“Don’t go down unless it’s your last resort to make that save.” These words were constantly drilled in to me by my hockey coaches back in the 1980s and 90s when I was learning how to be an effective goaltender. Up until the late 90s, hockey goalies were taught to come far out of the net, aggressively challenge the shooter, and stay on their feet for as long as possible. The expectation was that the player shooting the puck would hit you in the pads or miss the net. The players in today's game would burn you if you took the old “stand up and aggressively challenge the shooter” approach.
One of my closest friends approached me and asked me if I would be interested in getting some newer goalie equipment and splitting the games in a local adult ice hockey league a couple years ago. I was in for a huge surprise after taking many years away from playing the game!
For starters, the equipment was drastically different than the gear I was accustomed to using in the years before. It felt foreign to me…I could not skate or execute the same body movements that remained in my muscle memory. The manner in which this position is played in the modern game requires the goalies to play deeper in the net and drop onto their knees into a save selection known as the butterfly on more than 85 percent of the shots. Go down!? What do mean? Really? Since when? Yup…the object is to play the percentages and take the lower part of the net away from the shooters. I felt like I was under a rock for the past ten years. The modern game is considerably faster and the players shoot harder.
Eventually, you will have to adapt to the changes that occur in any discipline or aspect of life if you plan on reaching the pinnacle. Would we have the means and opportunities to connect the way we do today if we all insisted on living in the same paradigm from fifty years ago?
We are clearly capable of accepting, adapting, and evolving. Yet, so many of us continue to hold onto thoughts and processes that are obsolete. Doing something the way it used to be done in the past does not necessarily make it great again. Adapt and remain fluid.