How To Become A Better Hockey Goalie? [Expert Guide!]

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It’s not easy being a hockey goalie. Not only do you have to master reflexes and concentration, but you also have to keep your wits about you in order to make the right decisions. And, sometimes, you have to make split-second calculations in order to stop a fast puck.

While there’s no fixed rule on how many goals you have to save to considered yourself a good goalie, there are a few strategies you can use to improve your game.

Watch Games From Top To Bottom

One of the best things about hockey is that it’s a game that you can follow from top to bottom. There’s no such thing as randomizing or pausing the action to show you a slow-motion replay of a particular play. You see every goal, every save, and every action from the beginning to the end. This, of course, makes it easier for you to learn from your mistakes.

As a goalie, this is something you want to keep in mind when you’re watching games. Goaltenders of the past used to sit in the stands and just watch the games. They wouldn’t even touch the glove or blocker, let alone play the puck. Nowadays, they do a lot more but still keep a good portion of their focus on the stands.

While there’s no harm in watching games and taking notes, there’s also no harm in getting some fresh air and going for a quick skate. Skating outdoors is also a good way to improve your stamina, especially if you do it while wearing full gear. In this way, you’ll be working out while also improving your reflexes and preparation skills. Just make sure that you do some research on the weather in your area before you go outdoors. Some states and provinces have extreme weather patterns that you need to be careful of. For example, if it’s snowing where you are, but the sun is beaming down, that can quickly turn into an icy blast that’ll take your breath away. Or, if it’s raining where you are, but the ice is in great condition, that can also be an accident waiting to happen. Always make sure that your equipment is suitable for the type of weather you’ll likely encounter.

Learn How To Stop Pucks

One of the greatest things about hockey is that it’s a game that anyone can play. Even those who are relatively new to the sport can score goals and be effective goaltenders. The best advice for someone who wants to improve their game is to learn from the best. There are a lot of great goalies out there, and watching them is a great way to learn how to stop pucks. Even those in the pros will sometimes help younger goalies out with advice and pointers on how they managed to stop such shots in the past. Just make sure that you’re respectful of their time and don’t bother them when they’re trying to enjoy a hockey game.

Work On Your Posture

Goaltenders have always been known for their agile postures and quick reflexes. It’s not easy looking like a hockey goalie and not moving like one. In order to keep that perfect posture, you need to work on your balance and core strength. To start, do some stretches before you practice to get your muscles and joints ready for the day’s drills. Stretching not only reduces the chances of injuries, but it also helps improve your game. The most common injury that goalies encounter is pulled muscles. The best way to avoid those is by working out regularly and keeping your body in good condition. Stiffer muscles mean healthier and more agile reflexes. Also, take the time to learn how to relax in order to reduce the aches and pains that come with the game. A lot of goalies have busy schedules, which means that they have to adjust their practice schedule in order to fit in some relaxation time. Learning mental toughness is also important because, for the most part, the job of a hockey goalie is not all that relaxing. The majority of the work is mental and, at times, even physical. There are always exceptions, of course, but, for the most part, being a goalie is not an easy job.

Play In Front Of A Television

One of the best ways for someone to improve their game is by playing in front of a television set. Hockey is a game that really shines when seen on TV. The lighting is usually excellent, so you can see the action clearly. Plus, the speed and volume are perfect for any arena. Playing in front of a television also allows you to practice against a digital copy of yourself. This way, you’ll be working on your reflexes, stopping power, and focus while also getting some entertainment out of it. Just make sure that you turn the volume down when they’re practicing so you don’t disturb your neighbors.

Try Something New

Sometimes, all a goalie needs is a change of scenery. Even the best hockey players in the world need a break every once in a while. Seeing as how you have to keep your eyes open for almost all of the game, it’s easy for your mind to wander. When this happens, it’s often the case that you make some bad decisions or become careless. A change of perspective can sometimes be the difference between winning and losing. The best thing for your game is a change of pace. Going to a different arena or park can also help improve your overall performance. The loud noises and vibrations bothersome for some people are also perfect for improving reflexes and concentration. Just make sure that you’re aware of the possibility that changing gears can sometimes put you in a tougher situation. If you do decide to try a new place, make sure that you research the rules and regulations before you show up in order to avoid any nasty surprises.

As you can see, there are lots of ways to improve your game. Whether it’s working on your posture or stretching before practice, learning from the best or trying something new, there’s always something you can do to become a better hockey goalie. Just remember to have some fun along the way and enjoy the process of becoming a pro goalkeeper. Having some drills and practices should be a fun part of the process, not a stressful one. While there’s no guarantee that you’ll become the greatest goalie in the world, there’s certainly always room for improvement.

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