Summer training is an important time for goaltenders to develop their skills on and off the ice. Recently, I was asked by a client how they can make the most out of attending our PRO Goaltending Elite summer camp. I offered a few suggestions and thought that others may benefit from this information as well.
1) Take the time to reflect
The first thing goalies should do as they prepare for the off-season is to reflect on where they are in their development. Think about how your season went – the games, wins, losses, practices, ups and downs – and then write that information down. Don’t worry about making this list complete right away. In fact, I suggest keeping a journal* with this type of information all year long because it will help you keep track of your progress throughout the season. That way, you can keep adding to your list and look back to see how you have progressed or, in some cases, identify certain issues that keep coming up. The real trick to this type of exercise is being honest. After all, it is in your best interest to be honest with yourself first before trusting someone else to help with your development. This brings me to my next point: finding the right summer camp.
2) Find the best fit for camp
Before signing up for any camp, it is important to make sure that the environment and people are the best fit for your type of learning. Are you someone who likes to receive constant feedback during drills or do you prefer to receive feedback at the end of a session? Do you need to be constantly pushed or prefer when a coach knows when to push certain buttons? The relationship between instructor and client is first built on trust. Without trust, goalie coaches will have a very difficult time developing their clients and improving their skills.
I often recommend setting up a meeting with the Head Instructor or camp staff before signing up and committing to a summer camp. Remember the journal that I just spoke about? Don’t be afraid to take some of the key points and discuss them. That way, you can meet the staff and schedule a few training sessions before summer camp starts and see how they address the things that you spoke about. It’s a great way to find out if the camp is right for you!
3) Pay close attention during exit interviews
Parents and coaches often worry that once a client leaves summer camp that they will forget everything they learned. One way to help ensure that what was learned during summer camp is applied to the season is to pay close attention during the exit interviews. Exit interviews and information packages are extremely helpful tools for goalies to use once they leave. Goalie schools often prepare something for clients to take away with them to use once the season starts. Whether it is a list of specific drills or helpful reminders, make sure to find a way to apply some of these items into your training and games during the season. I still have my evaluation pamphlets from when I attended the Power Hockey School in Ottawa when I was 14-years old! The notes that were made are still relevant today and I enjoy looking back and reading them every once in a while.
Summer camps are just around the corner and I hope that this information helps!
*If you would like help setting up or keeping a log, please do not hesitate to Contact Us!