SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 2000

Psychological, Physiological, and Performance Variables in Goalies During Hockey Games


Prompted by an intrigue with the challenges of goaltending, questionnaires were given to 67 youth hockey goalies. Seventy-six percent responded that the psychological aspects of the position caused the greatest difficulties. A subsequent study examined the relationship between psychological, situational, and physiological variables and on-ice performance. Goalies completed psychometric instruments before going on the ice and their electrocardiograms were monitored during on-ice stations. Subjects were videotaped at the Puck Shooting Machine (PSM) station. Mean heart rate (HR) was 163 beats per minute (bpm) at the PSM and 175 bpm at other stressful stations (e.g., breakaway and slap shot). Goalies with 100% saves (N=7) were older, more experienced, less anxious, and had faster HR's than those who performed poorly. Because elevated arousal levels were detected at the goalie camp, a subsequent study of different Bantam, High School, and Junior A goalies (N=13) were studied during 31 games. Rapid HR's were sustained during games, even when goalies were standing still.

Author Information

Smith, AM
Mayo Medical School, Rochester, MN
Stuart, MJ
Mayo Medical School, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN
Fish, KN
Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine, Rochester, MN
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Developed by Committee: F08
Pages: 220–236
DOI: 10.1520/STP15241S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5414-8
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-2488-2