I like to think of myself as a man’s man. Take the bull by the horns- if you fall down get back up, put me in goal when we’re man-down in overtime kind of guy. So I figured if I’m going to master driving a stick-shift thing I should just take it on a road trip.
Things were going ok until about half way through our journey. I had only stalled out a few times and was actually beginning to get into my groove.
Then it happened. I could see my fate awaiting me ahead. My newly found confidence melted into fear almost in an instant.
There was a traffic light at the top of a slight hill. I knew I would have to stop and then make a hill start to get going again. Up to this point I had never performed a hill start.
A cocktail of fear, dread, and panic mixed itself in my mind as I began to verbalize my worry to my wife.
Light Bulb Turns On
I began to explain to Rachael how much I was dreading the hill start ahead. She stopped me in my tracks.
She told me that was no way to think. My mindset was in the wrong place. I should be excited about my upcoming challenge. Bring on that hill start, I’m going to cream it!
Then it clicked. She was so right.
The same principle is true for the lacrosse goalie mindset. A large majority of your outcome is controlled by your own mind. If you think something bad is going to happen, it probably will.
Positive self-talk is the practice of telling yourself that you are good enough to stop that All-American shooter. You are ready to stand between the pipes in the playoffs. You are ready to start taking reps with the varsity team.
Successful goalies believe that they are good. They welcome shots from the best shooter. They want the pressure on their shoulders, because they are confident in their own ability.
You can do this too. Even if you’re not the best yet, talking to yourself in a positive tone places you in the best position to succeed. As you run through your mental warm up, don’t allow doubt or negative thoughts to enter your mind. You already have enough to worry about!