Perhaps the largest part of the goalie mindset is the willingness to stand in front of hard shots repeatedly. 

Mental Toughness

The mental toughness required to be a goalie is huge.  While you always have the chance to be the hero, good play is often less recognizable by your non-goalie counterparts than the save you should have made and didn't.

Protecting What Matters

Nobody is more focused on the goal than the goalie.  Every other member of the team has other functions, but the goalie's only job is to protect what matters most.  This laser-focus is invaluable in the heat of the moment, when it is easy to lose sight of what matters and wander off into stray activites.


Teamwork can lead to better decisions and outcomes.  The quality of teamwork is expressed through communication, coordination, balance of member contributions, mutual support, effort, and cohesion.  Effective teams all work towards the same goals.


Goaltenders work in a small space, but must demonstrate amazing flexibility within their domain.  Michael Goldman has demonstrated this flexibility working across numerous industries and types of companies.  For a complete list of companies he has worked with, see Engagements.


Why the Goalie?

My years of experience both behind the corporate desk and "between the goal posts" have taught me that being a hockey goalie is very similar to being a financial executive in a functioning company, a restructuring professional, or a litigation consultant;

  • The goalie will never reap the glory of scoring the winning goal.  In a functioning company, the winning goals are scored by the sales, marketing, and operating personnel.  In a lawsuit, wins are scored by lawyers.
  • Goalies tend goal as a preventive function - they spring into action when the offense is not scoring enough, or there are lapses in the defense.  Similarly, a good financial executive earns his pay the most when sales are down, the expense level is not justified by the sales volume, and profitability is suffering.
  • Goalies are willing to throw their bodies in front of blazing pucks and on-rushing players.  Good financial executives will likewise throw themselves into the company's crisis's to help snuff out the danger, mitigate the damage, and get things back on track.  Good litigation consultants are able to withstand blistering cross-examination.
  • By remaining anchored at one end of the rink, the goalie is able to keep a constant perspective on the game that many other players may lose in the heat of the battle.  Likewise, the financial executive is often called upon to report on the team's progress and prospects, and to bridge the gaps between the details and the big picture.  The good litigation consultant must stay anchored in the facts and not get caught up in the emotional facets of the case.
  • Goalies and good financial executives are always focused on protecting the team's goals.
  • Goalies rely on a combination of reflexes, training, improvisation, and discipline.  Good financial executives and litigation consultants both realize that one skill does not fit all situations, and make sure that they are well-rounded, adaptable, and that their actions are appropriate to the needs of the team.
  • If the team played perfectly, the goalie would hardly be needed.



First and foremost, goalies must not lock into any particular method, but rather focus on developing the fundamental skills and when it is best to use them.  Focusing on skills versus methods will teach the goalie that hockey is a game of adapting and adjusting to all situations.


Training is the acquisition of knowledge, skills, and competencies.  It has specific goals of improving one's capabilities, capacity, and performance.  Professional development is continued training beyond initial qualifications: to maintain, upgrade, and update skills throughout working life.


Improvisation is the practice of acting or reacting in the moment.  This can result in the invention of new thought patterns, new practices, or new ways to act.  The skills of improvisation can apply to many different abilities.  Improvisation is often intended to solve a problem when a learned or "typical" solution is not available at the time.


Self-discipline can be defined as the ability to motivate oneself in spite of a negative emotional state.  Qualities associated with self-discipline include willpower, hard work, and persistence.  In both sports and business, self-discipline is often considered the ultimate path towards success.