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7 Habits of Highly Effective Goalies

Updated: Jan 18, 2019

Written by NHL Coach Steve Briere and inspired by the internationally bestselling book. Learn what it means and what it takes to become a highly effective and consistent goaltender.

Written by Steve Briere, Toronto Maple Leafs Goaltending Coach

Inspired by Stephen R. Covey's bestselling book, 7 Habits of Highly Successful People

As you get older and continue to mature as a goaltender you will find out that success in hockey and more importantly in life is not an accident. It may be true that on occasion things happen a little easier because a guy is at the right place at the right time etc… But most of the time you can control if you are in the right place at the right time. Print this off to will be valuable to you as both a goaltender and a person in life.

Habit 1 - Passion

You need passion for what you are doing. First and foremost you have to have passion for the game, passion for the position, passion for the equipment, passion to stop the puck. From passion you will want work hard in order to get better so that you can enjoy success and grow your passion. That passion will drive you in all aspects of life. That is why we are all different, people have different passions. Passion drives you to practice more in order to feel that happiness achieved from doing well. The more you practice the better you will get, the better you get the better your chances of moving up. Everything stems from the passion that drives you.

Habit 2- Surround yourself with positive like-minded people

Surround yourself with the right kind of people. If you are striving to be a star in net then you should be surrounding yourself with players and goalie who are truly striving to be great as well.

“Birds of a feather flock together”

Habit 3 - Write down goals

Most successful people in the world write down their goals. Before you can start to make the strides towards success you need to know what success means to you. For some goalies being the top goalie in the league is success, to others it may only be to have fun each and every time they are on the ice. Both of them are correct but they need to be defined.

Habit 4 - Plan

Have a plan to achieve your success. If you know your goals, then you need to create your roadmap next. A goal is a hope. A hope without a plan is nothing. Work through step by step solutions to get to where you want to be!

Habit 5- Habits

Develop a core number of habits that will help you day in and day out to be the best. We would like you to get in the habit of being the first on the ice and the last off the ice. Sometimes this is not possible consistently with ice time constraints, but whenever possible we would like you to be first on and last off. Another habit is preparing yourself for practices in the same manner as you would prepare for games...if not harder.

Habit 6 - Consistency

The number one trait every coach in hockey looks for in a goalie as they get into competitive hockey is consistency. A coach likes to know what he is getting on a nightly basis; it doesn’t mean a shutout every night it means a consistent result night in and night out. If I know that my goalie is letting in 3 or less goals a night on a consistent basis and that there will be few bad goals I have a game plan to success. However if my goalie gets a shutout one night and then 7 goals the next it is tough for me to put him in during a big game for fear of the negative. Of course there will always be the superb game mixed in along with the bad game, however the key word is consistency.

Habit 7 - Character

Be the kind of teammate and goalie that everyone wants to be around and support. Be polite, courteous. Always think of your teammates. Be honest to yourself and to your teammates. Keep your mouth shut and your eyes and ears open.

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