Niko Amato is the starting keeper for the Maryland Terps and is living every lacrosse goalie’s dream. He is preparing to play for a Division 1 National Championship Game for the second year in a row. Niko proves that he is an elite competitor by learning from his experience from last year’s national championship appearance.
[quote float=""]“But the most helpful part of being in the same situation as last year’s is the days in between the games and the times leading up to face-off. Because you really want to try and manage your emotions and not spend too much energy before the game. Just kind of peak at the right time.” -Niko Amato[/quote]
For a lacrosse goalie, a good warm up can be the difference between coming out hot and landing flat. As Niko points out, the most important component of a goalie’s warm up is the mental preparation that takes place before they even put on the gear.
Find the Right Atmosphere
Good mental preparation for a game starts with the right atmosphere. Some goalies like loud pump-up music to get them in the zone. Others prefer to settle down with calming music. Doesn’t matter which style works, just make sure that you create the time to make it happen. Routine is important!
Setting the Tone
Life can get crazy! Stuff at school, home, or work can quickly bog down an athlete’s mind. When you’re mentally preparing for the game, all of that needs to be left in the dust.
Take a few moments to simply breath. To bring their focus onto the game and the tasks they need to complete.
Thinking about the negative doesn’t help to suppress it in your mind. Encourage them to say to themselves “Focus on the game” rather than to say “Stop worrying about that test.” Keep the focus on the action you would like your mind to take.
Separate from the Team
Being around teammates during the pre-moments of pre-game can be a determent to a goalie’s mental warm up. Often there are players who are not mentally focused for the game and they’re talking about anything but the job at hand.
Try to find a quiet place where they can separate from the action. Here they can just sit and focus their mind on the actions their body should take during the game.
Find Your Style
Every lacrosse goalie is going to have their own unique style. Every approach to the game is going to be different. It is important for a goalie know that they have the freedom to act within their style, as long as it still fits into the team’s overall system.
If it helps you to stand on their head in the corner of the field before the game starts, knock yourself out. Just remember to take the game seriously and prepare your mind for battle.
If you would like some more nuggets to help the goalies on your team take their game to the next level, the sign up for our free 7-part Build a Strong Stance e-course. It will help lay the foundation for success in the future. Just enter your email in the box bellow to get started!