goalie love

19 04 2010

mental toughness – it’s a beautiful thing.  i don’t know if there are too many athletes that are mentally tougher than NHL goalies.  as i watched the kings game tonight, i thought about how incredibly resilient goalies have to be when they get scored on, when their teams lose, or when they get pulled from the game.  as much as i liked taunting the opposing team’s goalie (from my couch, no less),  a part of me felt bad for the dude.  when your team loses, it’s always possible to walk into that locker room thinking your effort or lack thereof made the difference between winning and losing.  think about the toll that could take on someone who isn’t mentally tough.  they are the gatekeepers to the holy goals that win games.  they shoulder the team and tend to take the blame when a team loses.  after all, it is about how many goals the goalie lets in to the net.

to be a good goalie, you have to be willing to let go of that goal that was just scored on you and forge ahead.  for many people, goalie or not, it’s hard to let go of the last moment they felt defeated.  but letting go is what will let you save that next shot; lingering too long over the last shot you let in just makes you vulnerable to another.

to be a good goalie, you have to be willing to fall, flail, block, stretch, dive, and dip, only to get right back up again.  you have to put yourself out there and that’s scary.  this willingness to stand in front of a puck, even with all that padding, is mighty brave.

to be a GREAT goalie, you have to let go of the losses and hold onto the wins.  losses can cause self-doubt in anyone and you can’t listen to that voice.  you have to trust yourself despite the losses.  doubts and second-guessing can lead to wishy-washy choices, and when i say that, i am talking about life just as much as i am talking about hockey.

all of these qualities don’t just appear out of thin air.  these guys need to have an impeccable work ethic to build the confidence and preparedness that is the foundation of their mental toughness.  you can’t be mentally tough if you don’t feel like you have a right to be where you are.  in a place of mental toughness, there is no intimidation.  you deal with what’s in front of you – no more, no less.  no wonder i love ryan miller.  ok, ok, i just love hockey players in general.  hockey guys are awesome!  (hi nick!)

Jonathan Quick deflecting a puck. GO KINGS GO!!! Photo Cred: rinkroyalty.com


numbers don’t lie but numbers don’t get it done, either…

5 03 2010

i always pick up little nuggets of inspirational wisdom whenever i listen to sports radio.  i don’t even know who they were talking about when they said this little line, but it struck a chord with me. numbers don’t lie but numbers don’t get it done, either.   you can believe you are the best of the best and your stats can support your belief, but at the end of the day, your stats don’t get it done for you.  your stats don’t win you championships or gold medals.  they don’t earn you A’s.  you have to be able to finish strong.  as my husband would say, you have to be clutch.

so, where does this “clutch” quality come from?  i’m sure talent plays a role, but if its role were that major, all talented people would be clutch and they aren’t.  the foundation of clutchness is a lot of hard work.  we all shy away from it.  i may be assuming too much when i include all of us under the shy-away-from-hard-work umbrella.  i don’t mean to say that we shy away from it all of the time; i think we all shy away from it at SOME time.

hard work builds the confidence you need to be clutch.  the hard work you put in serves as a little reminder that you are prepared for this moment – that although you are a talented individual, you can finish whatever it is because you put your talent to good use and you’re ready to dominate.

i’d better go do all that hard work now.