The Cognitive-Perceptual and Mental Game Coaching Program for Goaltenders offered by Zone Performance Psychology not only prepares and allows its clients to face and overcome the many challenges that can often threaten their career. Some common examples are: a lack of goalie coaching, negative comments and behaviors from the head coach, getting pulled, getting traded, getting injured, dealing with a major illness or sickness, not getting played, losing championship games, playing on a last place or poor defensive team, hostile crowds, getting cut from teams, death of family member, friend or teammate, bullying or negative comments from your teammates.
Yet these events can teach valuable life skills such as focus, visualization, self-control, work ethic, discipline, and persistence that can be used in the classroom, obtaining their driver’s license, improving relationships with the peers or family members, or dealing with the many challenges that life inevitably hands everyone.
For the first time ever, Zone Performance Psychology in conjunction with five of the elite Cognitive-Perceptual Training companies in the World (Neurotracker, Senaptec, Reflection, Fitlight and Vizual Edge) would like to provide the critical Tactical and Mental skills that have been traditionally only offered to the Elite and Professional goalies. That is why I have created this program, and the foundation of this program is premised on developing what I have called the 7 C’s of Mental Toughness:
John currently offer’s 3 mental training programs for Goaltenders:
As a former goaltender and goalie coach/scout in the National Hockey League, Western Hockey League, Alberta Junior Hockey League, U Sports and NCAA, I can really appreciate the quotes listed above from the true legends who have played in my opinion, the most difficult position in sports.
I have been working as a goaltending coach with Goaltenders for approximately 35 years as a goalie and mental coach. Over that time I have had the great privilege to see many of my clients win championships, make all-star teams, win individual accolades such as the Vezina, CHL goalie of the year, MVP in the World Junior Championship, first and second team all-American team selections and NHL/AHL- MVP’s in all star games.
The general public often mistakenly thinks that these individuals have “ice-water” running through their veins; that they have never experienced any challenges during their goaltending career. I can unequivocally tell you this is not the case.
More accurately, they have had to deal with a tremendous number of obstacles and setbacks along the way. At the end of the day, however, my clients understand the bottom line, as New England Patriots’ head coach Bill Belicheck would say: “Do your job, know your job, and enjoy your job – STOP PUCKS”
This key mindset took many years to develop, and I must admit it was discovered by accident over many years of trials, tribulations, and errors while working as a goaltending coach. I have had the wonderful opportunity to meet and work with some of the best goalies, mental coaches, vision and strength trainers, nutritionists, sleep experts, goaltending and hockey coaches across the planet. While working with these elite mentors, I discovered the key actions and thought patterns that allowed goaltenders to succeed whether the goaltender recognized these thought patterns or not. Early on my coaching career, I made the big mistake that most goalies and goalie coaches still do now. I only focused on the technical and physical side of the game. As “The Performance Wheel” quickly illustrates there are 5 key components with regard to becoming the best goalie you can be. Most goaltenders and parents have never heard or realized that the tactical and mental part of the game could be trained.
Early on my coaching career, I made the big mistake that most goalies and goalie coaches still do now. I only focused on the technical and physical side of the game. As “The Performance Wheel” quickly illustrates there are 5 key components with regard to becoming the best goalie you can be. Most goaltenders and parents have never heard or realized that the tactical and mental part of the game could be trained. You will often hear NHL coaches or players comment on the importance of Hockey IQ and/or Mental Toughness. For example:
“I’m happy for [our players] because they played as a team, and they had a tremendous amount of will. That’s mental. That’s not a talent, that’s not physical skills, that’s mental toughness.” – John Tortorella
“Being strong mentally we have to see as a skill. It’s huge… We talk a lot about the technical things on the ice, but definitely your attitude and mental toughness are a huge factor.” – Antoine Vermette
“It is pretty tough for a goalie when you look at it. You’re always the last line of defense. If you let a goal in, you can’t go to the bench and hide between the guys or anything” – Kirk McLean
“I don’t fear stopping a 100-mph slap shot. I fear not stopping it!” – Roberto Luongo
In fact, some will go as far to say these skills are innate or God-Given. The Philadelphia Flyers aren’t a franchise known for a rich history of goalies. There are three who instantly pop to mind, and they’re Bernie Parent, the late Pelle Lindbergh and Ron Hextall. But Flyers fans are hoping the long drought since having a top-notch goalie ends with 20-year-old rookie Carter Hart, who’s making his mark in Philadelphia right from the jump.
“It’s a beautiful thing, because for a 20-year-old kid, he has what you call a God-given talent,” Parent, who led the Flyers to their only two Stanley Cup Championships in the ’70s, told KYW Newsradio. “You can’t teach that. And what I mean by this is his anticipation is incredible.”
“Carter’s a young goaltender who has improved throughout the year, he’s got a great relationship [with goalie coach Kim Dillabaugh]. They really work on his knowledge of the game and understanding the reads he needs to make.” – Coach Alain Vigneault
I have great respect for Mr. Parent assessment of Carter’s Hart ability because he is a great goaltender, however, I 100% unequivocally disagree with his statement regarding his ability to read the play. This is a skill that he has worked very hard on for more than a decade. The ability to read the play and develop your anticipation skills and Hockey IQ is 100% trainable. Likewise, the mental skills that allow the elite NHL goalies to shine on a nightly basis can also be developed and trained.
We start by using advanced qEEG (Quantitative Electroencephalography) technology that precisely measures your unique brainwave activity. It is performed to investigate brain wave patterns associated with concentration and attention.
The assessment usually takes between 3-4 hours and consists of:
Zone Health & Performance Psychology is proud to partner with Cambridge Brain Sciences. They are a leading provider of cognitive assessment tools for clinicians and medical practices, providing scientifically-validated cognitive tasks that produce objective measures across multiple cognitive domains.
A series of Cognitive Performance tests that provide objective and quantifiable measures of: