With tryouts just around the corner this article will focus on some reminders to help have a successful tryout. Tryouts can be very stressful for any goaltender. It’s important to harness that stress into positive energy. Here are some tips on how to show your strengths and stand out in a tryout situation.
1.) Make a good first impression.
The start of the tryout is very important. Arriving early and ready with all necessary paperwork and equipment shows that you are prepared and responsible. Be sure to double check that everything is in order prior to the day of the tryout (gear in good condition, skates sharpened etc.). This also includes getting on the ice on time and being focused while the coach is talking. I have seen coaches cut goalies for being late, unprepared, or appearing uninterested.
2.) Have net presence.
This is hard to describe, but easy to notice. Some of the things that a coach will look for is control and edgework, fundamentals, athleticism, puck tracking, and rebound control. The best goalies have a certain swagger or confidence in the way they move around the crease and make saves.
3.) Big saves at key times.
Ultimately the goalie that the coach has the most confidence in will make the team. Making big saves at key times while not allowing soft goals is the key to standing out in a tryout. Coaches want to see a goalie that will “compete” hard on every shot no matter what the situation is. They also want to see a goalie that will rise to the occasion and not make excuses or blame teammates for mistakes.
4.) Next shot philosophy.
Don’t beat yourself up if you give up a goal. Quickly erase it from your memory and focus on the next shot. That next save could be the difference maker. The same philosophy applies after you make a great save. Avoid getting too excited and focus on the next shot.
With those tips in mind be sure to remember that work ethic, having a positive attitude, and being a good teammate are other intangibles that can help you make the team. Good luck.