InGoal Magazine February 2012 : Page 48
Becoming -and staying -a No.1 Key preparation starts long before puck drop By: Perry Edlerbroom President of Gold in the Net hockey schools Former NHL goalie coach I “He doesn’t know how to be a Number One goalie.” Too many goalies think once they are playing well, they have arrived and it will carry them through to the next levels. For a select few that may be true, but each level requires a new level of intensity, a new level of pressure and a new While some goalies flourish at different levels level of preparation. of play, there are enormous differences in the mental and game preparations as a goalie ma-Just because you are a Number One goalie now doesn’t ensure that you will be a Number One tures throughout his hockey career. goalie when you reach your potential. Every The differences grow as the stakes and levels go goaltender in the NHL played as the Number up, from minor hockey onto junior or college. One goalie throughout most of their careers, Many make the adjustments, but there are also but when they reached the very top, many many that never really understand the differ-find themselves playing the role of the back-up ences, nor do they actually know how to be a goalie. Number One goalie. What happened? What changed? What are I remember Sean Burke, when he played for they doing differently? Is it that they have not the Hartford Whalers, telling me he could al-been given the chance? Or could it possibly be ways tell during training camp who was there that once you reach that level, the game and the for a short time, and who would last. He was pressures are all heightened. Everyone is good always right. Burke said it was because a lot at that level for everyone wants to be the guy. If of the younger players coming into the NHL there is any sign of weakness in your game, they didn’t know how to look after themselves, and will find and exploit it. he could spot them. Learning the game, honing the skills, working Back then, not as many paid attention to things hard and following a strict régime of workouts like diet and game preparation --habits that and continual practice does not ensure your we know now can actually dictate how long a place in the hockey universe. It is like a giant player lasts in the game. jigsaw puzzle and if you’re missing one of the pieces, you will never see the whole picture. If Burke must have been onto something because you think you’ve arrived, you’re already on the his career spanned 19 years in the NHL, with downslide. over 800 games played and 38 shutouts. He is a very fine individual who respected the game, There are good goalies that don’t know how to people in it, and the people who supported it. win, skilled stoppers without the mental sta-He also never stopped learning, making signifi-bility to play consistently, and talented targets cant style adjustments even as his career began who don’t know how to be a Number One. It’s to wind down. a role that comes with so much responsibility, ’ve thought about this state-ment many times, and come to realize it is very true. 48 InGoal Magazine February 2012
Becoming - and staying - a No.1
Perry Elderbroom, Gold in the Net Hockey Schools Inc.
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