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Your Goaltending "Mantra"

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  • Your Goaltending "Mantra"

    Wondering if anyone else has a "mantra" (or "saying") that you repeat to yourself on the ice (or before or after even) in order to pump yourself up for a game, remind yourself of your fundamentals, recover from bad goals, free up your mind, etc.

    Lately I'm finding the following really helpful for me personally, which I repeat to myself a few times whenever I feel it's necessary (Usually a couple times before each period and after a bad goal):

    "Up Tall, Sharp Eyes, Quick Feet, Big Save, My Puck, Up Tall, Sharp Eyes, Quick Feet, Big Save, My Puck, Up Tall, Sharp Eyes, Quick Feet, Big Save, My Puck, Up Tall, Sharp Eyes, Quick Feet, Big Save, My Puck, Up Tall, Sharp Eyes, Quick Feet, Big Save, My Puck, Up Tall, Sharp Eyes, Quick Feet, Big Save, My Puck ... My Game"

    I find it puts me in a really helpful meditative state that keeps my mind free of distracting thought so I can be instinctive and reactive (especially negative thoughts), while at the same time reminding me subconsciously of some important fundamentals.

    The mantra runs in a sequential cycle (almost like the typical goaltending process of offensive pressure, followed by a shot, followed by a save, then a rebound, then my recovery) and I usually end it with "My Game" ...

    "Up Tall" - Reminds me to play big on my feet or in the butterfly and to recover quickly.
    "Sharp Eyes" - Reminds me to track the puck at all times and the players coming at me.
    "Quick Feet" - Reminds me to always keep moving positionally with the flow of the game.
    "Big Save" - Reminds me to be fast, athletic and reactionary, and not just positional and anticipatory.
    "My Puck" - Reminds me to aggressively attack the puck and control my rebounds.
    And "Up Tall" again - Reminds me to recover quickly and play big
    ... and so on.

    Finally, "My Game" - Reminds me that if I do all those things, I can actually "take over the game".

    I know we goalies are headcases (perhaps by necessity), but it doesn't help that I also have a psychology degree and an MBA, and that I'm a writer and business analyst, so I'm almost constantly absorbed in intellectual mind games. But I've found this mantra particularly useful for me for all the reasons I mentioned at the start of this post.

    There's actually a good deal of psychological, philosophical, spiritual and scientific reasoning behind why mantras work for people in helping them achieve higher "states of mind" while performing some pretty impressive physical and mental feats.

    Perhaps you have a mantra or saying that you repeat to yourself ... share it here!
    Last edited by richardsevigny; 03-23-2010, 12:32 PM.

  • #2
    Thats a good list of "ABC's"

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    • #3
      I use; "pleasedon'tgoin, "pleasedon'tgoin, "pleasedon'tgoin, "pleasedon'tgoin,

      - rarely works....

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      • #4
        Well I guess I have a somewhat literal mantra
        Being Buddhist, I recite "Namu Amida Butsu" several times before the opening face off.

        Otherwise usually if my game is going south it is due to me playing a blocking "system" instead of playing the shot. By this I mean making the appropriate save movements for the situation almost automatically....kind of doing what I"m supposed to do rather than focusing on the puck. So sometimes I tell myself to "watch the puck", or "play the shot", but it is just a mental reminder more than a mantra.

        Also lately I've been focusing and reminding myself to get my hands more forward in my stance, and in a BF block where the mantra was "elbows in", now it is "wrists in" because this still closes holes between the arms and torso, but also helps me keep my blocker square to the shot, my stick blade centred, and my hands forward.

        Next I have to work on proper leg recoveries, so maybe some new mantras coming!

        however when I am playing well, my head is pretty empty.
        Last edited by spidergoalie; 03-23-2010, 01:08 PM.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by jpower79 View Post
          Thats a good list of "ABC's"
          Yeah, I've known those "ABCs" for twenty years, but I find I need to remind myself every so often! And I tried longer mantras but kept forgetting them!

          I'm not actually sure what's helping me the most ... distracting my conscious mind, or feeding my subconscious mind with those fundamentals!

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          • #6
            Originally posted by goalieboy29 View Post
            I use; "pleasedon'tgoin, "pleasedon'tgoin, "pleasedon'tgoin, "pleasedon'tgoin,

            - rarely works....
            Ha ha! I know you're joking, but many goalies get trapped in negative thought patterns like that while reliving past goals against them or games they've gotten bombed in.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by spidergoalie View Post
              Otherwise usually if my game is going south it is due to me playing a blocking "system" instead of playing the shot.
              I totally understand that statement!

              My game starts going south when I overthink my positioning to the point of overfocusing on anticipating and blocking instead of instinctively reacting. I end up missing the shot in that split-second spent thinking ...

              For me, my mantra helps my subconscious mind maintain my positioning, while freeing up my conscious mind to react.

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              • #8
                I typically say to myself after allowing a goal, be it a soft one or a well deserved one,

                "just you and the puck. nothing else. no one else. just you and the puck." this helps me drown out the opposite team, my team should they be negative, and any of the crowd that may be obnoxious.

                I'll also combine that with an additive that would have prevented the goal, being it "hands up and attentive" or "faster recovery, anticipate!"

                As for pre-game or start of the periods, I may say the same thing if its a big game and I'm jittery. When I'm playing well I find that I don't have a single thought in my head, i'm just doing.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by richardsevigny View Post
                  Ha ha! I know you're joking, but many goalies get trapped in negative thought patterns like that while reliving past goals against them or games they've gotten bombed in.
                  You caught me.....

                  Actually, I try to concentrate on "hands in front" and "be patient". I have a tendency to sucks my arms back and get too deep in my net. A bad combo.
                  Trying to maintain a connected feel with my gloves anf pads seems to be helping.

                  Great idea for a thread.

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                  • #10
                    Mantra

                    "I'm the best!"

                    Sometimes I'll throw in a snarl and a twitch afterwards if the faceoff is in my zone.

                    I think I will try something closer to the OPs for my next game
                    Last edited by GoalieGuru29; 03-23-2010, 01:27 PM. Reason: !

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                    • #11
                      A little while ago I heard the phrase "Nothing through you or under you". I find that really incorporates all we try to do. I'm not going to stop everything, but if I can make sure nothing goes through me or under me then I think I've played a good game. I've repeated this to myself several times before games to pump myself up.

                      Also, just heard a song that I think I'll sing to myself in goal now
                      YouTube - I'm Awesome by Spose!

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Goalie1986 View Post
                        When I'm playing well I find that I don't have a single thought in my head, i'm just doing.
                        Totally! I notice that too. When I'm playing awesome, I have ZERO thoughts. I'm operating at a totally instinctive and subconscious level. It's almost like the martial arts concept of "no mind".

                        I tried repeating the mantra "no mind" to myself to get back into that frame of mind, but it's like telling someone not to think of a pink elephant ... two seconds later, there's the pink elephant in their thoughts ... and there it is again ... and again, and again!

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by goalieboy29 View Post
                          Great idea for a thread.
                          Thanks man!

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                          • #14
                            Nice and low.
                            Hands where I can see 'em.
                            In position.
                            Watch the puck.

                            ~Brent

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                            • #15
                              1. Close eyes.

                              2. Repeat "God, please let it hit me and don't let it hurt."

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