Fear – How to Conquer the Number One Enemy of Hockey Goalies

Fear is the number one reason why people don’t make their dreams come true and do what they truly want to do. Fear of failure is what causes goalies and other athletes to try too hard or to become too nervous and collapse in big games. That’s why in this article I will talk about how to overcome the fear and how to control it.

Step 1 – Know What Causes the Fear
When simplified, the seed of fear is indecision, which leads to doubt, and doubt leads to fear. The “blending” process is slow but dangerous because fear grows and spreads easily like a weed. Fear is the opposite of confidence and obviously when you are not confident in your abilities and you are not truly confident, there is room for fear.

Step 2 – Know The Symptoms, Know How It Feels
Sometimes fear remains hidden in the subconscious mind and comes out as as doubt, laziness, excuses, etc. Sometimes you can feel it physically very clearly as stomach pain, sweaty palms, raised pulse, etc. These are normal physical reactions when fear takes over. For example your heart rate goes up, your hands start shaking and your coordination weakens. Google up “survival mode reactions” or “symptoms of fear” for more details. Get to know the symptoms of fear so you can learn to control and cure it.

Step 3 – If You Are Afraid, Admit It.
A study was done about fear during World War II when U.S. Marines were heading to take over an island. Soldiers knew that the island was full of enemy fighters and most of the guys would die there. Some of them admitted that they were scared to go in and others didn’t. Those who admitted that they were afraid were more brave and more of them survived than those who didn’t… There is a saying “A real man can cry and a confident man can admit that he is scared”.

Step 4 – Prepare With Imaginary Training
The reason why imaginary training is so important is because, you might get only one shot. For example, how many times can you go to the Stanley Cups finals to “practice” winning? Imagine situations that you will be in and how it will feel. When you do something new and at first nerve-wracking enough, it’s going to become routine. Just like the first day in a new school. How much easier was it to go back on the second day or the year after? Goaltending is all about routines and repetitions and that applies to imaginary training as well as physical training. Prepare with imaginary training.

Step 5 – Prepare With Warm Up routine
Figure out what kind of warm up routine puts you into the zone and do it every time. If you want to save time on learning the perfect routine for yourself get instant access to In The Zone videos. I have created a warm up routine during the past 10 years for ice hockey goalies that will help you get into the zone.

Step 6 – How Do You See Failure?
This is how I see failing: If I try and fail, at least there are no if’s. The sooner I fail the better because then I know what I should not do or if I succeed, great! And anyone who ever tries to do something above average can be certain that there will be failures on the road ahead of him.

Some wise man once said “the character of a man is shaped through hardship and tough times bring out the real character of a person”. I have found this to be very true. Also, when you put a lot of effort into something, it’s hard to give up when things get tough. The harder you work for something, the harder it is to give up.

EXTRA – To Become a Champion Goalie And to Play in The NHL, You Need Train Like a Champion, Think Like a Champion and Live Like a Champion
The hardest part about becoming an NHL goalie is to be one before you are a one. You can’t start training, thinking and living like an NHL goalie after you get into the NHL because there are already goalies who are playing in the NHL and they are doing it. How could you ever take their spot if you are not doing things better than they are? The reason why it is so hard to become a champion and to play in the NHL is that you have to believe in something that you don’t have yet, and when you are in the NHL all the things like money, better facilities, better coaches, private planes, etc. make things easier for you. When you are in minors travelling in a beat up buss and making 200 dollars per week the bright ligths of the NHL may seem distant but you have to believe and take action.

When you know that you are prepared as well as possible, and you have done everything you can as well as you can, you know there are no if’s. Whatever happens, happens. All you need to do is go out there and stop as many pucks as you can.

 

Written by Matti Korhonen

Founder of Goalie Force

 

P.S. If you don’t have In The Zone video package access yet, I recommend you get it now, if you want to learn how to play every day like that day you had your best game ever. When you do the warm up and preparation routine that I’ll show you in the videos, you will never get too nervous anymore.