Spring is officially here! I don’t know about you guys, but this is my favourite time of year. Minor hockey season is wrapping up, just in time to be home in the evenings to watch the NHL playoff push. It’s starting to get warmer, which means fun outdoor things like baseball or golf or soccer (I guess, if you like that sort of thing).
Spring also means one more important thing is coming along. Tryouts. As if the grind of the season wasn’t enough, now you’ve got to hit the ice again in hopes of either moving up a level or keeping your job from last year.
Remember, there are no guaranteed spots. There’s always somebody after your position. What you decided to do (or not do) in the month or so between the season ending and tryouts could very well make the difference between making a team or having to listen to that “better luck next year” talk. In an earlier post, we talked about having a plan to take care of our body over the course of the long off season, but what about our on-ice, goalie specific skills that we’ve worked so hard to fine tune over the course of the year?
I’ve done many tryout evaluations in the past, and I can say for sure it was pretty easy to pick out the goalies who hadn’t been on the ice since their seasons had ended. Their footwork was sloppy and their reactions were slow. I’ve seen some very good goalies be released in favour of goalies who may have been less talented, but had invested in getting better leading up to tryouts. They were rewarded for their effort.
So what should you do? Some goalies choose to play in spring tournaments or 3 on 3 spring leagues, and those are fine to have some fun and make new friends, but if you’re looking to improve your game and get better as a goaltender, you’ll want to be in a more controlled environment with a qualified coach who can objectively assess your game, and work on the areas you need the most improvement.
The weather is getting warmer and tryouts will be here before you know it. Don’t wait until it’s too late to decide you want to be the goalie that gets noticed during tryouts. Make the investment today in yourself and your game, so you can walk into tryouts confident, knowing you’re the most prepared goalie in the room.
P.S. If you’re in the Windsor-Essex region and you want to go into next season with no holes in your game, contact me and we will put together a bulletproof development plan for you!