SUNDAY Q&A #2
Q: How do you deal with being last cut for Bantam AA but constantly being asked to come out to practices and dress for games but never playing actual games? The one goalie battles injuries, so they usually need a back-up. Is it ok to tell the coach you don’t want to dress for him anymore if he won’t play you in a game?
A: This is a tough situation. On one hand, you must focus and honor your current team, and put your effort into that, however, you are trying to please another team, and help out when you can.
Not seeing the fruit of your labor can be tough, especially on a young goaltender. A young goalie may have a tough time grasping the ‘bigger picture’.
My advice is to go out with a chip on your shoulder and do your best to prove to that coaching staff that you belong there. Don’t waste time and energy on the situation; instead, make the most of the opportunity. Have the best practices you can and treat your time with the AA team like games for yourself.
You are setting the ground work for next year, and beyond. Having a positive attitude, combined with a strong work ethic, and the willingness to come out and help a team in need, will only help your situation further down the road. This coach will remember when you came up, didn’t complain and worked hard. I promise you that.
Be the biggest cheerleader on the bench. Warm up like you are starting every game, even if you aren’t and be prepared for anything. You never know when you will get your shot!
Q: My oldest goalie has talent, he has the right moves the majority of the time, when he is on, he is wonderful to watch. BUT- then the spark goes out and he seems to lose the love of the game.
My question is how do I handle his emotions when that happens?
A: Goaltending is all about ups and downs, and how we react to them. The mental aspect of goaltending is what separates goalies as they try to move up the hockey ladder.
As a parent, positivity is the absolute key. Our mistakes, (goals given up) are a part of hockey, and the quicker a young goalie realizes that, the better. Shutouts don’t happen every game, and we have to reinforce that constantly throughout the course of a season.
You, the parent knows when your son or daughter is giving their best effort. It’s easy to get frustrated when a game isn’t going their way, however these positive habits have to begin in practice. If a kid is hard on themselves during a week of practice, a game on the weekend is going to be magnified x 10.
Take notice of their habits and let them know when they’ve had a great practice. Be open and honest with them if they haven’t had their best outing and try to lift them up with constructive criticism. Do your best to remain positive in your approach.
Use key words that you are both familiar with on the way to the rink. Write out a phrase or a couple of words on their stick or put a piece of tape on their blocker in an inconspicuous area.
Reaffirm your child’s love of the game by familiarity and finding a ‘safe’ place for their mind to go. Hockey is so fast paced, it is easy to let our emotions get the best of us. Having some words or reminders that he or she can look back to during a practice or a game will help them remain confident and in control of their minds.
Having fun is the most important aspect to getting better. The more enjoyable the experience is, the more work he or she is going to put into it.