Select Page

Got Failure? It’s all Part of Setting Goals and Improving as a Goalie

Got Failure? It’s all Part of Setting Goals and Improving as a Goalie
Maria Mountain, M.Sc.

Maria Mountain, M.Sc.

Got Failure?

A bit of a funny title for an off-ice training article isn’t it? Well, I am not going to talk specifically about a goalie training technique today, but I am going to help set a framework for where you are going.

Today, I am all about failure. You see, I failed today. As I type this I am wallowing in failure.

Here’s how I got to this glorious state. I have a virtual meeting every Thursday with four guys from the Mastermind group I belong to. We get on a Google ‘Hangout’ and go over what big-three tasks we are going to complete by the next week that moves us closer to our goals. Then we have to say what we will do or give up if we don’t get all three of them done.

No excuses allowed.

Well, I failed a couple of weeks ago and as a result me (and my better half Paul) are running five hill repeats (it takes 60 seconds to run up the hill), twice per week for three weeks.

I failed again this week (I was close, but failed nonetheless) and as a result cannot buy my lunch for a month – brown bag for me!

Why am I fine with failure? Well, if you don’t fail from time to time, you are not aiming high enough. You are coasting.

This got me thinking about the book I am reading right now called “The Pledge: Your Master Plan For An Abundant Life” (I know kind of a goofy title) by Michael Masterson. I am only a couple chapters into it, but I like it so far, and I wanted to share some data from the book with you:

1. A study Masterson refers to from Psychology Today and performed by researchers from Virginia Polytechnical Institute found with a group of 56 females who were asked to do as many sit ups as they could in 90 seconds each day for four consecutive days. The group that was simply told to ‘do their best’ had an average score of 43 sit-ups on the fourth day. However, the second group was told to do more sit ups on each consecutive day, and finished with an average of 56 sit-ups on the final day.

2. The good people at Daytimer surveyed American workers and found those with the highest incomes and most successful careers were the ones who had written goals, but also worked off daily task lists with steps to help them achieve those goals.

Of the 70 percent who did not write out their goals, only 9 percent of them achieved what they had wanted to do each day.

3. The final study comes from the Harvard Business School – on its very own grads. You would think if you had a degree from the Harvard Business School you would be pretty set, right? Well not so fast, here’s what they found: Up to 27 percent needed financial assistance, 60 percent lived ‘paycheck-to-paycheck’, 10 percent lived comfortably and only 3 percent were financially independent. And, you guessed it, the 3 percent of Harvard Business School grads who were financially independent 10-years after graduation had written goals with the actions steps to accomplish them.

Surprising data, eh?

Right now my task from the book is to turn dreams into goals and his steps are to write down:

• Your wildest, longest held dream

• Now make it specific. For example, ‘I want to have 17 shut outs’ instead of, ‘I want more shut outs’

• How can you make it actionable? In other words, what will you do to achieve that goal? Hire a goalie coach? Start working out? Start stretching five days per week?

• Put a time limit on it.

• Is it a realistic goal? Is there a way you can make it realistic?

Why don’t you take a minute to go through this exercise, and remember – aim high.

Even though I failed this week, I got about 30 percent more work done than I normally would have because I was literally working from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. trying to hit my target. I was motivated.

So write out your big three for the next week – things that will move you toward the goal you set for yourself in the exercise above. Then write down what you will give up or do if you fail and show it to someone, so they know what you have on the line.


Maria Mountain is the strength and conditioning coach to Olympic, World and Stanley Cup Champions. She specializes in off-ice training for hockey goalies. Visit to learn more or click here for your free copy of the Ultimate Guide to Durable and Flexible Hips for Goalies

Do you want to train with Maria Mountain?
Become a member of the new goalie workout club

About The Author

Maria Mountain M.Sc.

Hockey strength and conditioning coach Maria Mountain, MSc specializes in off-ice training for hockey goalies. As the founder of and the owner of Revolution Sport Conditioning in London, Ontario, Maria has trained Olympic Gold medalists, a Stanley Cup Champ and athletes from MLB, NHL, AHL, CHL, CIS and more. Try Maria's Goalie Stretch Solution today.