Action steps to better goaltending.

How many times have you heard a goalie coach, employer or teacher tell you that you need to set goals?  Probably too many times.  Most of you have even taken that advice once or twice and laid out some goals, but abandoned the practice because it did not work for you.

You laid out your goal, you decided what you wanted to do to achieve it, but it never happened for you so why bother anymore?

Let me tell you a secret – I have failed to achieve many of my own goals.  But in the process I have also accomplished a heck of a lot.  In 2010 I had 10 big goals and missed out on achieving three of those goals…BUT I accomplished seven of them!  What is even better is the fact that of the three that I did not achieve, two of those failures were entirely my fault.  I did not take consistent action steps to make them a reality.

So here is your step-by-step guide to help hockey goaltenders set goals that lead to success.

1.       Write your goal down where you can see it every day.

2.       Make it specific and something you can measure.  Even if your goal is “to be more calm before going on the ice for a game”, you need to create a pre-game ritual and then mark on a scale of 1-10 how calm you feel when you are going on the ice.  This way you can evaluate the effectiveness of your intervention.

3.       Create specific action steps.  Again they must be specific.  If your goal is to have better flexibility, you cannot have “stretch more” as an action step.  Your action steps will look like this:

a.       Stretch hips four days per week for 15-minutes.  Get advice from a qualified conditioning coach to ensure I am doing the correct stretches.

4.       Set a timeline to achieve your goals.  I like to have a mid-term goal and a longer term goal.  So if your goal is to do 20 perfect bodyweight push-ups and you can only do 6 right now, a good short term goal would be performing 14 perfect push-ups in 6 weeks and then 20 perfect push-ups in 12-weeks.  Personally I find a year is usually too long – unless you are training for something like an iron man.  If you give yourself 12 months to work up to 20 push-ups, you will likely put it off until December before you start working on it.

5.       Evaluate your progress.  Measure where you are right now – how many perfect push-ups can you do right now?  Then re-evaluate every 2-3 weeks to make sure you are making progress over time.

6.       If you get into it and realize that you were far too optimistic then you need to be flexible with your goals and make adjustments.  Maybe your goal was to improve your fitness by working out 7 days per week, but you realize that your schedule (not to mention your body) will not allow that much training, so you decide to do a program more like the Rapid Response Goalie Training system that only takes 20-40 minutes 2-4 days per week.

Now you have a road map that will lead you to the goalie you want to become.  Take consistent steps toward your goals, adjust where necessary and keep going!