The mental aspect of being a goalie
I have a question about the mental aspect of being a goalie. I am a very competitive player who takes my game seriously. I get myself really psyched up, and sometimes this is a bad thing because after letting a ball in I get mad at myself and basically psych myself out. I let it affect my play too much. I must admit I have a bad mentality for a goalie – in all the other sports I play, I play offence, so this is much different for me. Anywise, I let myself be affected too much by the score. My coach has talked to me about this and I need to improve in this area, especially if I want to be the starter! This even happens in practice. I was wondering if you have any ideas on how I can improve my mentality. What do you personally do to keep yourself in focused during the game? Also, I recently read an article in Sports Illustrated for Women about game preparedness and visualisation and relaxation, that sort of thing. What do you do recommend to do before games so, instead of psyching myself out too much, I can concentrate on my play and stay focused? Thanks so much!
First off, look at my reply to maintaining concentration below, another question that I think touches on part of your question. For your particulars, I think it is important that you be “mentally aroused” for games. I think your problem maybe from being over-aroused. It’s one thing to be psyched up for a game, it’s another to get taken out of your game because of it.
Sometimes it’s ok to be worked up, but recognise your state will affect your team. As a younger keeper, I think it’s important that you develop the ability to internalise your reactions. As an opponent, if I see a keeper react, I think I’ve got them. On the other hand, if I see a keeper, get on to the next play without reacting, my impression is that the keeper is composed and confident. That also gives your team-mates confidence. Hopefully some of this is helpful.