2020 hcn goaltending feature

How to recover from a bad goal

Key for goaltenders is to manage their reaction and quickly put focus back on competing

Pasco Valana
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February 25, 2020
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It happens to even the best goaltenders. Nobody comes to the rink to play poorly or allow a bad goal and those moments are often amplified by the initial reaction when they do happen.

From minor hockey to the National Hockey League, mistakes happen, funny bounces happen and goaltenders will more often than not be scored on at least once per game. Knowing this means a need to manage that process quickly and effectively.

Step 1: Recognize and develop a plan
Goaltenders will allow goals, and sometimes they will appear to be easy stops that somehow got away. They should have a plan (no more than 10 seconds) to manage their reaction to that moment so it doesn’t become a momentum-changer or string of poor goals in short order.

Step 2: Review
What caused the goal? Was the shot taken for granted? Were steps skipped that were normally followed?

Step 3: Bring closure
Breathe. It’s done, it's over and the goal is now in the past. Goaltenders should never allow a negative thought to complete itself in their mind. Always disrupt negative thoughts with positive affirmations.

Step 4: Compete
Bring back the competitive nature. Get ready to defend the net, and that starts with physical presence. Dealing with goals against should be approached the same as physical fitness. It is a muscle that needs to be flexed often while working on the mental game. Goaltenders can have size, skill, and technical and tactical skills, but if they fail to be strong mentally the very foundation of a goaltender becomes flawed.

For more information:

Esther Madziya
Coordinator, Media Relations
Hockey Canada
403-284-6484
[email protected]

 

Spencer Sharkey
Coordinator, Communications
Hockey Canada
Office: 403-777-4567
Mobile: 905-906-5327
[email protected]

 

 

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