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Looking for a method to getting over fear of the puck

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  • Looking for a method to getting over fear of the puck

    Now not many guys would admit that theyre afraid of the puck but as much as I love playing goal, I am afraid of the puck and notice myself flinching a lot when someone winds up to drill one at me.

    The fear stems from 2 things. 1. I was hit in the face with a pitch when I was 15 playing baseball. 2. I was hit in the neck with a slapshot that came up off my stick when I was 17.

    Just last season I got back into playing goal and god am I ever loving it but I find I am really afraid to take shots and make saves with my body and instead im trying to catch and block everything.

    Its weird, I have pro-level gear and I have been hit in the head a bunch of times and dont care too much but its taking shots to the body that freaks me out for some reason.

    Anyone out there got any advice or tips on how I can resolve this issue and get more confidence in my game? I know this seems dumb and hey if you want to make fun of me for it go ahead but I am just wondering if anyone else has gone through this and how they got over it.

    Thanks guys.

  • #2
    go watch the Mighty Ducks #1 the movie... remember how Emilio Estevez tied Goldberg to the goal post and let the kids blast at him.... and that's how he realizes it doesn't hurt... but then.. those were like 12 year old kids...

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    • #3
      Do you have a good neck guard?

      Once I got my Maltese Combo and knew that my neck/collarbone were well protected really made me feel more confident

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      • #4
        Do you have confidence in your gear?

        If you do, then sometimes you need to realize that not coming up and staying in your crouch while taking shots helps.

        You may want to focus on just watching the puck into your gear (ex. glove, chest) and absorb it as it hits you.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by xethicx
          Now not many guys would admit that theyre afraid of the puck but as much as I love playing goal, I am afraid of the puck and notice myself flinching a lot when someone winds up to drill one at me.

          The fear stems from 2 things. 1. I was hit in the face with a pitch when I was 15 playing baseball. 2. I was hit in the neck with a slapshot that came up off my stick when I was 17.

          Just last season I got back into playing goal and god am I ever loving it but I find I am really afraid to take shots and make saves with my body and instead im trying to catch and block everything.

          Its weird, I have pro-level gear and I have been hit in the head a bunch of times and dont care too much but its taking shots to the body that freaks me out for some reason.

          Anyone out there got any advice or tips on how I can resolve this issue and get more confidence in my game? I know this seems dumb and hey if you want to make fun of me for it go ahead but I am just wondering if anyone else has gone through this and how they got over it.

          Thanks guys.
          Dude, i can relate. I still flinch on occasion, mostly when i know the shooter has a rocket. Even some pros flinch. But there is a difference between flinching as a reflex and flinching out of fear.

          When i used to race(cycling) in my 20s, i saw and took a few spills during training and races. Every time i would get near a turn and i was in the peleton, i would sweat bullets in fear of getting caught up in a pile up. I think that is what prevented me of being aggressive and only led me to 1 race victory in 6 years .

          If you have pro level equipment and it all fits, all you need to do now is get hit. It's a gung ho attitude you have to get into. Catching and blocking is all good, but some times you gotta act like a sheild and take one to the body. I have a JB503. Despite Browns reputation, it took me a couple years before i had one guy riffle me one right in the gut. It was an 80+mph shot, and all i felt was a thud. That is when i started getting confidant and challenged any and all shots from anyone.

          The head shots, there is nothing you can do about it. As long as you have a certified quality mask, you'll be safe. Unless you face NHL shots, you're cool.

          If it can help...when you come out to challenge the shooter and he winds up, keep a deep focus on the puck and when it whistles into you, let out a strong grunt, a sort of warrior cry. Just like you would do in martial arts...a KIAI(?spell), karate yell when striking. This will do 2 things: 1- release the air from your diaphragm preventing cramping when hit there...2- it will give you a moment of focus and confidance for the time of the shot.

          Once you get that over with, you'll laugh at it and wonder why you ever were like that.

          Good luck

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          • #6
            Xethicx, don't worry, you have alot of company in this. I've taken photos of more than a few goalies and the number that don't flinch (even a little) are in the minority (either that or my camera is REALLY good at catching guys with their eyes closed). And I'm guilty of that myself.

            Tracking the puck and really focusing on it does help.

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            • #7
              Quitting playing is the only solution. No pucks, no fear.

              Other than that, make sure your equipment is up to snuff and suck it up. If you can't deal with pucks being shot at you, you're in the wrong position.

              Quit finding reasons why you're afraid and starting finding reasons why you will succeed.

              This episode of Tough Love has been brought to you by Tampax. When you feel like a puss and are afraid you're going to bleed, trust Tampax

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              • #8
                If you want to play ice hockey your gonna get hit by pucks and sticks. So if you want to play make up your mind....it's part of the game.If your going to be afraid , your not having fun. I'm not a goalie and I cannot stand wearing a half shield, which in alot of rinks they make you.I hate wearing a helmet . When I was in my younger days, we didn't have to wear helmets. And most of my life never did. I have alot of puck stories. I have 3 of my own teeth left and have over 200 stitches in my face from pucks and sticks. But wouldn't trade it for anything being able to play all those years. Could be worse, at least you have equipment covering your face. It only hurts for awhile !

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                • #9
                  Ty,

                  At the beginning of your next game, have all teammates line up and take shots on your from a distance. This allows you to focus on the shots coming into your body. As the pucks hit you, you will realize that it doesn't hurt. You may get the odd stinger, but nothing life threatening. As you comfort level increases, have the guys move in closer and closer until the phobia subsides. Your gear is the exact same stuff I am wearing and I have idiots who wind up and let it go at the top of the circle. That is all I can suggest. The more shots you face ......the quicker the phobia subsides. You just need to relax and have fun.

                  No worries, when I come home at Christmas...I will pepper you with pucks
                  Last edited by nealsonfire; 10-16-2006, 01:55 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Hey guys thanks for all the encouragement and advice. I will try it all out tonight. Ive set my focus tonight to just saying screw this and taking any shot that comes at my body with my body and only catching/blocking stuff to the sides.

                    Yes my gear is pro quality. I have eagle fusions, a CCM gatekeeper, Brians pants and so on and trust me I am all covered with gear nicely.

                    I dont mind taking shots to the melon and in my life Ive always been fairly rough and tumble. I have stitches a plenty. I was never afraid of anything before getting whacked in the face at baseball then the neck incident kind of made me a touch skittish.

                    I am going to keep my focus on the puck tonight and not the players wind up and see how it works for me.

                    Keep the advice coming. It seems im not alone here so anyone else that has something to toss in on this please feel free.

                    PS. Bring it on Neal haha and this time youll be able to skate too, just dont kill me cause something tells me Terri probably wouldnt approve... or would she? haha jk

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                    • #11
                      i tend not to look at the players as much, i just follow the puck and look at the general direction of the player to see which way he is moving. That keeps me focused on making the save rather than "i know this kid has a boomer"

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                      • #12
                        I find myself flinching from time to time as well. Mostly when guys are at the hashmarks taking slapshots.

                        The thing that works best for me is to really focus on the play and the different things that I'm thinking about (angles, rebounds, passes, whether the paint is coming off my pads ) this helps me to not think about getting hit since I don't have the time to think about it. I've also noticed that the more fast paced the action, the less often I think about getting hit.

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                        • #13
                          You should use a neckguard, so you feel safer out there, it doesn't matter if you're missing a neck guard or a jock, if you don't feel safe you will do poorly. Regarding the flinching, it's completley natural to flinch . I've found this thread to be quite interesting.


                          http://www.goaliestore.com/board/sho...=advanced+eyes


                          Tona

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                          • #14
                            I do use a neck guard, hah after that incident I wouldnt step on the ice without one, no way in hell.

                            And MAN, did I ever rock the rink tonight. I only let in 5 goals and thats pretty damn good for me and being that I play in a scrub league with guys that only like to play offence. My butterfly was dialed and I took a lot of shots to the body tonight and it was all good.

                            Thanks guys, a whole lot.

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                            • #15
                              Get married. Trust me, if you think pucks are scary, try telling a woman you have an 8:00pm game on Valentine's day.

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