How Being ‘Gifted’ Can Hurt Your Development

Am I the biggest loser ever?  Am I the only person who goes all the way to Vegas and crawls into bed at 9pm (that’s half hour past my bedtime for the record) and then gets up at 4:30am eager to do some work?  Either I am a total loser or I am lucky to have found my passion – maybe both – ha ha.

On to the topic at hand…

How Gifted Goalies Can Squander It

This post is for those of you who are naturally gifted – especially the younger goalies out there.  If you are lucky enough to be a 6’4″ 14-year-old goalie, you are probably stopping lots of pucks.  You are probably making every team.  You are probably going to be getting attention from scouts in the near future.

And I will tell you that right now, as you read this, there is a 5’5″ goalie out there who is busting his ass every second that he is on the ice.  He is making the most of every opportunity to become better and better.  And better and better is what he is getting.

When All Things Are Equal

And sometime in the near future, that guy with the great technique and killer work ethic is going to hit his growth spurt and sprout up to 5’11” in a year and then a few more inches the next year.

So now you are both relatively similar in stature, but what he has been forced to develop is the skills, the resilience and the work ethic to steal your starting spot.

I get out to watch the goalies I train when they are working on the ice with their goalie coaches because I love to learn from the coach as they go over technique and position.  I also want to see how ‘my’ goalie moves on the ice and see where he is weak or where he cheats.  And finally I want to see how hard he battles when it doesn’t count.  Will he make a second effort save on a routine on-ice drill?

You are NOT Lazy

What I notice is that many of the goalies who have the physical gifts at a young age have less hustle (please don’t email me to tell me that you – or your child- is a 6’4″ monster who works his butt off – I am just sharing my observations).  Because they have success in the games, they think they are an outstanding goalie and they have not had to work hard.  It is not their fault and I am not saying they are lazy, I am just saying they are doing what they have always done – because it has been working just fine to this point.

So my message is this – look at every single practice or session with your goalie coach as a priceless opportunity to supercharge your performance.  Instead of performance enhancing drugs, let’s embrace the idea of performance enhancing practice.  Have a goal for every practice session so you can evaluate your success.  So maybe that goal will be to make a good second effort save on every drill or focus on recovering your left leg quickly so you can get a good butterfly slide to your right.

Don’t just go through the practice, make it count and leave the ice with something you can point to and say ‘I improved THAT’.  Write it in your training log


PS – There is a big Floyd Mayweather fight hear this weekend, so you know what that means?  In bed by 9pm — ha ha

In Season Training For Goalies