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Jonathon v

Why can’t I play like I practice?

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I had my first game of the season in a tournament and we tied. I felt pretty good during warmups but once we started l, I felt very slow, my hands weren’t active, I wasn’t staying on angle, and I was doubting my movement/stance. We tied 2-2 and i didn’t even have many shots on me. One shot hit my shoulder and trickled over and I dove back but it crossed the line and the second was a poor angle shot low glove trickled through and they got the rebound. Why can’t I just play my game like in practice. Those were decent shooters in high school but I do 10 times better against people like my friend who went to Indiana to play juniors and I’m not exaggerating. On the goal that trickled under my glove, it layed in the goal crease and there was a guy right there to shoot it in abt half a second-1 second later. I had time to go into the splits to make an attempt but I didn’t. I don’t know why because In practice I probably would have instinctively dropped into the splits to try. Can someone please help me I can’t figure out how to play my game. It’s killing my and ruining my love for the sport

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5 hours ago, Jonathon v said:

I had my first game of the season in a tournament and we tied. I felt pretty good during warmups but once we started l, I felt very slow, my hands weren’t active, I wasn’t staying on angle, and I was doubting my movement/stance. We tied 2-2 and i didn’t even have many shots on me. One shot hit my shoulder and trickled over and I dove back but it crossed the line and the second was a poor angle shot low glove trickled through and they got the rebound. Why can’t I just play my game like in practice. Those were decent shooters in high school but I do 10 times better against people like my friend who went to Indiana to play juniors and I’m not exaggerating. On the goal that trickled under my glove, it layed in the goal crease and there was a guy right there to shoot it in abt half a second-1 second later. I had time to go into the splits to make an attempt but I didn’t. I don’t know why because In practice I probably would have instinctively dropped into the splits to try. Can someone please help me I can’t figure out how to play my game. It’s killing my and ruining my love for the sport

Sorry to hear you are struggling.  We all struggle from time to time,  for sure.  Goaltending is very demanding mentally and emotionally and it can really get frustrating and downright toxic for us at times depending on how we handle the stress that comes with being a goalie. 

That said, how would you say you handle stress, generally,  and more specifically when playing?

Are you an anxious person? Highly competitive person? Are you an introvert perhaps struggling with self-talk or embarrassment or anxiety in stressful situations? 

How do you feel when you let in a goal? What do you think when you let in a goal? 

Do you use self-talk? Is it positive or negative? Optimistic or pessimistic? Any sayings you regularly say to yourself?

I hope you see where I'm going. I  have struggled with feelings of embarrassment and negative self-talk over the years as a goalie,  particularly in my 20s when I was less stable and less happy, overall.

I've come a long way with this stuff but man, it was a lot of work and took a lot of discipline.

It can be overcome though if the source of your frustration is mental or emotional. It takes time and practice. 

Being good to ourselves is not easy. 

Edited by seagoal
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@Jonathon v I love your enthusiasm and how often you post, so I hope this does not come off negatively...

But based on some of the questions you’ve had about pad seals and this post... my gut says you might overthink things? I suffer from this same affliction.

I think you need to figure out some mental queues that will enable you to clear your head and just play. 

@Mike Stacey any other thoughts?

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1 hour ago, Jonathon v said:

I had my first game of the season in a tournament and we tied. I felt pretty good during warmups but once we started l, I felt very slow, my hands weren’t active, I wasn’t staying on angle, and I was doubting my movement/stance. We tied 2-2 and i didn’t even have many shots on me. One shot hit my shoulder and trickled over and I dove back but it crossed the line and the second was a poor angle shot low glove trickled through and they got the rebound. Why can’t I just play my game like in practice. Those were decent shooters in high school but I do 10 times better against people like my friend who went to Indiana to play juniors and I’m not exaggerating. On the goal that trickled under my glove, it layed in the goal crease and there was a guy right there to shoot it in abt half a second-1 second later. I had time to go into the splits to make an attempt but I didn’t. I don’t know why because In practice I probably would have instinctively dropped into the splits to try. Can someone please help me I can’t figure out how to play my game. It’s killing my and ruining my love for the sport

We have all definitely been in your position at one point or another. I find when we practice we take the pressure off ourselves a bit, try new things, practice technique, and not worry as much if a puck gets by us. But when it’s a game and we know we have to stop every puck we put pressure on ourselves, over think what we’re doing, and worry too much about the outcome. I know I used to hype myself up so much for a game I wasn’t really focused and played poorly making mistakes that led to goals. It took years to get where I am now (over 35 beer league!) but I keep it simple in my head. Just stop the next shot. It doesn’t need to be a perfect save, it just needs to be a save. 

I heard a quote that I always remember, I think it was Chris Osgood. “You will always play you’re best when you are having fun!”

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2 hours ago, seagoal said:

Sorry to hear you are struggling.  We all struggle from time to time,  for sure.  Goaltending is very demanding mentally and emotionally and it can really get frustrating and downright toxic for us at times depending on how we handle the stress that comes with being a goalie. 

That said, how would you say you handle stress, generally,  and more specifically when playing?

Are you an anxious person? Highly competitive person? Are you an introvert perhaps struggling with self-talk or embarrassment or anxiety in stressful situations? 

How do you feel when you let in a goal? What do you think when you let in a goal? 

Do you use self-talk? Is it positive or negative? Optimistic or pessimistic? Any sayings you regularly say to yourself?

I hope you see where I'm going. I  have struggled with feelings of embarrassment and negative self-talk over the years as a goalie,  particularly in my 20s when I was less stable and less happy, overall.

I've come a long way with this stuff but man, it was a lot of work and took a lot of discipline.

It can be overcome though of the source of your frustration is mental or emotional. It takes time and practice. 

Being good to ourselves is not easy. 

I am very competitive. when I play hockey I do get stressed during games. when I let in goals I think that was shitty goal sometimes like today. I think negative thoughts mostly  during game unless Im doing good

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2 hours ago, TheGoalNet said:

@Jonathon v I love your enthusiasm and how often you post, so I hope this does not come off negatively...

But based on some of the questions you’ve had about pad seals and this post... my gut says you might overthink things? I suffer from this same affliction.

I think you need to figure out some mental queues that will enable you to clear your head and just play. 

@Mike Stacey any other thoughts?

I agree with you I overthink things but that might be my angles and movements during games. I don't blame my equiptment for any of the goals I let in

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1 hour ago, Matt35 said:

We have all definitely been in your position at one point or another. I find when we practice we take the pressure off ourselves a bit, try new things, practice technique, and not worry as much if a puck gets by us. But when it’s a game and we know we have to stop every puck we put pressure on ourselves, over think what we’re doing, and worry too much about the outcome. I know I used to hype myself up so much for a game I wasn’t really focused and played poorly making mistakes that led to goals. It took years to get where I am now (over 35 beer league!) but I keep it simple in my head. Just stop the next shot. It doesn’t need to be a perfect save, it just needs to be a save. 

I heard a quote that I always remember, I think it was Chris Osgood. “You will always play you’re best when you are having fun!”

1 hour ago, Matt35 said:

We have all definitely been in your position at one point or another. I find when we practice we take the pressure off ourselves a bit, try new things, practice technique, and not worry as much if a puck gets by us. But when it’s a game and we know we have to stop every puck we put pressure on ourselves, over think what we’re doing, and worry too much about the outcome. I know I used to hype myself up so much for a game I wasn’t really focused and played poorly making mistakes that led to goals. It took years to get where I am now (over 35 beer league!) but I keep it simple in my head. Just stop the next shot. It doesn’t need to be a perfect save, it just needs to be a save. 

I heard a quote that I always remember, I think it was Chris Osgood. “You will always play you’re best when you are having fun!”

Ok thank you. So maybe I should not warm up as much before my game? I throw tennis ball a lot

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3 minutes ago, Jonathon v said:

Ok thank you. So maybe I should not warm up as much before my game? I throw tennis ball a lot

Warming up is good before a game. Maybe try to keep your routine and mindset the same as before a practice. Stay loose, stay relaxed. 

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3 minutes ago, Matt35 said:

Warming up is good before a game. Maybe try to keep your routine and mindset the same as before a practice. Stay loose, stay relaxed. 

Ok I will try at my game tomorrow thank you for the advice  

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52 minutes ago, Jonathon v said:

I am very competitive. when I play hockey I do get stressed during games. when I let in goals I think that was shitty goal sometimes like today. I think negative thoughts mostly  during game unless Im doing good

A guy I golf with landed planes on air craft carriers. Wiggle your toes at the same time and it turns off your inner monologue. That could help with the negativity comes. 

Also smile, sounds cheesy but it works 

lastly, try and sing a song with the negativity comes, clears your head 

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1 hour ago, Jonathon v said:

I am very competitive. when I play hockey I do get stressed during games. when I let in goals I think that was shitty goal sometimes like today. I think negative thoughts mostly  during game unless Im doing good

Ok, so there are some things with this you can work on. 

One thing that helps me is always think of the future.  You let in a bad goal - so rather than think "that was a shitty goal" , think "i can handle that better next time by doing __________________________." 

Everyone lets in bad goals and we can not be perfect.  You should check out @TheGoalNet Instagram at a video from earlier this week of a KHL goalie letting in a slapshot that was taken near the other goalie.  It happens.  So what now? It's so easy to get consumed with negative thoughts.  Instead, get consumed with positive thoughts.  "It's okay to make mistakes." "Next time my stick will be on the ice sooner."  "I will keep my body square to the puck rather than twisted sideways" (like the KHL goalie was).  " I need to start my pushes sooner."  "I need to have my hands in front of me rather than on side of me."  Etc. 

 It's not productive to to only think positive when you are doing good. You can think positive when you are doing bad, too.  Think of things you can improve on and control.  You can always, always control your positioning. Your gear. Your save selections. Your technique. Your thoughts.  Your feelings. Your reactions to things.

You can not ever control your team.  The other team. The refs. The shots. The hockey in front of you.  

One thing I tell myself, verbally out loud before every period is "The most important save you are going to make is the next one."  Why? Because What has happened has happened and it's done and out of my control. I can only control my future now and I can prepare and put myself in a position to be positive. 

I think it would help you a ton if you really hone in on the source of your stress so that you can work on relieving yourself from it and focus on making all of your thoughts positive and constructive, regardless of the score or how good your goaltending is in any game.  

If you think positive you will learn to feel positive and this combination will make you a better, more confident goalie.  100%. 

Edited by seagoal
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3 hours ago, Matt35 said:

I heard a quote that I always remember, I think it was Chris Osgood. “You will always play you’re best when you are having fun!”

Cannot overstate that. An unhappy goalie is never playing at their best.

You need to find what gets you in The Zone, and The Zone is different for everyone. Some guys have a Zen-like Zone, playing their best when they're calm, cool, and collected; "loose and relaxed" is what I hear a lot. That's not me at all. I'm in The Zone when I'm aggressive on the play, forcing players to react to me as much as I am to them, thinking only about how I can get my mitts on that puck because it is MINE and I will FIGHT YOU FOR IT. Loose and relaxed? No, I need to be chomping at the bit, feeling that fire in my belly.

It's easy to say "don't get caught up in your head", but that's really what it's all about. You just need to figure out what gets you in The Zone, living in the moment. And don't be afraid to try something new if your routine isn't working.

Hell, I've taken to reading books before my games. I mean sitting in the locker room, everything on but my gloves and chestie, reading a paperback novel while the Zamboni does its thing. It clears out all the crap from my thoughts, like a reboot for my brain. It doesn't need to be what everyone else does, it doesn't need to make sense from the outside. The only thing that matters is whether or not it works for you.

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I forgot which pro goalie coach or player said it but in an interview to take some pressure off ... try to take the period 5 minutes at a time.. 1 shot at a time. Breaking it down like that may help. I've tried this and the 1 shot at a time approach helps me. I don't like to follow the clock too much but I get what he was saying. 

A former pro goalie said once he learned how to rest during a game. I wish i knew where to find those articles. I'd like to read them myself again. 

Have a good game! 

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From all the post I've seen from you jonaton what i think is that you overthink things too much and it's affecting your game

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This whole thread is really something. This is the community at its best! And from some of the comments and exchanges elsewhere on the site, I think this is exactly the kind of thing @TheGoalNet was hoping to cultivate. So congrats, man. You should be very happy!

Dull disclosure: I’ve been creeping this thread and picking up great stuff myself. So while @Jonathon v is the courageous OP dude, many others are benefiting. Cheers everyone!

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image.png.56748e7f6fff6acc3d0d960b1cb920a4.png

Get this book and read it through. Then read it again to really absorb it. Totally changed my game. I went from letting in double digits to getting forced up a division in beer league over the span of a few months after reading this.

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I came across this post on IG for hockeyprotraining. Pretty spot on and he’s worth the follow. 

E7945AD5-D556-4B77-9EA9-EBD47305610B.png

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18 hours ago, Scythe said:

I forgot which pro goalie coach or player said it but in an interview to take some pressure off ... try to take the period 5 minutes at a time.. 1 shot at a time. Breaking it down like that may help. I've tried this and the 1 shot at a time approach helps me. I don't like to follow the clock too much but I get what he was saying. 

A former pro goalie said once he learned how to rest during a game. I wish i knew where to find those articles. I'd like to read them myself again. 

Have a good game! 

Pretty sure this was Steve McKichan.

Break the game down into two minute (or some other manageable time frame) mini periods and focus on stopping everything in that time. 

For your reset button, drink water. Huge save, take a swig. Awful goal, take a swig. Everything in between, take a swig. You’ll slowly condition yourself to not get too high or too low. Keeping to the same pre game routine helps with this.  Unpack and dress in the same order. 

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On 9/7/2019 at 10:47 PM, TheGoalNet said:

A guy I golf with landed planes on air craft carriers. Wiggle your toes at the same time and it turns off your inner monologue. That could help with the negativity comes. 

Also smile, sounds cheesy but it works 

lastly, try and sing a song with the negativity comes, clears your head 

So I should wiggle my toes while I’m playing?

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On 9/7/2019 at 7:02 PM, Jonathon v said:

I had my first game of the season in a tournament and we tied. I felt pretty good during warmups but once we started l, I felt very slow, my hands weren’t active, I wasn’t staying on angle, and I was doubting my movement/stance. We tied 2-2 and i didn’t even have many shots on me. One shot hit my shoulder and trickled over and I dove back but it crossed the line and the second was a poor angle shot low glove trickled through and they got the rebound. Why can’t I just play my game like in practice. Those were decent shooters in high school but I do 10 times better against people like my friend who went to Indiana to play juniors and I’m not exaggerating. On the goal that trickled under my glove, it layed in the goal crease and there was a guy right there to shoot it in abt half a second-1 second later. I had time to go into the splits to make an attempt but I didn’t. I don’t know why because In practice I probably would have instinctively dropped into the splits to try. Can someone please help me I can’t figure out how to play my game. It’s killing my and ruining my love for the sport

Your thinking too much which slows down your reaction time.  In practice and scrimmages there's little to no pressure, so you just relax and play your game.  

When you play against better players like your friend, its likely at a much faster pace.  That results in you just moving and reacting, not over-thinking or over-analyzing your play while on the ice.

What I did years ago to help myself was take some tape and write little notes to myself on the handle of my stick.  Stay Square! Hands Forward and Active!  Stick Down!  Stop the F***ing Puck!  They just served as reminders to just play my game.

One day you'll play beer league and you'll wonder why you can post a shut out in A/B league one night and get completely lit up in Lower C the next.  Its the speed of the game.  The faster it is, the more we are forced to just move and react to the puck/play.  As the pace of play slows down, we end up with time to think...that's a bad thing. 

Funny thing about myself is I've played some of my best games when I'm tired and/or hungover.  Why?  Because I'm too tired to think.  Physically I feel like shit, but mentally I'm turned off, so I just react to the puck...lol.

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49 minutes ago, jayluv54 said:

Your thinking too much which slows down your reaction time.  In practice and scrimmages there's little to no pressure, so you just relax and play your game.  

When you play against better players like your friend, its likely at a much faster pace.  That results in you just moving and reacting, not over-thinking or over-analyzing your play while on the ice.

What I did years ago to help myself was take some tape and write little notes to myself on the handle of my stick.  Stay Square! Hands Forward and Active!  Stick Down!  Stop the F***ing Puck!  They just served as reminders to just play my game.

One day you'll play beer league and you'll wonder why you can post a shut out in A/B league one night and get completely lit up in Lower C the next.  Its the speed of the game.  The faster it is, the more we are forced to just move and react to the puck/play.  As the pace of play slows down, we end up with time to think...that's a bad thing. 

Funny thing about myself is I've played some of my best games when I'm tired and/or hungover.  Why?  Because I'm too tired to think.  Physically I feel like shit, but mentally I'm turned off, so I just react to the puck...lol.

Lol ok thank you. Sometimes I go against bad players and do just fine tho like my 2-0 shutout last night

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On 9/7/2019 at 10:50 PM, seagoal said:

Ok, so there are some things with this you can work on. 

One thing that helps me is always think of the future.  You let in a bad goal - so rather than think "that was a shitty goal" , think "i can handle that better next time by doing __________________________." 

Everyone lets in bad goals and we can not be perfect.  You should check out @TheGoalNet Instagram at a video from earlier this week of a KHL goalie letting in a slapshot that was taken near the other goalie.  It happens.  So what now? It's so easy to get consumed with negative thoughts.  Instead, get consumed with positive thoughts.  "It's okay to make mistakes." "Next time my stick will be on the ice sooner."  "I will keep my body square to the puck rather than twisted sideways" (like the KHL goalie was).  " I need to start my pushes sooner."  "I need to have my hands in front of me rather than on side of me."  Etc. 

 It's not productive to to only think positive when you are doing good. You can think positive when you are doing bad, too.  Think of things you can improve on and control.  You can always, always control your positioning. Your gear. Your save selections. Your technique. Your thoughts.  Your feelings. Your reactions to things.

You can not ever control your team.  The other team. The refs. The shots. The hockey in front of you.  

One thing I tell myself, verbally out loud before every period is "The most important save you are going to make is the next one."  Why? Because What has happened has happened and it's done and out of my control. I can only control my future now and I can prepare and put myself in a position to be positive. 

I think it would help you a ton if you really hone in on the source of your stress so that you can work on relieving yourself from it and focus on making all of your thoughts positive and constructive, regardless of the score or how good your goaltending is in any game.  

If you think positive you will learn to feel positive and this combination will make you a better, more confident goalie.  100%. 

Ok Thank you I did good at my game yesterday 2-0 win the team wasn’t that good though 

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20 hours ago, goalieThreeOne said:

image.png.56748e7f6fff6acc3d0d960b1cb920a4.png

Get this book and read it through. Then read it again to really absorb it. Totally changed my game. I went from letting in double digits to getting forced up a division in beer league over the span of a few months after reading this.

I read some of this book before was very confusing to me

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10 hours ago, Chenner29 said:

Pretty sure this was Steve McKichan.

Break the game down into two minute (or some other manageable time frame) mini periods and focus on stopping everything in that time. 

For your reset button, drink water. Huge save, take a swig. Awful goal, take a swig. Everything in between, take a swig. You’ll slowly condition yourself to not get too high or too low. Keeping to the same pre game routine helps with this.  Unpack and dress in the same order. 

I do the dressing all the same and mostly packing. I felt good at my game yesterday when I was just joking around with my teammates and trying to have fun. Should I do that along with trying the water bottle tactics too? Those seem like they go against each other, as the water trick seems to make you try and focus and the joking around is to try and make me feel loose and not overthink 

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