Give'em TIME

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 goalie time within the practice - usually 15-20 minutes. This time allows the goalies to work on 1 or 2 skill sets in a controlled environment and voila...everybody goes home were missing your goalies for a third of the practice.

There's another approach which could appeal to everyone.

You can practice as usual with minor modifications to your original practice plan by implementing some simple, drill-friendly adjustments which can give your goalie a real chance to improve over the course of the season.

All you need to remember is one simple thing...TIME.

Simply stated, a save at all levels has three components;

1. Pre-Save Preparation - everything the goalie needs to do prior to shot to put them in the best position to execute

2. The Save Movement - The actual response to the scoring opportunity

3. Post-Save Response - Following the rebound (no matter where it goes) and preparing for the next shot.

The emphasis and execution will change as goalies develop but the concept remains the same.