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Version 2.0 of The Periodic Table of Goaltending Elements is a functional infographic designed by Justin Goldman to help readers visualize and define the numerous elements that make up a goaltender. This project was originally created in the summer of 2011, and then was enhanced in 2013 for a re-release of version 2.0 in January of 2014. It is a personal representation of how Goldman visualizes 131 of the most important traits a successful goaltender exhibits. As you can see. it is made in the image and likeness of a traditional scientific periodic table of element. But please note: this is by no means an “official” table, or an exact way to scout, define, or evaluate a goaltender. It is merely a creative project that was made to help young goalies, parents, fans, and coaches visualize and better understand the complexities of the goaltending position.
Version 2.0 of The Periodic Table of Goaltending Elements includes a full-length digital guide. Download it here for free and receive the following:
- + A complete listing of every element, along with full-length definitions.
- + Downloadable full-sized files of the Periodic Table for printing posters.
- + Printable pages that allow you to create Flash Cards for every element.
- + A 10-page workbook complete with written self-assessment exercises.
- + Instructions on how to download, print, and study the Periodic Table.
Scroll down to learn how to read the table, and to see a few excerpts from the accompanying digital guide!
HOW TO READ THE PERIODIC TABLE
Have you ever read a scientific Periodic Table of Elements before? If so, then you already know how to read the Periodic Table of Goaltending Elements. You begin by reading the elements from the top-left to the bottom-right. The first few elements, just like you find with Hydrogen and Helium, are the most prevalent or necessary elements to a goaltender’s success (Essentials).
In this table, elements live in one of two fields: Mental and Technical. From there, elements are divided into four categories: Essentials, Toolbox, Radiants, and Elusives. Within the Mental Field you find Essentials and Radiants. The Technical Field includes Essentials, Skill Sets, and Elusives. Within the digital guide (click here to purchase), you will find a full-length definition an explanation of each and every element.
From there, once you digest the table, you will notice how the columns build on each other. For example, good Posture [P] allows for solid Alignment [A]. If a goalie has good posture and alignment, they will have an easier time achieving muscle and overall body Balance [B] in the crease. Good balance also allows a goalie to have a higher level of Body Control [Bc], which in turn will enhance the amount of Efficiency [E] a goalie has in his or her movements.
Due to their “radiant” nature (an ability to influence those around you), columns in the Mental Field are a bit more amorphic. Focus [Fo] is the foundation of a goalie’s Attention [At] span. Both elements combine to allow a goalie to get into a good Rhythm [Rh] in a game, and therefore achieve better Timing [Ti] in how they read and react to different shots and situations.
Since this table is not an exact science, but merely my personal way of breaking down the position, it’s important to understand that you will find some ambiguities within the table’s structure. This is what makes the project so fun; everyone will have their own way of placing and defining the elements. For example, Patience [Pt] is an element that takes excellent Footwork [Ft] and Edge Control [E], but it can also be considered a mental element (patience in your daily approach). Balance [B] is a technical element, but having balance in life (like other passions beyond hockey) is also a key mental element.
While it was impossible to avoid certain “crossovers” and ambiguities in a complex table like this, it also became quite obvious to me that this would be a great teaching tool. Which elements would you move or shift into different categories? What would your own Periodic Table of Goaltending Elements look like? The options are truly endless, making this project a great brain exercise for goalies everywhere! Enjoy the learning experience, and please feel free to send me your feedback at any time.