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Goalies

Blue Paint Footwork

By Ontario Minor Hockey Association, 06/24/15, 2:30PM EDT

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One of the simplest and most effective training tools that a goaltender can use is the crease itself.

One of the simplest and most effective training tools that a goaltender can use is the crease itself. Since goaltenders spend the vast majority of game and practice time within the confines of the blue ice, it makes absolute sense that they should master the movements that they utilize regularly during the course of competition. 

With this in mind, we will look at three movement patterns that goaltenders of all levels can use to develop and/or maintain strong footwork. These drills may also be utilized by coaches as a quick and easy assessment tool to evaluate the skating skills of their goaltenders.  To aid in this process included are things that the goaltenders need to focus upon, but also some of the details that coaches should look for when observing how the goalies execute these maneuvers.

Although these movement patterns may differ in both their form and objectives, there are certain principles that are universal whenever a goaltender moves about their crease.

 

  1. Always look where you are going. All of these movements should never be initiated without the net minder first turning their head to face the direction they are moving. This sounds very simple, but it is amazing how many goalies don’t lead with their heads. 

    Coaches: Is the goaltender looking before initiating any movements?
     
  2. Keep the weight centered on the balls of your feet. Make sure to not allow your weight to rock from the front of your feet unto your heels. This will throw you off balance and slow you down considerably.

    Coaches: Take note of any rocking back and forth. Watch for any stumbling or balance issues.
     
  3. There should be no bouncing or straightening at the knees or hips as the goalie moves. Bouncing and/or  straightening causes puck tracking issues and makes save execution more difficult since the goaltender is less settled.

    Coaches: Watch to see if the goalie is “popping up and down”. Take note of any upward movement as he/she travels the crease.
     
  4. Stop with the outside foot. There are always exceptions, but in most situations, use the opposite foot that you pushed with to stop. This is especially true after pushing off your posts. Stopping with the incorrect foot will slow you down and make quick changes of direction more difficult.

    Coaches: Keep an eye on which foot the goalie is stopping with. Can they stop with both feet or do they favour one side?  

 

Push to middle/ Push to opposite post

  • Pivot and push through the middle of the net to top of crease and stop with opposite foot.
  • Pivot and t-push to opposite post.
  • Make sure foot is placed inside of post when pushing and stopping.
  • Repeat in other direction.
  • Instead of just pushing to middle, goalie can push to various other points of the crease and then over to opposite post.

Middle/Over/Opposite Post

  • Pivot and push to middle and stop with opposite foot using curved path through middle of net.
  • Pivot and t-push to corner of crease. Stop with opposite foot
  • Pivot and push to opposite post.
  • Variation:  Instead of t-push in movement 2, goalie uses short quick shuffles.

Multiple Movement Drill

  • Pivot and push cross crease, stop on opposite foot through middle of the net.
  • Pivot and t- push to top of crease. Stop
  • Pivot and t-push to corner of crease. Stop
  • Shuffle across top of crease to opposite corner 
  • Shuffle or t-push back to post. Make sure foot inside of post to end.
  • Variation: Shuffle over and stop for movements 2 and 3 T- Push cross crease for movement 4

 


There are just a few examples of movement drills that can be incorporated into the warm up or practice routine of goalies of any level. There are numerous resources with a variety of examples online for all to use. Developing efficient and technically sound footwork can be achieved with some focused practice in the area that goaltenders know best.

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