Reply To: Preparing for penalties

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Alexander Oshinsky

As a goalie myself, I truly enjoy facing a shootout and believe that imagery is a key component too success in one. “freezing” on a penalty shot is the worst thing a goalie can do, but the pressure of having to make a decision as to which way to dive before the kicker has even struck the ball is something that not many athletes will ever have to face. The first step in stopping a penalty shot is knowing your opponent and what their preferences are, where they like to shoot. Once you know that, you can use imagery before the game to prepare yourself for the shoot out as to how to react and move to each shooter. the next part, in my opinion, is during the shoot out to imagine that it is only you and the shooter. a goalie must be able to zone out everyone else and all other distractions and focus only on the shooter and the ball. imagery in this sense is being used to help you focus and concentrate and create your own world where nothing outside of yourself, the shooter, and the ball exists. When all is said and done, even if a goalie has done everything right the kicker might still score. When this happens a goalie can use imagery after the game to help him/herself prepare for the next shootout they face by imagining what they could of done better.