Mac Berglove: Beyond the pads
Being a goalie has taught me much more about life than just being an athlete. It can be the most rewarding position in sports when everything goes your way, but also can be the most destructive. Throughout a season there may be games where you might play unbelievable, make plenty of saves, and still lose. Goalie can help teach you these lessons to learn for the real world. We cannot control the outcome of events, but only our actions and reactions. I think being a goaltender provides plenty of opportunity to learn that.
Goalie is one of the most tedious position in all of sports. This requires a great amount of both mental and physical hard work. However, your hard work must be well directed. Every repetition of every drill must extremely detailed. A goal can be caused by losing the puck for fractions of a second or being off angle by inches. That is why a goalie must be well organized as well as determined. You must be a student of the game. Every shot, whether it goes in or not, is a chance to learn and further develop your game. These are easily transferred to real life. It is easy to fit in and be average, but goalies must learn to be more than average, The same goes for the rest of your life. To be better and chase your dreams you must learn to make your passion your lifeTo make steps forward hard work and diligence of your craft are the keys to success.
The majority of teams will typically only carry two goalies. When you look at the higher levels, one of these goalies will be the starter and the other will fall into a backup role. There is only one net to mind, and this makes goaltending one of the most competitive positions in all of sports. There is no first line or fourth line. You are either playing or not. Even though it is a very cliche line that you have heard from every coach in history, work ethic will take you far in hockey and farther in life. It is always the hardest workers that rise to the top of the food chain. In hockey, skill can only get you so far. Once you learn how to work hard to get better at goaltending, you will see it overflow into the rest of your life. Hard as it is to believe, hockey will end for everyone someday. Whether it is after high school or after decades in the NHL, you see so many hockey players have success even after their hockey career is over. This is because players take what they learned from playing the sport they love and translate that into the rest of their lives.
Success in goaltending comes with great focus as well as a flexible mind. There is no perfect way to play goalie, as there is no perfect way to live life. Throughout your career you will have many coaches all will different perspectives of your position. It is up to you to decide how you want to play and what to do with the knowledge you gain. This requires both maturity and confidence. In life there will be plenty of people that will give you their advice on how to live. You are the only on that can make the decisions in your life. Even though you will live your life by what you think is best, it is still important to absorb other ways to live life. It is very important to always have an open mind. This way you can learn from everyone’s mistakes and their accomplishments. A quote that I live by was written by Bruce Lee, one of the most famous martial artists of all time. He says, “You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water my friend.” To me this speaks volumes about the real world and being a net minder. This quote shows that you must be able to adapt to your environment. Goalie, being filled with ups and downs, asks for the ability to play through the lowest of lows while also keeping your focus during the highest highs.
One thing that will stick with me forever and should be the most important part of whatever your passion may be, is that you should be doing it for the love of the game. No matter what other reasons you may have for playing hockey, the most important one should be that you absolutely love what you are doing. Play as long as you feel that way for the sport. Carried over into the rest of your life, you should feel the same way about whatever your affection may be. No matter how bad things may seem, your love for whatever your passion is must to serve as the light at the end of the tunnel. Whatever you may want in life, your desire will ultimately be your greatest tool on your journey. Goaltending requires a strong body as well as a strong mind.
Play for the love of the game and whatever you do after, you should follow the same motto. Always keeping in the back of your mind what your dream in will make your life much easier. You will be asked, “how much are you willing to give up to follow your dream?” and you will have to use your passion as your tool to best answer that question.