been giving her and they’re dying now, and you have all the wheels in the world because you haven’t been working hard last time.”

I’m not saying go out and empty the tank on the first rep, but go hard every single rep.

I guess on the other side too, sometimes it happens more at Revolution because our athletes like each other and they almost don’t want to make each other look bad. So say we have our top three guys, they’ll all finish together when we do shuttle runs.

That’s the other thing that I hate. It’s like, “No, somebody has to win.” You need to be competing to win. So also don’t sit with your friends because you don’t want to be out in front.

Now if you’re the goalie and you’re doing it with the team, if you’re out in front of the forwards then you got trouble. So say there’s three goalies out, don’t just finish with the goalies. You want to be out in front.

Don’t expect your D to help you out.

I had this conversation with one of our goalies in the ShutOut Academy. He said, “Well, I was out there just hoping my D would help me out.”

You can’t control that. That’s what’s called an external locus of control, hoping something else happens to make you successful. So whether they do their job or don’t do their job, or help you out or don’t help you out, it should have no bearing on how you do. So just focus on … show what you can do, not how well you can play behind an awesome D.

That’s not even what you want. You don’t get better just playing behind an awesome D.

Don’t make any excuses.

If something legit happened, everyone saw it. So let’s say even your … that you’re doing a scrimmage and your team for the scrimmage, you just legit have the worst D. They’re so bad, they cough up the puck, they miss the puck, they’re just terrible.

Everybody who matters sees that. They’re not dummies, they’ve seen hockey before. They can see how poorly your D played, and they’ll see how you respond to that.

So again, if you’re doing the eye roll and sigh, kind of thing, shaking your head at them, that shows. They’re looking, “Hey, how does this person deal with adversity? Oh, they’re going to act like a baby. Okay, I don’t think we really need that. We want the guy who can be consistent.”

There’s a difference between being confident and having swag.

Don’t, for instance, so some guys are like, “Yeah, I’m going to go in there with swag.” Don’t go in there with swag, I’m just telling you.

Even at the NHL level, some guys do have a swag and they get away with it, but they’re polarizing people. You don’t necessarily want to be polarizing when you’re going to a new team. You can be confident and self-assured in your ability without being cocky and full of swag.

So be a good team person, be looking for ways to build up other people who are on your team or trying out for the same team, because that’s how you get better. You all have to get better together, so it behooves you to help somebody else get better.

Show that you’re not above getting on the ice early, helping pick up pucks. Just be easy to have around, be easy to coach.

Show that you have room for improvement and you’re keen to make those improvements. I don’t mean go out and be awful so that everyone’s like, “Oh, you’ve got lots of room to improve,” but show that, yeah, you don’t think you know it all, you don’t think you’re as good as you’re going to be. You’re still going to get better and better and better.

That’s my advice.

Then I guess the last piece of advice is, just have fun. It’s a game, most of you are not getting paid to do it. No matter what you think, most of your mom and dads won’t … their hopes and dreams don’t hinge on you making this team. They get excited about it and they want it bad because they know that you want it. That’s the only reason.

So just go out, have fun, do what you do, take it one save at a time. The puck has no memory. It doesn’t know the last time, “Oh my god, the last time it bounced off my glove and went in the net.” Just, “Okay, what do I need to do? Oh yeah, I need to keep my hands out in front of me more. Okay, then I’m going to worry about that, not what my D does or not what happened 30 seconds ago.”

That’s the scoop. Have fun, good luck. Let me know how your tryouts go. See you.