By Cecilia Erica. Hockey Gear and Equipment. Published at Friday, April 13th, 2018 - 15:47:00 PM.
MENTAL PREPARATION The game of goaltending is 80 percent mental. Prepare your mind before you hit the ice. Take five to 10 minutes and find a quiet spot where you can be alone to focus. Visualizing plays and seeing yourself make the right play will help you immensely. It may mean the difference between making a mistake and making the right decision at the right time.
HAND SKILLS With the advancement of the butterfly save in the early to mid-1990s goaltenders started perfecting their on-ice coverage and the use of their hands was a bit forgotten. Catching a puck means possession for your team and rebounds off your blocker are steered to the corner. In warmup do a simple drill of catching pucks and blocking shots to the corner. Drop 30 pucks in the slot and while in your butterfly have someone shoot at your hands. The Finnish goalies especially Kari Lehtonen in Dallas do this every day as part of their warmup.
Repetitions without being repetitive. We are all guilty of relying on our favorite tried-and-true drills to work on specific skills. A coach should not lose sight of the importance of continuing to promote skill development but mixing in different drills and small area games with new objectives can go a long way to keeping players engaged.
Enthusiasm is contagious. If you find it hard to drag yourself into the rink and onto the ice for practice how can you expect your players to be engaged and motivated? We have a few tricks to keep everyone excited about practice. Sometimes we'll pump music over the PA system to get players moving. Or we'll start practice with a small area game to get the competitive juices flowing.
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