Sounds ridiculous doesn’t it?

It’s not.

Lifters are a lot like goalies.

Some goalies are maniacs like Ron Hextall.
He talked to the posts as players skated at him about to take a shot asking the Gods of the Post to save him and block the shot.
He went ballistic when a goal got in and smashed anything in his path with the stick, could be the ice, the goal or an opposing player.
I loved Hextall.

Some goalies are like Carey Price.

Calm, cool and collected all the time no matter what.

So, What Do Hockey Goalies and Lifters Have in Common?


Yup. it's a real one.

Yup. it's a real one.



If you’ve been to a meet, you’ll see lifters are the same.

Let’s look at one of my favorite analogies that my lifters are forced to listen to.

If you are from a sunshine state, you probably won’t get this so I’ll explain it.

The goalie is the backbone of the team in my opinion and can decide the outcome of a game, a series, a season or a championship.
Hockey is a team sport, unlike lifting, but there is a huge commonality I have seen between the goalie and the lifter.

I’ve seen lifters go to meets who were extremely well prepared only to blow it on the platform after a mistake.
I’ve seen lifters go to meets who were extremely well prepared and dominate the platform.
I’ve seen everything in between.

Same with goalies.

2 Goalies, 1 Series

As you may or may not know, I’m a huge Broonz fan, that’s Bruins for those of you not from Boston.
The Bruins won the Stanley Cup in 2011 against the Vancouver Canucks.
The Broonz had Tim Thomas in net and the Canucks had Roberto Luongo.
Both GREAT goalies, but one was better.

In Game 1, the Bruins lost. In Game 2, the Bruins lost, in fact they lost I overtime when the fastest overtime win in NHL history happened.
11 seconds into the OT, the Canucks scored putting them up 2-0 in the series.

Now, being down 2 games at this point is bad and if the goalie isn’t mentally strong enough to keep his head straight, it’s pretty much over. (This is like missing your first two attempts at a meet.)

Game 3 rolls out and the Broonz smashed it.
Thomas played brilliantly.

I can recap the whole series, but the point is Thomas kept his head and Luongo didn’t.

No disrespect to Donnie. Just a point to be made.

When faced with adversity, how we respond mentally is the difference between success and failure.

Let’s look at Thomas.

He lost the first two games and kept his cool, in the succeeding games, if a goal got by, he kept his cool and stopped the next shots ultimate giving his team the win.

In game 3 however the tables turned.
The Bruins offense stepped up and so did the defense.

It was a landslide win for the Broonz that changed the course of the series for both teams and most importantly Luongo.
He fell apart mentally and it cost his team the biggest prize in the biggest series in hockey.

If you watched the series you saw Luongo degrade mentally game to game, and you saw Thomas look sharper, like a predator.
If you watched the news or read the papers you heard the trash talk that was clearly posturing from one, but not the other.
The other one proved it on the ice, not in the interviews.

So how does this relate to lifters?

Well, have you ever been at a meet and watched someone blow their first attempt on a lift?
It doesn’t matter if it was squat, bench or deadlift.
The first attempt is gone.

You blew it.

What do you do?

Do you invoke the spirit of Tim Thomas and put it behind you and move forward?
Do you stomp your feet and throw a tantrum like the other guy?
It’s up to you.

In sports, and in life, things don’t always go our way no matter how well we prepared.
What we do after the failure dictates how we end up.
I suggest you be like a goalie.

Specifically, like Thomas.
When something goes wrong, move on.
You’ve got another attempt.
Stop the next puck.
And the next.
Make your next attempt.
And the next.
Forget about the misses.

This happened to Jane a few years ago when she needed a qualifying total for XPC/Arnold.

Jane Stabile, World's Strongest Granny, Total Performance Sports

Jane is one of my lifters, and is known as the World’s Strongest Granny.

We were at a meet and I had her lifts set up so that all she needed was her second squat, first bench and first deadlift to get the qualifying total needed.
Well, we were not having a good day.

She missed some squats on the platform, and in the warmup room the bench was not going well.
She was having trouble touching weights that were EASY in the gym.

I had to lower her bench opener substantially which put us in scramble mode over the final total.
She missed all but one bench too.

I gave her the same analogy I just gave you.
Be like Thomas.
The goals just got by, but you can still win if you act like a professional and focus.
Face the adversity, forget the failure and just do what you trained to do.
Stop the next puck.
Make the next attempt.
That’s all there is to it.

Jane ended up hitting a PR deadlift and getting the total she needed due to the extra weight made up on the third pull.
If I remember correctly she pulled 410 at 148 that day and 62 years old.

She became the female Tim Thomas if only for a day.

Remember this article next time you are on the platform.
Or facing difficulty in life.

Ask me a question-Be sure and Type to Murph in the header

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Vincere vel mori

Total Performance Sports