Pre-Game Prep for Hockey Players

It’s been said in pretty much all of the hockey circles, that goalies are a little bit on
the goofy or weirdo side. Yes, I’ve played with a couple that would fit that
description, but for the most part, I think goalies have gotten a bad wrap.
Some of my best friends and guys I hung out with the most during my playing days were goalies.
They weren’t any goofier and the rest of us knuckleheads. Why I think
goalies have this label is because they were the first. Out of all players, forwards,
defensemen and goalies, it’s the goalie that learns the process of focusing prior to
competition and this is taught from hockey game prep.
Hockey game preparation is incredibly important if you want to play consistent.
Before games goalies are often viewed as quiet, withdrawn or disconnected from
the rest of the team. They aren’t weird; they’re just going through their pregame
routine, or ritual.
Goalies are taught this pregame habit at a very young age, way before the other
hockey positions. You can now see how goalies get the oddball stamp early on.
They were different and way ahead of their peers from a game preparation
standpoint.
Once players graduate to the higher levels, everyone ends up developing their own way to get ready for games. This isn’t unique to just hockey, it’s something
everybody does everyday, to prepare for productivity and success.
If you look at businessperson, someone who goes into work Monday – Friday from
9-5, there is a morning routine that happens across the board. The person wakes
up, takes a shower, has breakfast, organizes tasks that need to be completed, makes the drive in while mentally prepping for the execution of tasks, arrives and gets after it.
We do this as hockey players for similar reasons, to play consistent, with passion
and the objective of productivity for the prize of a win. Each player has their own
goofiness association with the way they approach pregame prep, not just goalies. I had a guy I played with in Ottawa that had to balance his stick on one of the toilet bowls after warm-ups, to insure plenty of scoring chances.
Routines and rituals continue to evolve throughout the season and a career. This
ever-changing pregame pattern is associated with solid play. If before a game, I
wore a certain t-shirt and played great, it’s a good bet I’ll be wearing the same shirt for the next game, and the next one until it doesn’t work anymore.
For some reason, we think the outcome of the game can be determined by what
skate is put on first or tapping the goalies right pad 3 times before hitting the ice.
Regardless of what we think or do before games, the objective is constant, we’re all trying to find the right combination to go out and play our best hockey. Thanks for stopping by, and remember to Work Hard and Dream Bigger than Everyone Else!!
Coach Pitlick

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