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Photo of Rebecca Skweres in the Minnehaha ice arena by Signe Christiansen.

The goalie mentality

The art of being a confident goalie

How Minnehaha goalies process setbacks and help teams move forward

Whenever a goal is scored, the team is often quick to blame the goalie. Goalies often struggle with guilt and feel responsible for the outcome of the game. In order to play positively they find their own ways to help cope with the guilt, move on, and learn from their mistakes. They play in a team sport, but also individually. They play a physical sport, but also a mental sport.

Sawyer Hixon, a sophomore soccer goalie, made the decision to become goalie when he was in seventh grade and realized he wasn’t good on the field.

Whenever Hixon lets in a goal he tries to remember what his dad once told him, “Talk to yourself about how you could have improved in that situation. Get out of your own head and just focus on what you have to do next.”

Jordan Brown, also a sophomore soccer goalie, is similar when it comes to dealing with guilt. “Anytime someone scores on me I feel like there’s something I could have done to stop it,” said Brown.

Every time she lets in a goal she tries to think back to the play and see if there could have been anything she could have done to save it. If not, she tries to move on and stay focused in the rest of the game. Rebecca Skweres also struggles with a lot of guilt, “it’s something I didn’t really realize when I signed up for it.”

“You see your teammates work so hard, and you feel like you failed at the one job you were given” Skweres said.

Skweres is a freshman goalie for the hockey team. She has been playing for seven  years. Skweres originally played defense, but four years ago when the goalie on her team left she decided to step up and give goalie a try.

Brown has been playing goalie ever since she was a little girl. “My brother played goalie and as a little kid and I kind of wanted to be like him” she said. Her brother, Jared Brown, was also a soccer goalie for Minnehaha Academy and graduated in 2015.

In order to be ready in the game, goalies try and get in the right mindset. Sometimes they even form their own superstitions without even realizing it. A superstition that Brown has had for the past two years is that she has to wear a certain pair of spandex every game or else she will do poorly.

“I’ve got a pair of spandex that I wear to every game. I sort of just got into the habit of wearing them. It started out as habit and then turned into superstition,” said Brown.

A few things Hixon does before a game are similar to Brown and Skweres. They all listen to pregame music to get in the mindset. “It gets me to focus,” Brown said.

Brandon Lucas is a varsity goalie for the boy’s varsity hockey team. “It’s fun playing defense but I’d probably stick to goalie,” Lucas said.

This year the boys varsity hockey team has two goalies. “I’m not used to having to battle for the starting position. If anything I think it will make both of us better.”

Lucas’ biggest struggle is recovering from bad games, “The biggest challenge is forgetting about bad games. When I have one bad game, I usually get on a streak of bad games.”

In order to get back on track and get out of the negative mindset Lucas said, “You just gotta trust yourself to stop the puck.”

Though all goalies are different, when it comes to their ways of coping with guilt, building themselves back up and working as a team, they are quite similar.

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About Lily McClelland

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