Clearly the best part of being a goalie is those games where we get tons of shots, stand on our head, keep our goals against to a minimum and everything in the world is going our way. However, we all know we can't win all the time.
Every now and then (or more frequently depending on how strong your team is and how much stronger other teams are), we are in net for those games where the ring just seems to constantly find its way into the back of our net. It happens to all of us - from the beginner, Bunny goalie who is still learning how to hold her stick, all the way up to us NRL goalies and even when we play at Worlds.
Ringette is a team game, but it is true that sometimes we can steal the win as a goalie for our team, or on the other end, we can also have a horrible game or even a pretty good game personally, and let in a lot of goals. Ringette players have a lot of control over the ring, and they are able to hit the corners with their shots. Whether it's our "fault" or not when we lose big, goalies still seem to bear a large feeling of ownership when their team gets blown out of the water in a game.
As goalies, we play a position where almost everything we do it noticed and evaluated. Players can sometimes hide in the background, play a few good shifts, get a goal and somehow have a "great" game. Goalies can make a few amazing saves, then let in a squeeker goal, and focus only on the goals they let in. As goalies, we need to be the most mentally strong on a team so that we can stand in net all by ourselves in our crease and rebound as quickly as possible after letting in a goal, no matter what the score is. Even harder, is going back in net the game after we've let in a lot of goals, or have gotten pulled. Here are some tips for how to deal with a big loss or a disappointing performance in a game so that you can get right back to the top of your game the next time you're in net.
1. Remember why you play Ringette. You play to have fun. You play to have the chance to compete and to be with your friends in the dressing room and on the ice. Try to be excited to come to the rink and step back on the ice - here is your chance to go out there and give it another try and have some fun for a while.
2. Remember that you are a good goalie. Every goalie out there has made some really neat saves and has had some really good games. Focus on those games, remember how that felt and how much you enjoyed it. Try to get that feeling back - that you are a great goalie and you'll be able to step in and do better this time. Recognize that the last game didn't go well, but that this is a new game and a new day, where you can work hard and do your best to have a better outcome. Every goalie lets in goals and has bad games, so you aren't alone. But that's the joy of goalies, that we have a new game the next time to start over and be great once again.
3. Tell yourself you want the shots. As goalies, when we aren't feeling confident, we sometimes tend to sit back in our crease, lean back away from the shooters, and don't want the other team to shoot. Instead - tell yourself you want the other team to come in and shoot on you. You want to be standing at the top of the crease. You want to be leaning towards the shooters, challenging them to take a shot so that you can make that save. Tell yourself that, and your body will start to believe you and act accordingly.
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