Firstly, Happy Halloween, friends.
Masks are integral to our jobs as goalies (obviously). We're always behind one. We're protected by our masks (figuratively & literally). Not just on Oct 31.
Costumes and masks on Halloween transform us into different people.
The core idea I want to express to you today is this: that every time you get dressed to go on the ice, every time you put on your mask, you transform yourself.
The outside world melts away when we step on the ice...when we don our masks.
For me, hockey and playing goalie growing up was always a place where I didn't have to worry about what else was going on in my life. Whether it was school stress or going through hardship with my family and parents' divorce, hockey was the place where I was all-powerful.
Where I didn't have to think about the rest of my life. Where I could just compete and battle. Where I could be a warrior.
And maybe that's why a lot of us become goalies.
Maybe we like the safety and security being behind a mask, behind body armor, that transforms us into superhumans (maybe I'm just projecting myself).
Obviously, your mask protects you physically. We wouldn't play without them in today's game. But think about how your mindset changes when you put on all your gear.
You feel strong in your equipment. You feel powerful. You feel like you can take anything on.
Channel these feelings.
Make a conscious effort today and this week to let the outside world fade away and to get fully absorbed in becoming a warrior as you prepare for practices and games.
I want to encourage you to see yourself in this way: as a warrior, a giant, a superhero every time you sprint on the ice. As you get prepared before practices and games, tell yourself some of these things:
1. "I am a warrior, preparing for battle"
2. "The rink is my sanctuary. Let the outside world fade away"
3. "My armor protects me, it gives me strength"
4. "I am proud to walk into war and defend my teammates"
5. "When I step on the ice, I know I'm ready to fight"
These are just some ideas to help you get into a gladiator mindset.
When the armor goes on, we are fierce competitors, determined, unrelenting.
As goalies, we "dress up" on more than just Halloween. Every time we get dressed, we are transformed into who we want to be as better versions of ourselves.
So this Halloween, eat some good candy, save a Snickers or Reese's PB cup for me, and remember to take on a warrior, gladiator mindset when you hit the ice.