Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Data-Driven Journalism: Student-Directed Research Study

Tony Cerce
January 22, 2015
E Block
Data-Driven Research
Topic: Goalies
Problem Statement: I want to know what goalies have to do to reach maximum success with-in themselves
Literature Review Question: What does data tell you about the proper mental and physical training and preparation for ultimate success as a goalie in ice hockey?

Literature Review
Some people call us insane, some people call us heroes, but we are just doing what we love in the best game on Earth—hockey. Goaltending is the most demanding position in any sport. What does data tell you about the proper mental and physical training and preparation for ultimate success as a goalie in ice hockey? I have done research through mental and physical standpoints to see what these already crazy people have to do to achieve maximum success.
 Being physically in shape is extremely important for a goaltender in the game of hockey, and this comes with mainly training and nutrition. With proper conditioning and nutrition, a goalie already has an upper hand. The types of workouts you do depend on where you are in the season. This is also true for food patterns and intake. Also, physical relaxation is HUGE for a goalie both on and off the ice.
The off-season wins championships. How hard you work in the off-season determines how you are for the regular season and playoffs. As Stephan Walker says in “Between the Pipes: Mental toughness tips for goalies,” physical conditioning, preparation, nutrition and fueling, stretching, warm-ups, skating ability, shooting, passing, stick handling, rebound control, net location sequences, etc., are all imperative skills in the making of a great goalie. These are also all skills goalies must focus on and improve during the off-season. Practicing simple skills throughout the off-season better prepares a goalie for games and playoffs. Nutrition and eating habits are also extremely important for athletes in general. Staying in shape gives you a head start for try-outs and success in the season. Staying in shape during the off-season is simple. One way to do it is setting up a cycle of lifting and cardio. Lifting is very important for a goalie as it increases lean muscle mass to make you stronger, quicker, and more agile. Here is an example of a quick work out to do during the off-season to build muscle. You would do this 4-5 times a week, changing up the exercises and the weights each time.
Warm up

2 min x jumping jacks
2 minutes x stick handling
2 minutes x easy jump rope


Bench Press

Cool down
Light jog

Main areas
worked on
During the

Young, high school athletes are still growing at a rapid rate and should not handle heavy weights. This can affect the athlete’s growth plates. As these athletes get stronger and familiar with these lifts, they can start to lift heavier weights. The focus for this group is on building strength, power, flexibility, core strength, quickness, and agility through the use of free weights, stability balls, and other training modalities. (Daccord, pg. 20) As for older athletes lifting is not as important, but keeping up with cardio and agility is crucial. Many professional athletes do intense sessions of “Cross Fit” with professional trainers. Many goalies, such as Tim Thomas, do yoga to maintain flexibility and relaxation.
The regular season is a different story. Goalies should not work on training as much, but they do need to maintain high fitness levels. As shown above in the chart, an athlete can use that system during the season too, only now, the athlete should decrease weight for less intense workouts, and only do it 2-3 times a week depending on practices. There are many other ways to train during the season. Try to avoid intense workouts where you could damage a muscle or ligament; that is the last thing a player wants to do during the season. An athlete must no longer be concerned about developing an increase in muscular strength, power, or energy system capacity in the course of the season. Instead, they should maintain the physiological abilities developed through the off-season. ("A Theoretical Review of the Physiological Demands of Ice-Hockey”)
            Goaltending in ice hockey can be very stressful. The puck can be very scary sometimes and, as Tuukka Koski claims, one game can destroy you. (Koentges, “The Oracle of Ice Hockey”) As irrational as that statement seems, it is true. If your muscles tense up every time a player winds up to shoot, the puck will go by you. If a goalie has a bad game and becomes scared, they will never succeed, but there are many solutions to that problem. “Goaltenders can tighten and relax muscles of the body as a way to reduce anxiety. Beginning with the major muscles in the arm, athletes tense up each muscle for 5 seconds, then relax the muscle. The athlete repeats this one to two more times then moves on to the next major muscle group (i.e., legs). Muscle relaxation is designed to increase awareness of muscle tension, reduce anxiety, and enhance energy levels by identifying between sensations of tension and deep relaxation.” (Gelinas, Ryan, and Krista Munroe-Chandler) That method is very successful, especially when a goalie finds himself/herself tensing up in games. Studies prove goalies preform best when they are relaxed.

A goalie’s mental game determines success or failure on the ice. There are many different forms of a mental game. They include mental toughness, self-talk, anxiety control, visualization, understanding the game, communication, and believe it or not music. They are all contributes to mental success on and off the ice. A goalie must be mentally fit in order to gain success.
If you are not mentally tough, do not play goalie. In order to be successful you cannot be scared of the puck. In Chris Koentges “The Oracle of Ice Hockey,” Finnish goalie coach Urpo Ylönen says, “We catch the puck from everywhere—and it might even come to your head. You can take it with your head. You don’t close your eyes, you don’t be afraid.” The most effective way to fight the puck is the way you look at the situation. Is the puck hitting you or are you stopping the puck? Telling yourself you are stopping the puck, you are going to the puck you will be hungrier and mentally ready.
            Self-talk is very important as a goalie. Self-talk is a mental skill that can be done before, after, or during a game. Goaltenders should use constructive criticism and positive statements when they self-talk, not negative statements or put-downs. (Bull, Albinson, & Shambrook, 1996). You are your biggest enemy. What you tell yourself is the only thing that matters as a goalie. People will trash you but none of that should matter. If you trash yourself your self-esteem will go down. That’s why positivity is key. Pre-game self-talk should consist of pump-ups and confidence. No goalie is perfect and you will give up a goal. That’s something you need to accept and move on. After the game you can focus on correcting and working on errors made in the game.
Goaltending in ice hockey may be one of the most demanding positions to play given the high level of pressure and stress. (Gelinas, Ryan, and Krista Munroe-Chandler) Anxiety control is one of the biggest problems for young goalies. Goalies are often treated as a scapegoat. (Walker, "Between the Pipes: Mental Toughness Tips for Goalies.”) Coaches and managers can see most goals are not the goalie’s fault. Fans and teammates turn towards the goalie when there is no one else to blame. Anxiety control is important in a position where every mistake is right on the scoreboard. You should always try to look at things as a great opportunity rather than a pressure situation where you can make a mistake.” Finnish goalie coach Urpo Ylönen says in Chris Koentges’ “The Oracle of Ice Hockey” that a goalie plays the game of hockey because it is their passion and they love it. You will not be successful if you don’t want to play. So if you are playing because you want to. Why be nervous? Play the game based on passion and love and you will have nothing to worry about.
A good pre-game routine is visualization. David R. McDuff explains brilliantly in his piece "Mental Preparation for Individual and Team Sports" that a goalie “visualizes success and positive play. This refers to maintaining a general view that success will ultimately come from quality preparation and using visualization and positive imagery in practice and in the days before competition. These mental repetitions are easy to do in a relaxed state and provide a nice addition to the physical repetitions necessary to create the muscle memory of automatic play.”
Visualization can better prepare you for a game. If you see what you want to do in your head, you are more apt to do it in the game. You can connect visualization and self-talk. The best thing to visualize is the basics, basic positioning, basic communication, etc. In a game a lot is going through a goalie’s head, so if you remind yourself of the basics beforehand they should come easier. Every goalie is different and every goalie has a different pre-game routine so every goalie will visualize what personally helps him/her prepare. As a goalie develops, they will better able to determine what they need to do.
The final competency is socialization or social game. This refers to the ability to be an effective communicator and to bond with others while maintaining an attachment to strong competitive ideals and values. This competency is also necessary for team unity and critical for the development of a distinctive team style of play. (McDuff, "Mental Preparation for Individual and Team Sports.") A goalie must communicate with their teammates during the game. They are the quarterbacks of hockey.
Walk into a rink before a big game. Then walk by the locker rooms. More often than not you will hear music. There is a reason for this is that music has words, sounds, and beats that provide distraction from the stress or nervousness you might be feeling before a game. (Allie Bendus; How Music Can Improve Your Game) What kind of music should you listen to? Studies show upbeat or fast tempo music. Gfeller (1988) stated that music and the rhythm or beat of the music automatically gets the human body moving. That’s why many athletes would listen to music in order to achieve a higher or lower level of arousal and get their bodies moving.” (Sorenson) When listening to music is a great time to visualize the game you are about to play. Many teams also play music before practices. My team practices at 5:30 every Tuesday morning. We play music before, while we are getting dressed, to get our bodies moving. Music is a great tool to use before hockey, especially for goaltenders.
Hockey is a game that everyone can appreciate. People have been playing it for years, families have generations of people who love it. Each year it gets more and more competitive. That’s why I did this research: to see what a goalie has to do to be the best he/she can be. I have found a goalie’s mental game can determine whether they succeed or fail. Being in shape is also very important. Your fitness level can be the difference between making a huge save and letting it go in. These don’t mean anything if you are not having fun! Hockey is a sport that requires a lot of effort and desire. Hockey is also a sport that should be fun, so always make sure you are having fun. I tried out for a team a few months ago. There were over 25 goalies and 250 players there. They were only making two teams! That is a great example of how competitive the sport has become. A coach once told me, “You were not the best goalie on that ice tonight, but you worked hard, showed potential, and most importantly you showed heart and desire.” I made that team I tried out for. I was one of four goalies who made those two teams. I was not even close to the best one on the ice. The sky is the limit, so reach for the stars and have fun while doing it.

Gap Identification
            In my research, I found anxiety control and self-talk are extremely important in maintaining a strong mental status. I found this very interesting, but I feel I was left wondering why goalies get nervous and stressed. I strive to find out why athletes get so nervous in these high pressure situations. Goaltender is the most stressful position in all of sports. This interests me because I am a goalie myself, and I can relative to the nerves felt in the rink. I plan to find out why anxiety is a problem on the ice and what I need to do to fix it.
Research Question
Why do Norton High-School goaltenders suffer from anxiety and stress before and during games making anxiety control and self-talk so important?
 “Quantitative methods express the assumptions of a positivist paradigm which holds that behavior can be explained through objective facts.” (Patton, Michael Quinn) I want pursue in the quantitative argument by finding facts and numbers. I will do this by collecting facts and numbers to get a direct answer. I then want to observe these facts to get extensive information resulting in a general conclusion. “Qualitative researchers engage in naturalistic inquiry, studying real-world settings inductively to generate rich narrative descriptions and construct case studies.” (Patton, Michael Quinn.) I plan to apply my findings to the real world, resulting in the qualitative research method. Therefore, I will be using mixed methods to develop a conclusion based on my research.
Research methods    
Data Collection Process and Instrument
I used a common strategy to gather my information. I surveyed three different groups of people: hockey fans, teammates, and goalies. I also interview three coaches to gather more direct information from them. The process was very easy. I handed out some surveys throughout the week, targeting some of our biggest supporters. Then before video session on Sunday, I handed out the teammate survey to my teammates. I also surveyed soccer players to gather a wider perimeter of results. Next, I talked to some goalies. I explained the research I was doing and let them know how serious it needs to be. After doing this, I feel I got accurate results for the people surveyed. Lastly, I wanted to interview some coaches. I scheduled a time before practice with three of my coaches and quickly interview them. Sadly, I did not get the chance to interview a coach from a different sport. Fortunately, I believe I have gotten very good and helpful information.
Sample Population
The population I used to conduct my research was broken up into four categories. One group of people was the hockey and soccer fans at Norton High School. I also had young adults, adults, and parents take the survey. I then made a survey for high school athletes that participate in a sport with a goalie. I thought this would help give another point of view about goalies, and to see how they react before games. Another category I made was coaches. Coaches apply a lot of pressure to the players on their teams so I wanted to get information from the coach’s point of view. The last population of people interviewed were the goalies. I got most of my information from the goalie surveys.
Data Analysis
After going through the data I have collected, I found the results very interesting. For the Hockey Fans section of my research, I found most fans come to support the team as a whole or come because of Bobby Trudeau. All the fans agreed they only yell at the goalie in support or if he or she made a nice save. More than half of the fans claim their favorite part of coming to the games is Bobby Trudeau. The teammates answered very simply. Most declared they get nervous prior to games depending on the team they are playing. The coaches claim they also get nervous before games depending on the team we are facing. They say they do not normally talk to their goalies prior to the games, but if they do it is to pump them up. The goalie survey was very interesting. On average, goalies experience anxiety before every competitive game. We also all agree the pressure on the game causes the most anxiety. Every goalie I talked to has a pre-game routine.

I have conducted research to find the answer to my research question. After interviewing five goaltenders at Norton High School for both hockey and soccer, many of the answers are similar. Goalies get most nervousness and stressed prior to games compared to during or after. I also found that anxiety only occurs before regular season games and when the goalie is competing for a spot or they are playing a rival or good team. Pressure and crowds seems to alter a keeper’s anxiety the most. They also agreed that fans and coaches put the most pressure on them. I then surveyed several fans and coaches and found interesting results. The fans claim they attend the games to support Bobby Trudeau and the whole team. They say they only yell at the goalie in support or they yell at Bobby because he’s handsome. I have found half the reason Norton Hockey has any fans at all is because of Mr. Hollywood himself, Bobby Trudeau. Lastly, I interviewed the coaches and determined they only yell at goalies to make them better and they will choose the better goalie so they need to keep working hard. I also wanted to survey teammates to see if they experience stress and anxiety. On average, players get most nervous when they play rivals or good teams. I also wanted to find out more information about pre-game routines. Most goalies warm up with the team then further warm up by themselves. Individual players warm up with the team and do what the captions tell them to do. All of the athletes I surveyed listen to music prior to the game.
What does data tell you about the proper mental and physical training and preparation for ultimate success as a goalie in ice hockey? That was my original question when I started this paper. After gathering information, I found self-talk and anxiety control was the most important part in a goalie’s mental success. I then wanted to know why goalies got stressed and nervous, so I extended my research on why goalies at Norton High School got nervous and stressed before and during games. Now that it’s all over, I had found the answers I was looking for. Goalies get nervous and stressed before games because of what they tell themselves. They tend to blame the fans, but most of the fans are there for Bobby Trudeau. Coaches may put a lot of pressure on the goalie, but that’s something goalies need to ignore and live with. If goalies just go out there and play their heart out, they will be fine. In many sports the only thing between a goal and a save is the goalie, the only thing between a win and a loss is the goalie, the only thing between victory and failure is the goalie. That’s a lot of pressure on one human being. It doesn’t have to be! It all depends on what you tell yourself, whether or not you let the pressure and bad thoughts get to you. In reality your life is what you make it, so why let stress and anxiety bring you down? What does this all mean? Why does it matter? High School sports aren’t just for the excitement and the atmosphere. They also teach young, growing adults life lessons for the future. In life people experience stress, nervousness, and anxiety every day whether it’s at work, at home, or even during a hobby. It’s part of life. If a goalie cannot deal with or cope with stress on the ice, how can they expect to be successful in life? That’s why it’s important to think positively and relax. After all, we humans only have so long on this beautiful place we call Earth. So make the most of it and keep a smile on your face. That’s the real lesson here: be happy and stay happy no matter what people say or what happens.

Work Cited
-Gelinas, Ryan, and Krista Munroe-Chandler. "RESEARCH NOTE: Psychological Skills for Successful Ice Hockey Goaltenders." Athletic Insight-The Online Journal of Sport Psychology 8.2 (2006).
-Daccord, Brian, ed. Hockey goaltending. Human Kinetics, 2008.
-Walker, Stephan. "Between the Pipes: Mental Toughness Tips for Goalies. "Podium Sports Journal. 1 Jan. 2013. Web. 19 Nov. 2014.
-Unknown "A Theoretical Review of the Physiological Demands of Ice-Hockey and a Full Year Periodized Sport Specific Conditioning Program for the Canadian Junior Hockey Player." Performancetrainingsystems. Web. 20
-McDuff, David R., et al. "Mental Preparation for Individual and Team Sports."
-Sorenson, Lacey, et al. "Listen up! The experience of music in sport: A phenomenological investigation." Athletic Insight 10.2 (2008).
-The Atlantic. Atlantic Media Company. Web. 12 Dec. 2014.
- (picture)
- (picture)
- (picture)
-  (picture)
-Patton, Michael Quinn. Qualitative research. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, 2005.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Data Driven Research Topic

I have decided to do my data driven researcher project on learn about culture through travel. My research question will be "What does literature tell us about traveling to countries to learn more about cultures in different parts of the world?" This topic interests me because I have traveled to many different places before and have learned about the different cultures in the areas I have traveled to. I want to see if traveling to a country is the best way to learn about their culture.

Monday, October 27, 2014

3 Potential Research Topics

My Possible Research Topics
1) What does data tell you about increasing attendance at Hockey games?
2)How does literature reveal the evolution of mega yachts getting us to where we are today?
3) What does literature tell us about traveling to countries to learn more about cultures in different parts of the world?

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Article Bias Assignment

In the article "Why Should We Not Have The Death Penalty" by author Unknown it explains the good and the bad of haven't the death penalty. The author later argues the death penalty should not be eliminated from the justice system. During the article he demonstrates many different forms of bias throughout the article. I chose Observation Selection bias and Stereotyping as two strongly enforced bias shown in this article. There are many other examples of bias but these are most commonly used in the article.
   Observation selection bias is one example he uses in the article. This is the effect of suddenly noticing things that were not noticed previously and as a result wrongly assuming that the frequency has increased. He uses this went describing innocent people who have been sentenced to death. He supports the death penalty because so many cruel, guilty people have been put have been put to death by it. He also noticed that the number of innocent people being put to death has increased after doing research. This is an example of Observation selection bias, that number did not increase innocent people have been killed for as long a history goes back. He just never realized that after seeing how large those numbers really are.
Stereotyping is another form of bias used in the article. The author concludes the article with examples of people being put to death because of their race. He says in a white jury or mostly white jury a man of different race will more likely be put to death then a white man. I believe this is an example of stereotyping because I do not think that is true in all cases these days. Racism is not as big a problem as it was further back in history. I think most people have the right idea about racism and I does not impact the justice system as much a described in the article. Therefore, stereotyping is a bias used in this article to support the authors argument.
In the article "Why Should We Not Have The Death Penalty" the good and bad result of the death penalty are portrayed. We also saw a variety of example of different bias shown in the article supporting the author point of view. Observation selection bias and Stereotyping are just a few demonstrated in the article.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Real George Reese (Profile a Peer)

       George Reese, a senior at Norton High School and a caption of the Lancer's Football team, is a character I was happy to sit down with and learn more about.
       George is a friendly guy who can relate to almost anyone. For example, he has broken his ankle before and still lives to tell the story of how the trainer made him walk back to the school with a broken ankle, but that's a story for him to tell. He also favors the movie "Stepbrothers" because "of the relevance in the movie." He enjoys traveling as he has been to Mexico before and he says he prefers the city because your life is all in one place. He is an honest guy who admits he eats too much fast food and likes all music except country.
       One thing you need to know is that Mr. George Reese loves football. When I asked him if he likes sports, he simply corrected and said he loves sports. So his follow up answer to what sport do you like the most was no surprise coming from Norton's captain when he explained, "Football, it is the greatest sport on earth." Nothing else had to be said to feel this young man's passion for the game, which explains his die-hard fandom for the Philadelphia Eagles. When I asked him, "If you were to die in a week and had $1,000,000, what would you do?" He simply replied, "I would go to Phily and watch the Eagles play!" This was another example of George's love for the game and his team.
        Some things you might not know about George is his dream job is to be a teacher/football coach. This shocked me but it showed his drive to do what makes him happy and successful. Also, George has a very kind personality and it is shown when he answer my question, "If you won a billion dollars right now, what is the first thing you would buy?" He very calmly answered, "Turf Fields for Norton High School." Of course like any human being he wanted it named after him and I believe that shows another side of him and how he can relate to others. He also answered my question, "Do you want to get married someday?" with a every common answer, "Do I want Will I...probably." This shows his attitude compared to everyone and how similar it is.
       After talking with George, he appears to me as a person who is satisfied with his situation and strives to make every day just a little bit better for everyone around him. Therefore, he is someone I can see many people looking up to as a leader and as a friend.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Mr. Kefor Questions

A.) I believe incentives strongly govern peoples behavior. Not just in school or work but in life everyday. If there is an incentive to get something done I think it will get done productively. This is possible because when people have a driving force, whether its a raise, someone pushing you or pure joy and the feeling of accomplishment they have a reason to continue and get things done.                             In my opinion the best incentive varies for every individual. For most people money is a huge incentive, but others might think of other peoples before themselves and motivate themselves just based off other peoples satisfaction and pure joy. Sadly not many people think like that so money would be the best incentive. It also depends on the environment. Not many people would volunteer there time for others in a work atmosphere. If it is for the community hopefully you could find more people volunteering there time.
B.) An aesthetic experience I have gone through is starting for Norton High's Hockey team as an 8th grade. I was extremely nervous going into this game. In warm ups I could not focus for my life. I have played at much higher levels before but for some reason the atmosphere got to me. Once the puck dropped nothing else mattered but stopping the little black thing from going into the net. Within the first minute I had gotten 2 shots both were nice saves. At this point when all my senses came together and I knew I could do it was an amazing moment of my life. Today I am the starting goalie as a freshman and  I am more ready then I have ever been.            

Monday, September 22, 2014

Bucket List (Long Term)

1)      I want to go on a RV road trip. This has always been a dream of mine to ride the California coast in a RV. I would start in Seattle and Finish in Las Vegas. I would go all the way down to LA though.
2)      I have always wanted to go deep sea fishing. I go down the cape ever summer and I always see the boats rolling in and out of the harbor. I just want to hop onto a 38 foot Viking 270 with a tuna tower and just go out for the day.
3)      I need to go onto the end of one of those giant bubbles. I don’t care if I am 97 and on my death bed I am having two huge men jump off the end of a plat form and onto the other end of the bubble so I fly through the air to my grave. I see people do it all the time on TV and in Magazines and I want to do it so bad.
4)      I want to go to Florida and rent a Can/Am Spider Roadster. Then roll around Tampa to Naples to Fort Lauderdale to Miami. I would spend a week in each area and all I would have is a back pack and the motorcycle.

5)      My last Bucket List point is to travel to Australia for a month. I heard it’s like three different worlds in one. I would go to all of it with all my Australian Buddies and travel the outback. Then scuba diving the Great Barrier Reef. Then to finish I would chill in the city.