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...
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...
I recently finished watching Season One of Mr. Robot. It’s about a group of computer programmers out to even the score with the corporate world. One of the show’s leading actors, Rami Malek, recently won a 2016 Critic’s Choice Award for Best Actor in a Drama Series. During his acceptance speech Malek said, “It’s not just good to be different. It’s better to be different.”
I thought to myself, “What a powerful statement.” And, naturally, I thought about how it applies to goaltending. Fast forward to just last week, when the New Jersey Devils retired Martin Brodeur’s iconic #30 to the rafters in the Prudential Center. It was the grande finale to Brodeur’s career, which lasted 21 years and is highlighted by many accomplishments:
I recently read Kevin Woodley's article on NHL.com about Buffalo Sabres goalie Chad Johnson and his relationship with new goalie coach, Andrew Allen. One of Johnson's comments really stood out to me:
"Over the years, I have learned this is my job and I need to stand up and say, 'I know you're the goalie coach but …,'" Johnson said, pausing. "I just wish I had in the past said, 'I am not doing this,' maybe taken a little more responsibility on my own."
Woodley's article took me back a few years ago when I met a recently retired professional goalie while working at a summer camp in Ottawa. I never watched this goalie play because most of his career was spent in Europe. Naturally, I was curious, so I asked what type of goalie he was....
It’s a true privilege to be part of the game of hockey.
Day in and day out, I get to do something I love: Coach goalies. I’ve been very fortunate to this point in my coaching career. As a member of the CCHL’s Carleton Place Jr. A Canadians for the past four years, the team has done a lot of winning. The team has won two consecutive league championships and Eastern Canadian championships, and made it to the championship game of the RBC Cup. We lost both games. Considering there are 131 Junior A teams in Canada, and making it to the national championship final game two years in a row, there’s a lot to be proud of.
To be honest, I didn’t think it could get any better.
But two weeks ago, it did.
From December 5th-9th, I was part of the selecti...
Communication is key to any successful team. Whether it’s how players communicate on the ice or how coaches share ideas, the ability to properly and clearly get your point across helps everyone understand what’s expected. For the most part, thecommunication between coaches and goalies has traditionally been, shall we say, confusing.
Goalie coaches play a significant role in translating to a goalie what a coach means when certain things are said on the ice during games or practices, intermission, and during one-on-one meetings.
You can call them coach-speak or coach-isms, but not matter how you slice it, it’s important to hear what a head coach says and then actually understand what is means.
Here are five of the most common things you might...