Closing Holes for fewer Goals! An In depth look at hip, groin and adductor movements
More than ever, athletes of all sports are focusing on muscular mobility rather than sheer strength, power, and agility in order to better perform their duties. There is not one single position in any sport I can think of that mobility is more prevalent than that of a goaltender – and to their credit, most goalies (meticulous as they are) have already developed some sort of pre-game/pre-practice routine that they feel helps them get loose and feel comfortable prior to skating.
As I said before, most goalies after a certain age will take the time to at least do something in terms of stretching or a warm-up that they think helps them. This could be an individual routine or a generic team warm-up. This is a great thing that so many goalies now realize that they have to prepare their bodies in order to perform well. The problem lies in WHAT they actually do – a ton of static (stationary) stretching, and focusing on areas that physically FEEL tight (“My hips are tight – I’ll do a hip-stretch”). Although it’s definitely a start, this is not ideal if your goal is to feel/play better and be able to move in ways you couldn’t before.
As a current CIS goaltender and CGD coach, I understand that goaltending techniques in today’s day and age are much more demanding on the body than those of previous generations. You need to be able to contort your body into positions that are unnatural, and those positions can often cause pain (and goals) if not executed properly. I have teamed up with a certified Fascial Stretch Therapist and Strength Coach, Ryan Williams, in order to find out the best ways to loosen up commonly used muscles and joints in the crease. Our main focus was hip, groin and adductor movements.