Putting the puzzle together…

Yes, I am more than a little embarrassed to tell you this… but here goes. Paul and I did our first puzzle together last week. We sat at the dinner table and worked away on it most evenings for a couple weeks and it finally came together.

Boy, did it feel good putting in that final piece – it was so easy to slide it into place and complete the picture, almost made me forget all the frustration along the way and the number of times I said “There must be a piece missing!”

Um, what does this have to do with being a goalie?

Good question.

Here it is… I couldn’t help but see the similarities between developing your goaltending potential and putting that puzzle together.

Here’s how it makes you better goalie…

At the beginning, there are so many pieces and a few of them are the straight edges, so you can try a little bit of this and a little bit of that and you will for sure make some progress. It gets harder and harder to do that as you go along, you need to become more strategic.

It is okay to focus on one area specifically, but you always need to keep an eye on the big picture and how all the pieces fit.

I had assembled a nice section of pieces off to the side, it was a fairly big chunk of the puzzle, but I could not figure out how it fit into the picture as a whole. I tried every position and it wouldn’t fit – I doubted myself, maybe those parts don’t actually go together…then Paul reached over, flipped the pieces by 180 degrees and they slid right into place.

Sometimes you are doing the right thing, it just takes a while to find the success.

Some pieces fit pretty close, maybe close enough, probably the puzzle maker just got sloppy there… until you find the right piece and it glides into place and moves you one step closer to the next piece. It has to be the right fit.

There will be droughts.

More than once I would scan through every single piece, trying to find the one I needed. I searched through once, twice, three times – nothing.

Across the table Paul was merrily sliding pieces into place, finishing off this window and that chimney… and I was getting NOTHING.

Take a breath, start again…and finally THE PIECE. And when that one piece fell into place then came the next and the next and the next. Sometimes you are two feet from gold, you just have to keep digging.

See how your training and your performance on the ice draws a lot of parallels?

Like how the pieces of my MS3 system for developing goalies work together, you know what it is because it is reflected in every piece of training advice I give you.

I will write an article outlining the pieces of the MS3 puzzle for you to check out tomorrow, check your email.


PS – and no one can put the pieces in place for you – – you have to do the work to make it happen.