Goalie Camp – Week 1 Recap

Brian and I are thrilled the ’08 camp has begun and want to begin by pointing out all goalies who have attended our camps in the past have improved. Many remarkably. It is a reflection on your hard work and commitment to better yourself – which is at the core of our philosophy. We hope you can see your improvement. But… there is work to do and we expect even more improvement.

For this summer there are several changes over last year I’d like to point out.

First, we have reduced the instructor-to-student ratio. As you saw, there was nine instructors on the ice working with goalies. We implemented this increase for more one-on-one time with each goalie for maximum instruction.

Second, we strongly believe in helping goalies develop off-ice training so hired Professional Athletic Development (PAD). As you may know, PAD works with top athletes, most notably the Colorado Avalanche. We considered a few off-ice training options (at a much lesser cost) but felt hiring PAD was an opportunity we could not pass-up for the goalies. The guys with PAD have devised a program that will build each week to assist in your goaltending training.

All the goalies can expect improvement in their agility, flexibility, foot speed, eye-hand coordination and other areas important to goaltending. Although an added cost to a very expensive sport, if you are serious about improving as a goalie and athlete, I suggest you consider using PAD for private or group workouts. They are geared towards hockey-specific workouts and the benefits would be worth the cost. Please see them at www.padtraining.com. If you do contact them, please let them know you are with the camp.

Third, moving the camp from Big Bear Ice to The Ice Ranch. After our end-of-camp survey last summer we saw many parents were not thrilled with the drive to Big Bear so we hope The Ice Ranch will be more convenient. Plus, the “Pond” sheet of ice is perfect for goaltending training. Please let me know what you think of our move sometime during the summer.

Now moving on to Week 1’s Session-

As the goalies know (particularly their legs…), Week 1 was dedicated exclusively on goaltender-specific movement. We know movement is not the best choice for getting kids excited at the beginning of the camp but it is the most important. Every goalie needs to work on movement every time they are on the ice. Shuffles, sculls, t-pushes, etc most be mastered if the goalie is to be any good. Could it be considered boring? Yes. Could personal time be spent on something else? Not really. The more the goalie works on movement, the better he will be.

A few things we noticed many goalies need correction on-

  1. In movement drills, goalie’s gloves must still be facing forward. Many goalies tend to turn in their catching glove so it would not be facing a puck. Wrong. Every goalie must keep their hands where they would be in a stance. Again, THE UPPER BODY IS INDEPENDENT FROM THE LOWER BODY. What the legs are doing should have no effect on the hands.
  2. Similar to the gloves, chest and head need to be upright (as if in stance again) while moving around. Always be looking up and letting the crest-on-your-chest show.
  3. Stick always leading movement – never left behind. Common with younger kids, shuffles to the goalie’s glove side causes the stick to get left behind. This is wrong and will cost a goal-against in a game.
  4. Double Coverage. This relates to the body position while moving. Many times two pieces of equipment are covering the same area leading to double coverage. A common example is when the goalie places his blocker directly in front of the leg pad. Goalies need to work on being as big in their net as possible and avoiding double coverage is an effective way to do it. Positioning the body to be larger in the net leads to more saves (of course) but also forces shooters to try to be more accurate. This can lead to a delay in shot release which can give the goalie a better depth scenario (if shooter skating towards goalie) and improved chance the shot is never released because goalie’s defense takes advantage of the hesitation. Always make sure the gloves are out to the sides.

All of these were pointed out during the ice sessions and need to be worked on. We will continue to harp on these until everyone is doing it correctly. In hockey, particularly at the older age groups, the game is played at such a high speed. Goalies need to make sure they have paid attention to the little details if they want to succeed. 

Week 1 Rbk Challenge

This week’s challenge concerned keeping within stance while moving around the crease. Whenever the puck is in the goalie’s end of the ice, the goalie should stay in their stance while moving around so they can react to a shot immediately.

This week the goalies were instructed to move to ten different points around the crease and we watched for any breaking of the stance. If the goalie broke his stance, one point was deduced from the possible ten. If the goalie lost an edge and stumbled or fell to the ice, points were not deducted.

In addition to the ten possible points, the Rbk Challenge awards two points for attendance every week (one for on-ice and the other for attending off-ice training).

Since this blog will not allow me to post a spreadsheet the size we need, we will only list the Top Three each week and then email the spreadsheet to all goalies. If you don’t receive it, please check your spam filter. If not there, please email me.

Group One Top 3

 #1 – 12 Points (Campbell, Kricke, Nash, DiNapoli, Bukes, Carlson, Jahde, Verity, Whalen)

#2 – 11 Points (Zurcher, Munn, Martin, Cavanaugh, Dosen)

#3 – 10 Points (Fessenden, Smith)

Group Two Top 3

#1 – 12 Points (LaBonde, Bader, Candalarie, Abruzzo, Collins, Meadows, Finley, Sungelo, Childress, Dohne, Tantillo)

#2 – 11 Points (Jacobs, Tracy, Eaton)

#3 – 10 Points (Roffe, Tomic)

Of course, beginning next week , with Trivia scores, another on-ice challenge and attendance points, the goalies scores will not be so clustered together.

One word of advice, last year’s Rbk Challenge Final Results included a 0.1 difference in score between 2nd and 3rd place and 4th place missed winning goalie gear by less than 4 points. EVERY POINT MATTERS.


Look for the Rbk Challenge spreadsheet in your email box by Tuesday and make sure to always watch this blog for goaltending news.

Until Next Week,

Coach W


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