It takes hard work to get there, and sometimes it seems like more work than you can ever hope to take on. Work that takes continuous commitment and dedication.
A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. Once you are on that journey there might be a lot of steps – but they are all small and manageable.
Do you have something that you want to do to improve your game? Crunches or other exercise to improve your core strength? Lunges or other leg work to improve your strength? Juggling to improve your hand-eye coordination? On-Ice movement patterns that can improve your in net mobility?
You can make huge strides by simply making a commitment to regular practice no matter how brief. In fact, regular training will do far more for your goaltending than irregular but very intense training. 30 min a day for 7 days beats 3 and a half hours in one shot no matter how you look at it. 10 minutes a day for a month beats five one hour sessions in a month hands down.
One's muscle memory and ability to repeat specifics is dependent upon how often one practices. For example, student A can cram in studying before an exam late at night and pass, but student B that studys more often and paces their learning has a stronger chance of mastering the learned requirements.
This being said, from a goaltending perspective there are both learning and performing aspects of the game that must be practiced together.
One can be taught learning and performance aspects after one practice. From certain teachings, one can aquire new areas to their game.But this being said, these aspects will not be exceptional and will be far from perfection.
For example, a student of the game can be taught the steps of a T-Push and practice them during an hour of ice time. The student has practiced the T-Push and has developed the proper mechanics. False. Development takes time, specific correction and analysis over numerous practices. It is impossible to make an aspect of the position and be exceptional from one practice.
This can be related to numerous aspects of goaltending on various levels - from the mental side, nutrition, on-ice, and off-ice performance.
Now saying this – set yourself a goal today. Write it down. Make a commitment. Stick to it.
“I will do ten lunges on each leg every single day without fail, to improve my leg strength.”
“I will practice juggling for 5 minutes every single day, without fail, to improve my hand eye coordination.”
“I will work on developing my edge control and mobility – 20 movement patterns each day without fail, to improve my in net mobility.”
Those are all very easy goals if you think about it. But in the end what do you get?
3650 lunges per leg in a year.
Over 30 hours of juggling!
7300 movement patterns.
How much would your hand eye coordination improve with 30 hours of practice? How much faster and more powerful would you be after 7300 movement patterns?
How good will you be if you do nothing?
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-Article additions from David Hutchison @ InGoalMagazine