In many specific goalie sessions today we ask the goalies to “track the puck” and execute specific techniques that helps them develop muscle memory within the athlete. As Goalie Coaches we find ways to breakdown elements of a technique or drill that our goalie will understand and retain. So with that said, using the theory of “Breaking down the elements” if we are asking the goalie to track the puck by using their eyes in an efficient and effect manner, shouldn’t we start with an eye-exam.
I bring this point up only as a point of interest as sometimes answers to an issue do not have to be complicated. This past August I attend a Goaltending Coach Symposium in Madison, Wisconsin, where Goalie Coaches from all over the world at various level...
Optimizing limited team practice time for goalies is a continuous battle.
You've heard it before:
"The goalies are just pylons in practice."
"The goalies get no attention."
"The goalies don't see a shot for 20 minutes."
If you're a head coach, odds are you weren't a goalie and you identify more easily with the skaters on your team. The intricacies of the goalie position are foreign to you.
As goalie development professionals we applaud the coach who acknowledges his (or her) lack of facility with the position and seeks to rectify the situation...perhaps by budgeting for a goalie professional to attend some practices or designating a member of the coaching staff to mentor the goalies.
Typically, a goalie coach and head coach negotiate dedicated goa...
Goalies today are bigger, faster, stronger, more flexible – you name it. And all of these improvements are made with conscious effort. There are detailed goalie-specific training and nutrition programs. There are instructional videos covering everything from how to widen your butterfly flare to developing fast twitch muscles. And there is tons of content available on how to properly stretch, warm-up, and cool down. All of this is great information and offers invaluable advice on how to take care of the physical aspects of the position, something we know goalies spend a lot of time working on.
But, how many goalies take the time to train to become mentally stronger?
When Mike Babcock was hired to be the new head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs, he said he didn’t want to just make the playoffs – he wanted to be involved in establishing a Stanley Cup Process. In short, organizational culture greatly influences the environment that the team operates in. Creating a “Cup Process” means everything and everyone, from ownership, hockey operations, coaching staff, management, right down through the player development team, and on to the medical team and scouting staff, would be on the same page and held accountable for living out the team culture.
Creating a Culture of Success
This is what it has been like for me for the past four years as a member of the Carleton Place Jr. A Canadians in the Central Canada...
When I was younger the long drive back from a game made for a perfect time to reflect on my play. My father was always good at starting off by telling me all of the positive things he noticed in my game and then asking how I felt. This was very helpful for me to debrief about my own perception of the game and reflect on what I could have done differently. Whether it was a misread on a 2 on 1 or being impatient on a breakaway I was able to break down what I did and explore with my Dad how I can be prepared for the next time. This was a crucial part to my maturing and learning as a young goaltender.
When your son/daughter gets off the ice they are already aware that they had a good/bad game. This is again r...
I recently came across this article in "InGoal Magazin"., about what is called the "15 Second Drill". The article goes into great technical breakdown and I highly recommend it. It is something I will incorporate into my lessons, and in a round about way, already do. I'm a big believer in quality over quantity. This article takes about 15 second reps in one specific part of training but can be applied in other scenarios.
One thing I have learned over the years is that parents have to change their mind set. Many judge the quality of training on how hard their goalie can be run into the ground. "My child's goalie coach is great because when my son/daughter is done a sessi...
Believe it or not, visualization works and positive goal imagery creates a “competitive drive”. Top athletes do it to improve performance.
Brain studies have revealed that thoughts produce the same mental instructions as actions. Mental imagery impacts many cognitive processes in the brain: motor control, attention, perception, planning, and memory. So the brain is getting trained for actual performance during visualization. It’s been found that mental practices can enhance motivation, increase confidence and self-efficacy, improve motor performance, and prime your brain for success – all relevant to achieving your best performance.
Braden Holtby, Washington Capitals incorporates “mental imagery” into his pre-game routine.
Self-assessments are a great starting point to recognizing what your strengths and weaknesses are as a goalie. It’s one thing if a coach helps to identify what areas of the game you excel at and what areas you need to further develop. But, it’s something entirely different when you look in the mirror (so to speak) and do it to yourself.
For one, it increases your level of engagement and awareness about yourself as an athlete. And it’s not just about what you do on the ice. This brings me to the second benefit of a self-assessment. A good self-assessment can address everything away from the rink from how you eat, sleep, and prepare for games, practices and goalie training sessions, to how you manage your emotions when you’re team is winning...
I want to offer some tips on having your gloves ready, especially during butterfly recoveries and lateral moves, and provide some tips to take into consideration when making saves with your hands or body to maximize rebound control.
The first thing to understand is the distance of the puck in relation to the direction and distance you are recovering. Put yourself in the puck’s position and ask the following question: How much room is there for the puck to travel and reach above 11 inches off the ice (roughly the height of your pad)?
Once you determine the answer, the next thing you should consider is how likely are you to make the save with your pad, body or gloves.
Choosing which one to use – the body or gloves – is all about being s...
If you talk to any goaltender who plays junior, college or pro and ask them how important video review is with their goalie coach, you most likely will here the same response; it's crucial! Speaking from experience I can't count how many times I've told a goalie they are executing a certain way in a game and get a "are you sure" comment back from them, then I show them on video and the result is, "wow I didn't know I did that".
There are many different ways to develop your game, from goalie specific training, off-ce training and nutrition, to implementing good practice habits and building hockey IQ. I personally feel video isjust as important as all of them.