Elite Goaltending Summary Camp Week One Summary

Brian and I are thrilled the ‘09 camp has begun and want to begin by pointing out all goalies who have attended our camps in the past have improved. Many have improved tremendously. Simply, it’s a reflection on hard work and commitment to become better which is at the core of our philosophy both on- and off-ice.

We hope you and your family can see your improvement. But… there is much work to do and we are expecting even greater strides from all of you.

Comments on Week 1’s Session-

As the goalies know (particularly their legs…), Week 1 was dedicated mostly 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. When moving around the crease, goalies need to remain within their stance so they are ready for any shot while being balanced. This is regardless of where the puck is in the zone. Many goalies in both groups tended to lose their knee bend when moving around and, in many cases, stood-up. As we say, shoulders cannot be bobbing up-and-down. As listed below, this was very important for The Fleury Group.
  4. 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.
  5. 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 all the little details to succeed. 

The Brodeur Group got to experience a great drill where they partnered up and while power sliding they tossed pucks at each other to catch.  It’s safe to say Week Two will see the drill again. We all need a little work on this one. Great drill for agility, concentration, movement and, most importantly, getting the goalies to keep their gloves independent from the movement of thier legs. 

In addition to the movement, the introduction of sticks saves were made with the goalies facing shots to their stick both while standing and while on their knees. More shots are headed their way in the next week as we will continue to work on stick saves and move to legs, gloves, and chest.

Week 1 Reebok Challenge

For the first week, we ran different challenges for each group.

The Fleury Group

This week’ challenge concerned keeping within stance while moving around the crease (#3 in the corrections listed above). 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 with balance.

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.

The Brodeur Group

The older group tested their body control by power sliding between cones set approximately the width of the net. Goalie had to begin up against a cone and then slide back-and-forth between the two cones always stopping right before the cone. If the goalie stopped well short of the cone, the slide was not counted and another was added to the drill. A total of 10 slides (5 to each side) were counted.

Any time the goalie touched the cone with skate, glove, pad, etc, a point was deducted.

This is a great drill (and test) to work on the power slide with particular emphasis of controlling how far the goalie slides. How many times have you seen a goalie slide too far and fail to gain angle on the puck leading to an easy goal?

In addition to the ten possible points, the Reebok 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.

The Fleury Group Top 3

 #1 – 12 Points – Jahde, Munn

#2 – 11 Points – Bukes, Fessenden, Whalen

#3 – 10 Points – Avila, Larson, Martin, Smith, Stern, Zurcher

The Brodeur Group Top 3

#1 – 12 Points – Finley, Stef

#2 – 11 Points – Corley, Hawkey, Kricke, Morgan, Parker, Shaw

#3 – 10 Points – Bader, Cavanaugh, Dinapoli, Jacobs, Nash

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

Speaking of the homework questions, they were posted Tuesday evening and are due in our email box by 3.00 p.m. Wednesday. Five questions dealing with the mental parts of the game. Frankly, with the answers located throughout the blog, I am expecting every goalie to get full credit but more important to me is they read about the importance of the mental game. It is vital to successful goaltending. A goalie can have all the natural ability in the world but if his mind is not prepared for the demands of the position, his natural talents are wasted in this great game.

One word of advice, last year’s Challenge the overall winner for the older group won on the last shot of the entire ten week Challenge. Every year we have done this, a goalie wins gear by beating the next goalie by less than 1 point. Not kidding. EVERY POINT AVAILABLE MATTERS. Don’t lose a chance to win new Reebok gear – it’s yours for the taking!!


Look for the Reebok Challenge Standing in pdf. format in your email box by Tuesday and make sure to always watch this blog for goaltending news.

Now, go get this week’s questions done….

Until Next Week,

Coach W


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