The Goalie Tryout

Last year I emailed this article to goalies within the Elite Goaltending Summer Camp and thought I’d post it on the blog this year. It has been slightly revised for this year.

With tryouts a few short weeks away, I thought it would help goalies to have an understanding of what coaches are looking for when selecting their goalies. The information I am sharing is based on being part of many selections (A through AAA level) as well as speaking to many coaches, both head and goalie, in different organizations throughout the years.

Although there is no exact science with goalie selection, the list below should give goalies an understanding of how they are selected.

1. Movement

a. Skater

Goalies need to be one of the top skaters on a team. If he is not, it will cost the team.

b. Goalie-Specific Movement within Net

Goalie can’t stop the puck if not able to move well in net

c. Is the Goalie Quick?

Goalie does not need to be fast, just quick (i.e. does goalie take to many steps in getting from Point A to Point B?)

2. Positioning

a. Angles and Depth

For all shots, is goalie on angle and have correct depth? If skater with puck passes to teammate, does goalie understand the depth/angle relationship to get self in proper position again?

b. Body Squareness

Being square for first shot is easy, what about the rebound?

3. Anticipation

a. Read Developing Plays

Is goalie slightly “in-front” of the play or is he having to catch-up? Does goalie seem surprised with different offensive tactics?

b. Puck Watching

Goalie must keep eye on puck if he is going to react appropriately to rebounds?

4. Saving the Puck

a. “Blocking” or “Reactive” Style?

Does goalie simply allow to puck to hit him or does he adjust body to best react to shot?

b. Unnecessary Shots Against?

Does goalie control puck or risk a goal against with unnecessary rebounds?

c. Predictability

Does goalie make same save on same shot every time or is saving the puck an adventure? For the most part, coaches want predictable goalies.

5. Competitiveness

a.       Work

Does goalie work to save all pucks or just every few?

b. Fighting Spirit

Are rebounds allowed to sit in, or around, crease area?

6. Presence in Net

a. Comfort

Does goalie seem to be confident, enjoy his job and the opportunity?

b. Small or Big?

When cuts are about to be made, does the goalie elevate his play or tank it?

7. Emotional and Mental

a. Coachability

Does goalie seem to want to learn or does he already have everything figured-out? NOTE – THIS WILL ELIMINATE ANY CHANCE OF MAKING ANY TOP TEAM!!!!

b. Focus

Does he let any bad goals during scrimmages that looks like he “got caught napping?”

c. Enjoyment

Is goalie just going through the motions or is he motivated?

d. High Maintenance

Is the goalie going to be more work (off-ice) than worth it? Are his parents? NOTE – THIS WILL ELIMINATE ANY CHANCE OF MAKING ANY TOP TEAM!!!!

Many coaches say they want a goalie who “can stop the puck.” Being able to “stop the puck” for coaches has many components listed above. If goalies can commit this list to memory and then work to excel in each category, many team doors will open for them




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