Inside The Mind Of Boston Bruins Goaltender Tim Thomas
Practice Makes Perfect.
Tim Thomas has spent most of his life at the hockey rink. His years of practice have trained his mind to the point where his reactions are almost involuntary. He sees a shot being taken from the point and it’s headed for the net at ninety miles per-hour. In this case he puts his glove out to make the save with the help of his cerebellum along with his spinal chord. His cerebellum has stored memory of the movements that he needs to make saves and the spinal chord reacts.
He uses his motor cortex when he skates, like when he moves post to post.
When he is judging the direction of a shot he uses his frontal lobe to plan his reaction. He also uses this to communicate with his teammates.
Lets say that Tim Thomas gets scored on in a shootout against Sidney Crosby. During this shootout Sidney dangles the puck and shoots for the upper right corner. Thomas stores this memory in his hippocampus. Next time he faces Sidney the move may not work .
The sensory cortex registers and processes body touch and movement sensations. Thomas feels the puck deflect off his blocker as he makes the save.
Vision registers in the occipital lobe. When there is traffic in front of the net, Tim Thomas’s occipital lobe helps to focus on where the puck is.
The loud cheering of the crowd or the sound of a buzzer/whistle is registered in the temporal lobe.
Reticular Formation and Thalamus
The reticular formation influences Thomas’ attention. It keeps him awake and alert during the game. When opponents pass the puck in his defensive zone he must have the ability to follow the puck and position himself.
Tim’s thalamus is very crucial to his ability to see, hear, taste, and touch. If he were to damage his thalamus sensory information would not be relayed to the cerebral cortex, leaving him deaf or blind.