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So You Want to the Goalie?

The feeling of having no power over a situation in generally unbearable. When we feel helpless we feel miserable. Even if you have the healthiest, most positive attitude, you can begin to doubt yourself. Playing goal for the Toronto Maple Leafs has to be one of the hardest jobs in the world.

So called fans and media are ruthless. Whatever is more harsh than ruthless, they are that. The former arm chair analyst turned breakfast guru, Sid Seixeiro is the perfect example. I believe he has the same DNA as dog shit. Or maybe I just sympathize with Ilya Samsonov and Jack Campbell because as goaltenders we are all part of a brotherhood. From house leaguers to NHLers, we all know what it feels like to come up with that big save. Incidentally, we also know what it feels like to let your team down.

Here is how you can use the Mentor's Template to mentor your goaltender and keep them from ending up on skid row:




Your reputation as a teammate is the cornerstone of your power as a goaltender.  Through your reputation alone, you can intimidate.  Always be on guard for potential attacks on your character.  Let hard work and loyalty be your true north.


Paint a picture of what it will take to make the team successful and talk in terms of what role you will take.



Remain positive at all costs.  Never isolate yourself.  Always talk in terms of the team.  There are enemies everywhere.  Isolation exposes you to the critiques and makes you an easy target. 

Hockey IQ

Never tell anyone about how hard you are working – it only raises questions. 


Instead, use the language of teamwork, resilience, battling adversity, loyalty. 


Your Hockey IQ is personal.  Never reveal it to anyone.

Objectives & Levels

You objective as a goaltender is to stop the puck. Plain and simple. Your objective as player is to always appear confident, even when you are struggling physically and mentally. Your obective as a person is only something you can define.

Practice Sessions & Games

Stress kills ability.  Practice sessions should be stress free.  This is where you put in your honest effort.  Both on the ice and in the gym. Work hard and work smart.


In a game, ask yourself, “What’s the worst thing that can happen.”  How will you deal with this?  Are you prepared to deal with this?  Okay.   Now play the game.  Make the first save every time.  Make the second save most of the time.  Make the third save when it is needed the most.


Make your saves seem effortless.  All your actions must seem natural and executed with ease and grace.  All the practice and hard work will pay off.  Act as if you can do much more. 


Skill Development

Learn to recognize when you are in a weakened state and always revert to honing your skills.  Your skills are your power base.  Always strive for gentle improvement over time. 


Having a strategy to master your emotions is crucial to your foundation. Always say less than is necessary.  The more you try to explain, the more common you appear, the less in control.  Silence is the ultimate weapon of power.


Read biographies about people who have overcome adversity.  After all, hockey is just a game.  Keep this to yourself.  Don’t give the vultures anything to snack on.


Are there any resources you could be using to help improve your game?  Better equipment?  Training aids.  Experiment with everything from a tennis ball to virtual reality equipment.  Utilize your coaches, books, websites, apps, anything that will help improve your outcome.

Say you are experiencing some hard times as a goaltender. You cannot understand why your efforts have not lead to more gratitude or success. There is only one surety for anyone brave, or stupid, enough to be the goalie: success is endlessly seductive and deceptive. You are a lamb being lead to the slaughter.

"There is nothing very odd about lambs disliking birds of prey, but this is no reason for holding it against large birds of prey that they carry off lambs. And when lambs whisper among themselves, "These birds of prey are evil, and does this not give us the right to say that whatever is the opposite of a bird of prey must be good?" there is nothing intrinsically wrong with such an argument - though the birds of prey will look somewhat quizzically and say, "We have nothing against these good lambs; in fact, we love them; nothing tastes better than a tender lamb." - Fredrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)

The Bright Side?

Never focus on the critique. The ultimate satisfaction comes only to those who study and reflect. Goaltending provides endless opportunities

To learn more about how to use The Mentor's Template, please visit or contact Barry directly.

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