BLAINE, Minn. (WCCO) – Believe it or not, there are camps that specialize in training hockey goalies. In Blaine this week, the top boy and girl goalies in the state gather to try and master one of the most unique positions in all of sport.
The camp can provide improvements to skill, which could also lead to college scholarships.
Gabe Heifort, a Bemidji goalie, saw these potential changes first hand.
“It helps you with your mental game a lot. Like last year, coming into this I was off and on, inconsistent. And they had this really cool program here that helps you train your mental game as well as your on-ice game,” said Gabe.
Steve Carroll, who was himself a stand out goalie in college, now runs the camp for Minnesota hockey players.
“We have 50 goalies from throughout the state here, and they’re high school-aged kids: 25 boys, 25 girls. They’re invited to be here based on how they played in the spring high performance festivals. And these are some of our top, high-end goalies in this age class,” said Carroll.
The first thing you have to understand about a goalie is they are different, and goalies are the first to admit it. Sauk Rapids goalie Erin Deters is no exception.
‘I like being different. The goalie are the weird people of the team. But it’s just fun. You can make or break the game, lots of pressure…you know that the game could depend on you,’ said Erin.
It is that make up that can define them. Goalies have to have a certain something – almost a calling to the position.
“You have to be athletic and you have to have really good hockey sense…you gotta know what’s going to happen before it does. Athleticism’s only about 50 percent of what it takes. It’s just about…confident and it’s a lot mental. You have to believe in yourself,” said Gabe.
And so for a week, they find out more about who they are, who their competition is, and how to do it better. For this fraternity and sorority is a proud one.
“The goalies today are more athletic, because they need to be. The game’s quicker, faster. The equipment’s helped change the game a little bit. But I still think the same core is there. You gotta want to be back there, you want to be a competitor, to compete, and be…in the star-of-the-show mentality,” said Carroll.