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The Art of Goaltending is driven by three main elements of human creativity: the evolving playing styles, the various training methods, and how we share ideas with one another. The Goaltender’s canvas? A clean piece of ice, painted with a colorful palette of graceful movements and core concepts in physics, geometry, sports psychology, and more.
Goaltending is a noble position embraced by very few athletes, but deeply respected by all. Like other physically demanding team sports, hockey is also a major grind on the body and mind. For the brave puck-stoppers, being the ‘Last Line of Defense’ may increase those mental and emotional pressures, yet no calling tells a more satisfying story; a team’s success quite often rides on the back of their goalie.
Across the globe, the number of young children discovering a natural desire for goaltending is on the rise. Grassroots programs are sprouting up in more regions and reaching more demographics than ever before (welcome to the NHL, Las Vegas.) Goalie coaching is also growing at a rapid pace, bringing with it more focus and commitment to national-level development programs. As a result, the goaltending culture has reached a point where it is more prominent, in-depth, and “position-specific” than ever before.
The biggest downfall? Goaltending is an expensive endeavor, so playing competitively or as a hobby is not always easy. The gear, the training, the traveling, and the team fees add up to a point where it shuts out a large percentage of the general population. It is also a complex position, one full of many different terms and teaching methods. In fact, just getting coaches to agree on a similar and consistent language has been an ongoing issue, so goaltending is certainly not without its fair share of obstacles.
Therefore, it is our duty as educators, coaches, and parents to provide today’s enthusiastic young hockey fans with affordable and accessible educational tools. These tools should not only improve their on-ice skills, but important life skills like self-awareness, time management, creativity, and intelligence. With this duty in mind, we are proud to launch the Periodic Table of Goaltending Elements book project.
Centered around The Goalie Guild founder Justin Goldman’s original graphic, which was designed in 2012 and made in the image and likeness of the scientific periodic table, this educational project will transform his creation into a full-color learning book with definitions of every “element” in the goaltending table. That’s a total of 131 of the most commonly-used terms, techniques, tactics, and fundamental concepts that make up the goaltending position.
Through a full re-design of the current version (seen above), simple, easy-to-read definitions will be combined with examples and positive pointers to take the infographic to new heights. But the book will not stop there: it will also include valuable workbook assignments and reflection sheets in order to promote further learning in both group and individual settings. The book will be published independently and then made available on Amazon, other online bookstores, and through The Goalie Guild’s web store.
More importantly, we understand the hindrances and costs associated with the goaltending position, so we’ve agreed to donate 25% of the proceeds for every book sold to The Goalie Guild’s nonprofit foundation! Those dollars will help support their annual scholarships and educational projects, which reach thousands of goalies every day and alleviate the rising costs associated with training and development.
The Three Pillars of Goaltending Creativity
“Cultures of creativity thrive wherever there is respect and space for multiple styles to flourish and play together, where novices can construct their own expertise by building from their own experiences and knowledge-base, and where ‘experts’ remain open to learning.” (Wesch, 2013)
Simply put, Creativity is at the forefront of this book project. As such, we want to provide young readers with a simple tool that can strengthen this important life skill. In order to reinforce our mission, we’ve constructed the Three Pillars of Goaltending Creativity as a way to share this ideal with supporters or anyone in the fields of coaching and education. If funded, we believe this book will strengthen a reader’s creative problem-solving skills, while also building their confidence, practice habits, and performance levels in games.
Our project is dedicated to Learning, Thinking, and Growing through the following means:
EDUCATE: Ensuring access to an educational and self-reflecting development tool. This fosters the growth of various forms of intelligence, creativity, and dynamic thinking in a comfortable, pressure-free setting.
INNOVATE: Ensuring access to simple and meaningful writing activities in a group or private setting. This brings a holistic approach to helping readers make real discoveries about goaltending, while also finding themselves in the process.
MOTIVATE: Ensuring access to a tool that guides and inspires healthy living and thinking. By helping goalies express themselves and engage in visualizing key concepts like Leadership, we are promoting and sharing the passion and art of goaltending.
We hope that in due time, this book becomes a respected tool and piece of literature that supports the goaltending community and new hockey fans for many years. We feel it is a project well worth our time and commitment, for the development of a goalie is a beautiful process that results in future leaders, role models, teachers, and of course, gifted athletes.
Beyond The Book: Our Stretch Goals
Beyond the full-color book, we hope to raise enough funds to publish and provide two more educational tools centered around the Periodic Table: a wall-sized poster of the redesigned version and a set of printed Flash Cards.
$5,000 – Full Color Posters: We’ll print and stock anywhere from 250 to 500 full-sized posters and ship them from The Goalie Guild’s warehouse in Castle Rock, CO. They’ll come personally wrapped and handled by our staff and shipped via FedEx or UPS in a protective tube. Hang it up on your wall, frame it, whatever you want! Format and price are to be determined, but 25% of the proceeds will go to our foundation’s Scholarship programs.
$7,500: Flash Cards – We’ll print and stock anywhere from 250 to 500 sets of Flash Cards for additional learning and studying pleasure! The element code on one side and the definition on the back opens the door for more challenging study sessions with friends and family members.
Once a Stretch Goal has been met, we will post an update regarding the next steps we plan to take in order to complete that portion of the project.
Meet The Designer: Kathy Polo
No project of this scope could be completed without a progressive and passionate artist. That’s why we’re so excited to introduce you to our designer, Kathy Polo.
Kathy’s passion for telling stories through her unique and lovable animated graphics have made a meaningful splash in the hockey community. The two main objectives behind her work is “communication and conversion through design” and “solidarity within communities”, making her the perfect driving force behind the aesthetics of our book project.
Kathy’s goals also align perfectly with our project when it comes to creating functional content that can apply to goalies of all ages and skill levels:
“Whether that means capitalizing on the camaraderie and passion that inherently exist within sports leagues, or mobilizing efforts that speak directly to social causes, my ultimate goal is to create content that tells compelling stories and engages communities on a human level.” – Polo
We suggest you take a moment to peruse some of Kathy’s recent work on her website. We believe she has a bright future in whatever artistic endeavors she undertakes, so we’re extremely grateful to have her act as the lone art director for this project.
Giving Thanks: The Rewards
We’re saying thanks to all our backers and supporters by offering up some unique rewards. Please see below for a complete list of items and feel free to message us if you have questions on any of these products, apparel, books…and even a giant goalie stick! No matter how much we raise, we’re very grateful for everyone’s support, so please make sure you contact us with any questions.