Goalies: Dreaming of Going Pro? Read on and see if you’ve got what it takes.
Hockey is a physically demanding, fast-paced sport that takes a high degree of ability and commitment from its players. And the goalies among us undoubtedly would agree that playing that position is perhaps the hardest one of all—especially since there can only be one goaltender on the ice during a game.
There are a few crucial pointers for goalies dreaming of going pro to remember, especially those who seek to elevate their game and break into the professional ranks. These include mastering the fundamentals, learning to perform like a pro, and honing mental faculties.
Nailing the Basics
Mastering the fundamentals is the most significant piece of advice for aspiring professional hockey goalies. This includes using the right technique to make saves. For example, you need to work on the correct stance in front of the net, have the unwavering ability to keep your eye on the puck, and be able to respond quickly to the developing plays. It also involves comprehending and being able to use various types of saves, such as the Vertical Horizontal (VH) and Reverse Vertical Horizontal (RVH) saves. Most professional goalies would attest to the importance of having a solid foundation of skills like these to build on.
Working on conditioning is another hugely important point for prospective pro hockey goalies. Standing between the pipes is a difficult position that calls for extreme physical readiness, and anyone who wants to give themselves a slight advantage needs to put a great deal of focus into ensuring their body is up to the challenge.
Stamina is essential. Goalies must be strong and flexible, and able to perform for long periods of time. To get to the right level of fitness, it’s crucial to dedicate the necessary time and energy to cardio, weightlifting, and stretching routines. Maintaining a balanced diet that will provide the energy you need to perform is also imperative.
If you don’t think you can do that alone and believe that it would be beneficial for your future in the sport, there could be some value in hiring a personal trainer to get your body to the stage it needs to be at. They’ll be able to give you the best advice about what you need to do to get in the best shape.
Modeling After the Pros
Goalies dreaming of going pro one and are aspiring to take on the role of goaltender should look to those who have found success, and aim to replicate their methods. It’s called Modeling, and it works in every field, from sports to business. Obviously, if you want to be a professional hockey goalie you need to have some talent and skill. Using that as a framework too build upon and then looking at what the best in the field do can help you elevate your game further.
In Canada, ice hockey is more than the most popular sport. It’s almost a religion. So it’s easy to watch or listen to the games and follow some of the best goalies in the NHL. Aside from the games being televised or broadcast on the radio, there’s even a huge betting industry that gives you the chance to wager on the outcome of the games. There are so many betting sites in Canada to choose from that it’s possible to pick one based on the welcome offers. These include free bets and combo boosts. With hockey being the national sport in Canada, there are always loads of markets for the games.
When it comes to choosing goalies to model after, it’s wise to follow the most successful ones. Some of the best in the business right now include Andrei Vasilevskiy of the Tampa Bay Lightning; Igor Shesterkin of the New York Rangers; Juuse Saros of the Nashville Predators; and of course veteran netminder Marc-Andre Fleury of the Minnesota Wild.
If you are a goalie who is looking to model after a particular pro, you should try do as much research as possible into how they made it to the level they’re at today. Analyze information about where they trained, who they played with, and what their core values are. It would also help if you could learn their fitness regimes and eating habits as well. By replicating as many aspects of the pros as possible, it could help you become one yourself.
Goalies who have their heart set on playing in the pros need to have a solid grasp of the sport. This involves learning how to read the play and being able to predict what the opponents will do. Watching hockey games and focusing on how the goalies position themselves when making saves will help improve your understanding of the game.
That’s because the sport follows various patterns. And once you’ve managed to uncover them all, it will feel like you’ve finally cracked the code. Knowledge is an essential aspect of becoming an expert goalie, and that is what separates the good ones from the greats.
The importance of mental preparedness for goalies dreaming of going pro can’t be overstated either. Indeed, the success of professional goalies is significantly influenced by their mental conditioning. You must be able to bear the pressure of competing in high-stakes games and possess the ability to hold things together when the going gets tough. Opponents will try to get inside your head and if you let them, it can lead to a crisis of confidence as you work to keep those pucks out of the net.
Players who’ve got a strong mental game can maintain their composure and concentration, even when circumstances aren’t exactly favorable. It also means you need to establish clear, concise goals for yourself and develop a strategy for achieving them. You can perform better in those high-pressure situations by regularly practicing visualization and positive self-talk, as well as by building a strong sense of self-confidence.
If you want to make it to The Show and become a professional goalie, there are so many core facets that you need to develop. By working on each of these areas, you can give yourself a better chance of making it. Remember that nothing happens quickly or easily. It takes time, dedication, and a whole lot of failure before you achieve success.
Consult a physician before undertaking any training or nutrition program to ensure it’s right for you.
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