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Confidence: Doing a mental reset to bring it back

With the summer more than halfway over, try outs and training camps are fast approaching. Some have already started. Confidence will play a big role in your success when you step on the ice to audition for the team you dream of playing for. 

A big part of a goalies success is mental. A big part of a goalies mental success is confidence. 

If confidence is so important why do so many goalies not know where confidence comes from and how to obtain it? 

Ask 10 goalies where confidence comes from and you may get one of them to answer you correctly. 

Confidence, although it is of huge importance to our success, it is not taught in our school systems and unless a goalie lucks into an unbelievable coach or mentor they are not going to know where confidence comes from and how to be Totally Confident.

Clients either call me at a set time each week or they call me when they struggle. Recently, in mid-July, I received calls from two goalies who were struggling. They were two similar situations, both with the same issue: Confidence!

THE PROBLEM

Goalie 1: The first goalie, a Midget AAA goalie, was in a tryout and halfway through the ice time, didn’t come up with a save on a bad angle shot that went through his legs. He was playing well and totally confident up until that point in his try out scrimmage. He had a momentary lapse in concentration and boom, didn’t make a save from a bad angle shot. He said at that point his confidence dropped severely. Someone observing him also mentioned that his body language changed from great to poor at that point too. 

Goalie 2: The second goalie, a USHL goalie in tryouts, had a similar issue; he didn’t make a couple of saves early on and struggled the rest of the scrimmage. 

THE PROBLEM IN DETAIL

I basically told goalie 1 and goalie 2 the same exact thing. 

Step one: What was your confidence level when you started your ice time? Both said about an 8/10.

Step two: What level did your confidence level drop to when you didn’t come up with a save? Both said a 5 or 6.

Step three: Did you do a reset after you didn’t make the save? Both answered no. 

Step four: Where does confidence come from? Both had a hard time answering. It comes from what you focus on and how you move. Remember this and it will save your bacon in a tough game. 

Step five: Where did your focus go when you didn’t make the save? Both answered “on the save I didn’t make” 

Step six: When your focus moved onto the save they didn’t come up with, what happened to your body language? Both answered, it wasn’t good from that point on.

THE SOLUTION

Take a tip from Marc-Andre Fleury – keep smiling!

The solution is to do a reset when you don’t make the save. 

Here is exactly what I told both goalies. 

Firstly, don’t be textbook reader, be a doer, you have to practice these techniques outside of your games or they won’t work. You can’t just talk theory and then expect to apply it in a game. Like any skill it needs to be practiced. This may be one of your most valuable skills. 

Here’s what to do after you don’t make a save…

Step 1: Stand tall immediately, just as if you made a great save and the fans are cheering for you. Put your shoulders back, chin up, breathe deep. 

Step 2: Smile! Yes smile, when you smile it is like rebooting your computer or phone. Marc-Andre Fleury knows what that’s all about!

Step 3: Ask yourself the question “what can I do next time to guarantee I make the save?” 

Step 4: Run a quick movie of you making the save. 

Step 5: Realize that you are now a better goalie because of what just happened. 

Step 5: Now you have to forget about it and move on. You may squirt your water bottle following a drop of water just like John Stevenson taught Braden Holtby. You may do a skate to the corner and back imagining you have a superman cape on. 

Finding a way to refocus quickly is important for goalies at all levels. (InGoal Photo by Scott Slingsby)

Step 6: At this point you should be able to move on, to be in the moment and focus on the next save. You should have your power back. If you feel that you are still carrying some baggage from what just happened (sometimes, even though you’re thinking positive and moving in the right way, for some reason you may still carry that negative feeling), you then need to snap out of it by moving powerfully. I tell my clients to take either their glove hand or blocker hand and pound the side of their chest followed by moving their hand forward in a punching like motion while at the same time yelling the word “Power” or “Reset” – you can pick your own word.

I had both goalies do this over the phone. The first was super loud when he yelled out his power word. The second was not as loud as I wanted him to be and when I asked him to forget about what people think and just do it he told me (because it was mid day on a game day) that his roommate was having his pre-game nap. So I told him to go down the hall or somewhere he could yell at the top of his lungs. Even though he went down the hall I still think he woke his roommate up as he was so loud!

The first goalie texted me after his next tryout scrimmage and said. “Thank you for the talk Pete. Body language really helped me. No reset required, I got a shutout!!!”   The second goalie’s dad texted me after his next tryout scrimmage:  “played 27 minutes and got a shutout today, thanks for talking to him.”

Well, we practiced the resets, yet it looks like they were not needed. Remember the only person in control of your confidence is you. Understand it comes from what you focus on and how you move. Control your focus and have powerful body language. John and I do this live with the goalies in our Play Our of Your Mind Seminar/Workshops. Look forward to meeting you at one of our events. 

 — Pete Fry “The Goalie Mindset Guy”

 

About The Author

Pete Fry

Author, Speaker and Professional Goalie Mindset Consultant, Pete Fry takes goalies to the next level by working with their Mindset. Using proprietary mental training techniques developed from over 30 years of research and goaltender development, Fry shows goalies exactly how to do to visualize success and be mentally prepared, when to do it, and why it works using a ground breaking 30-day program, Goalie Mindset Power.

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