PART TWO: Performance psych for goalies

In case you missed part one of this article you can get it HERE.  Make sure you read it first or you will miss some great stuff and a few exercises/drills that you can use on the ice.

Now for Part Two… 

In the first instalment we talked about high levels of anxiety and how to decrease the paralyzing symptoms – anxiety actually will make you less mobile and less coordinated.  Not what any goalie wants.

But maybe you are at the other end of the spectrum.  You are so chill that you don’t actually have enough arousal when you get on the ice.  Your body is not in that “fight or flight” sweet spot.

If you often find yourself sitting in the dressing room feeling ‘heavy’ in your arms and legs, maybe not even feeling that motivated to put your gear on and hit the ice, you could be too relaxed – that’s not good either.

Krista and Ryan suggest a light workout earlier in the day before the game.  I would suggest a good dynamic warm up before you put your gear on.  I have shown you exactly what to do here.

They also suggest the use of positive affirmations like, “let’s go”, “show time”, etc.

Finally, they talk about Imagery as a tool.

How hard to you think it was (is) for Jonathan Bernier not to think “crap I hope this doesn’t go in again” when he faces the first shot in pretty much any game.  Now, he is a pro, so he has probably developed a good mental game to make it all the way to the NHL, but still.

UGT 3.0 in post adYou have probably had similar situations where maybe you felt great going on the ice, thought you were playing a solid game, but the puck kept going in and in and in.  And now you are thinking “I hope that doesn’t happen again” every time you get the start.

It is one thing if you had the flu or an injury – – if there was a reason for the poor performance, but if it just seemed to happen then you better have a strategy to keep your mind from dwelling on it.

You need to practice visualizing those shots coming from all different angles and you making the saves, directing the rebounds to the corners and smothering the puck when it is loose in your crease.  Picture yourself going through those saves with success. 

They suggest that you go as far as involving as many senses as possible – the smell of the arena (not the dressing room – the arena :)), the feel of the puck hitting you square in the chest protector, pads or glove, the sound of the crowd after a big save – all of it.

Again, the article had a lot of great content; you can read it for yourself HERE – I tried to boil it down to some useful tidbits.


PS – on a flight to the OC (via Denver) right now (as a matter of fact I am singing “going back to Cali Cali Cali” in my head right now 🙂  Going to meet up with some of my Mastermind homies and learn from nutrition guru Dr. John Berardi as well as Alwyn Cosgrove, Lewis Howes and of course my coaches Bedros and Craig (I will also pump John Romaniello for tattoo advice).  Should be a good time.