THE SMALL PICTURE = THE BIG PICTURE:
Every athlete that is playing at a high level of hockey has got to that level due to a dream and a goal of playing there.
Reaching that point takes a focus on completing the small daily tasks and having a weekly plan. Yesterday we briefly described that it is important to breakdown each month into segments. Many coaches chunk their game schedule into 7-14 day segments for how many teams they will face.
As a goaltender it is important to prepare well in advance for games that are a week to two weeks ahead. In saying this, we are not looking at depicting our opponent to a tee but more so preparing mentally, technically, socially, and nutritionally.
Tips That Will Help You Breakdown Your Week and Stay Prepared:
- Nutrition. Make sure we are eating right throughout the week so we feel good all week long. This will help us prepare for games in advance instead of just thinking that if we eat right the day of the game it will put us in the best position to play that day. Drink lots of water and don't eat a lot of junk.
- Although it may not seem relevant to hockey, making sure things in our social life and school life is important for games as well. If we are not stressed out about things in our personal life such as school assignments and personal relationships it will help us focus on the hockey for the times we are at the rink. Whether it be at practice or games this will help us be ready come game time.
- If we are still in Minor Hockey at the Peewee, Bantam, or Midget level it is important that our equipment is ready and cautiously reviewed to make sure there is no panic come time for when we have to go to the rink. One of the easiest ways to do this is to write down tasks in advance. The night before write on a whiteboard or piece of paper that tasks that must be completed tomorrow such as sharpening your skates, getting new straps, etc...
- While it is important to prepare for games well in advance we don't want to stress out too much before the game. Try to avoid over thinking your upcoming game, rather just focus on what you are doing in a specific practice and your activities in your day to day life. This will help you avoid becoming mentally exhausted and you will be fresh and excited come game time.
Reminder to Review:
- Review your opponent. Know their tendencies and their top scores for how they like to approach the offensive zone and what they like to do on breakaways. Understand their Powerplay and who is the main player that they set up to shoot or the options that they like to use. We don't want to obsess over the opponent but more so be aware of their approach. Our own personal game as a goaltender - strengths and positive attributes- are what matters most.
Focus: Focus on the small tasks at hand in order to complete your big goals
- Know your tasks at hand
- Schedule your day to keep your mind at ease
- Review key nutritional areas, equipment, social life, etc...