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Building Trust with Goalies: A Coach's Perspective

Updated: Dec 4, 2023

In the unique and often solitary role of a hockey goalie, trust is a key component of success. As a coach, establishing and maintaining this trust with your goalie is crucial. This blog offers strategies and insights to help coaches build a solid trust relationship with their goalies.

Understanding the Goalie's Unique Role: The first step towards building trust is understanding the unique challenges that goalies face. They are often under intense pressure, being both the last line of defense and a crucial element for the team's success. Recognizing and appreciating their unique role is fundamental.

Effective Communication: Communication is the cornerstone of trust. Encourage honest and open exchanges. Constructive feedback, combined with regular encouragement, helps goalies feel supported and understood.

Realistic and Personalized Goals: Set clear and achievable goals tailored to each goalie’s capabilities and development level. This helps them focus on their personal progress rather than comparing themselves to others.

Focus on Long-Term Development: Show that you are invested in their long-term development. This includes not only technical skills but also mental and emotional growth. This demonstrates that you care about their overall growth as an athlete.

Positive Learning Environment: Create an environment where mistakes are seen as learning opportunities. A positive and encouraging setting allows goalies to take risks and learn without fear of judgment.

Involvement in Team Strategy: Actively involve them in developing the team’s strategy. This reinforces their sense of belonging and shows that their opinions and perspectives are valued.

Support Beyond the Ice: Offer support outside of practice and game times. Being available to discuss their concerns or personal development shows that you care about them as individuals.

Establishing trust with a goalie takes time, patience, and understanding. As a coach, your role is to provide consistent support, develop their skills, and bolster their self-confidence. A strong trust relationship can transform a talented goalie into an invaluable asset for your team.


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