Can I tell you something? I have been actively trying to talk my children out of being a goalie. Not because I don’t feel they can handle it, but rather because I know I can’t handle it.
Goalie Moms are made of heartier stock than I.
I have a hard time watching my boy face down an opponent on a break away. And I do it knowing that even if the player gets past him, there’s still a chance that puck won’t make it into the net.
Because the goalie.
The goalie is a make or break player. They are the last line of defense for the team. Also, while the team is working at getting the puck into the opposite net, the goalie is on their own at the other end of the ice. And if their team gets a goal, they celebrate together. That’s got to be a little lonely.
On top of that, they are often left to their own voice in their head during periods. So a lucky goal or two can wreck havoc on a mindset.
That is way more pressure than I’m capable of handling as an adult. As it is I can not sit still during a close game.
During our last tournament, we came up with a name for the nausea that all goalie moms experience.
The Goalie Mom Flu*
Thankfully the duration of the bug is brief, typically only lasting for the length of a game. However it seems to flare up throughout the course of a season. Scientists are still trying to determine whether it is individual bouts or a longer lasting virus with recurring periods of illness. Particularly difficult games seem to result in rhythmic rocking or pacing. The more stressful a game gets, the louder the goalie mom gets. That kid in the net is hers and needs to hear her support.
Research on the flu is in it’s preliminary stages, but we believe that the major contributor to it is knowing that if the game goes poorly, there will be pieces of the goalie to pick up after the game.
They put a lot of pressure on themselves, our players. It’s hard when it doesn’t go their way.
It is my understanding that a shoot out is the ultimate in Goalie Mom Flu. After an exhibition game where we found ourselves with 5 minutes to fill, we were advised that should that happen in regulation play, we could find our goalie’s mom in the washroom and were to keep her posted on the state of the shootout.
*Please note that this is a work of humour. There are no scientists working on research surrounding the Goalie Mom Flu. They have better things to spend their time on. And we have no money to pay them once we’ve paid hockey fees for the season.