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Thread: Goalie Psychology, Fancy Stats, College Big Boys

  1. #1
    Minnesota, USA
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    Default Goalie Psychology, Fancy Stats, College Big Boys

    Here are a couple of articles I've written recently that cover a variety of goalie topics.

    Goalie Psychology and Fancy Stats:

    That includes a radio appearance on FAN590 and I talk about Roberto Luongo's value on the Leafs in the second half of the segment.

    Big Men on Campus:

    This discusses some of the obstacles "bigger" goalies face as they develop. I consider a bigger goalie to be anyone taller than 6-2. Actually, 6-2 is on the cusp of being "bigger" depending on the individual frame of each goalie. I see some 6-2 guys that look smaller, and some look just depends. But you get the idea. It also drops some notes on some hidden gems in Adam Clark (draft-eligible), Matt O'Connor, and Chris Rawlings.

    Rawlings is the one to watch for keeper leagues, as he's very very likely to sign a pro contract after he graduates at the end of this season.


  2. #2
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    Loved the goalie psych & fancy stats article.
    Really, really good.

    I think it's a good part of the reason why we need to also focus (fantasy-wise) on things like "change of location" and "change of defensemen". A goalie who goes from a #1 goalie in a non-hockey city can really go through a different set of mental/emotional fluctuations as a #1 goalie in a hockey-passionate city... such as, I don't know, Philadelphia. Besides a goalie adjusting to new defensemen, he also has to adjust to their personalities and how to communicate/react to each other's short-comings & mistakes.

    The McKeens article only takes me to the subscriber page for McKeen's... so I couldn't read it.

  3. #3
    icevenom's Avatar
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    Justin, interesting read. I read a lot about psychology/sociliology and sports pysch...
    You should give "Blink" by malcolm gladwell a read. It will touch on aspects of conscious vs subconcious thinking. It isn't a sports psych book but it talks about some socioliology/psych topics that are applicable.

    "Thin slicing" situations to make descisions... i.e. taking a fraction of an experience to "know" something... like a gut feeling.

    From playing many sports myself... (especially beach volleyball)... I find this Thin Slicing mentality of subconciously knowing what's what is what is actually occuring behind the scenes in a brain during sports.

    The more I try to "consciously" think... the more my brain seems to make mistakes when playing. When relaxed... and trusting your insticts/training/etc... you are replying on a pure judgement which attempts to strip away extra information. When that extra information is stripped, you can subconsciously make better descisions.

    In sports, the "less you (over)think" while playing... the less prone to mistakes you seem to be.

    Let's take soccer for example... when you take a penalty kick... all these thoughts are going through your head. Adding variables and variables of information. Sometimes the best play is the simplest one as it has less room for complication and your body to react.

    These are all psychological influences that are going through your body/mind/game play. The more people practice and train... the more they are learning to:
    a) refine their ability to thin slice a situation
    b) trust their subconcious judgement/skills (i.e. ability to see the game with minimal information)

    When you really think about what confidence is... it is just trusting both A and B which we all have the ability to do. In high level sports, that often just comes through experience (practice).

    Anywho, this stuff easily translates to sports (the topics in the books). You should give it a look.
    Last edited by icevenom; December 14, 2012 at 12:35 PM.
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  4. #4
    Minnesota, USA
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    Oops here is the correct link for the "Big Men on Campus" report:

    That should work.

    Icevenom, thanks for the insights on the book...never heard of Thin Slicing before, but it's obviously very applicable to goaltending. The time it takes a goalie to consciously make a decision is sometimes the exact moment where a shooter is reading that conscious decision, or the moment where a puck's angle, velocity, or trajectory changes. Or maybe a screen is passing in front of a goalie, or someone else's stick, skate, leg, whatever.

    This over-thinking and over-analyzing is a big reason why younger goalies are not as naturally gifted as goalies in the past, or why goalies in North America are falling behind the goalies in Europe. They are being taught too much technique at ages 8-9-10-11 when they should be developing their own instincts and natural reflexes.

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