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The Hockey Tryout Mindset

Every player and goalie should go into their tryouts with the mindset that they are the best, but they are better than no one.

Be humble externally, but internally cocky. Be confident in your own ability, believe in yourself, but never be outwardly arrogant or conceded. Go in knowing that you may in fact be the best goaltender at the tryout, but you may still get cut, for reasons you cannot control. 

Ultimately it is the coaches’ decision about who makes it and who does not. Your opinion of the other players is absolutely irrelevant. Once you accept this fact, you will be able to more easily move past the decisions of others and quickly prepare for the next challenge. This applies to both parents and goalies (and players). Accept the decisions you cannot change, learn from the experience and move on. 

Use each tryout as a learning experience. DO NOT take being cut from a team personally. It is almost certainly not a decision based on you as a person. Simply take in the experience, learn from it and move on, being the best you can be each time you step on the ice and continue this process as often as it takes to achieve your goals. 

So again, my advice is shoot for the moon, think big, dream big, aspire for the next level, enjoy the challenge, be diligent in your quest and don’t stop until you make it.



Chris Dyson is passionate about hockey. He is an advocate for the ethical advancement of children in minor sports and on a personal mission to improve grassroots hockey by positively affecting 50,000 goaltenders and coaches: helping children to love the game, learn life skills, and continue playing longer.

He believes enjoyment of the game for minor hockey-aged goaltenders (and players) is paramount, and that this can be achieved through the development of better coaching skills and the elimination of unnecessary negativity, which will inspire confidence through improved play. He is a man with vision and perseverance who understands adversity and the benefits of good coaches very well. Despite facing formidable odds and harbouring the improbable dream of a hockey career, he has thrived for over three decades as a professional goaltending coach. Born with a congenital heart defect, he spent much of his childhood in hospitals, experiencing major open-heart surgery, multiple pacemaker implants, an alcoholic mother, and a deadbeat dad who disappeared when things got tough. This included over 100 cardiac arrests in a single day – few people survived even one or two at that time. Dyson is a published author and professional goalie coach/consultant, coaching students from 19 countries through his company, Puckstoppers Goaltending Development. His biggest disappointment is seeing so many young goalies quit the game they love because of misdirection, improper coaching, and a lack of empathy. His critically acclaimed and bestselling book, Target Practice – 8 Mistakes That Ruin a Love of the Game, was written to help coaches and parents better understand the Essential Core Goaltending Skills (ECGSs). Dyson is the visionary behind the world’s first and premier online educational training and certification system, exclusively designed to assist coaches and parents in understanding how to work with and develop goaltenders effectively.
He has also created a series of free online resources

FREE Download of #1 Bestselling book
Target Practice CLICK HERE

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