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Friday, December 14, 2007
Goalies Need to Keep Their Shoulders Square to Lower Their GAA
One of the biggest mistakes I see in Training Goaltenders at Our Goalie Schools and Training Centre is the rotation of the upper body when making glove saves. It is imperative that the shoulders, feet and knees remain as square as possible, this maximizes coverage of the net and maintains balance, which is the key to all recovery and movement.
Coaches and parents of goaltenders who want to help in the development of their goalies overall goaltending skills, must watch for this problem and continually remind the goalie to stay square and not to over rotate. I tell my goaltending students that they need to think of their bodies as a door. As a goalie your job is simply to block the path of the puck into the net. A door that is closed will block a lot more shots than a door that is open, even a little bit. Look at the photo of The Colorado goalie, square, solid and controlled>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
To demonstrate the loss of net coverage and balance, have your goaltender get into a squared up blocking position, and stand directly in front of them with your stick pointed at the point of their shoulder (top of the shoulder where it meets the arm), then have the goalie slowly rotate their shoulder backward (toward the net) as if they were making a big glove save with their glove behind the plane of the body. It will become very obvious how quickly the net opens up with the rotation, as they rotate, test balance by giving them a little push, you'll also see how quickly the balance disappears. Technical teaching and advancees in goaltender training have improved the overall skill level of goaltenders so much that many of the greats wouldn't even be able to crack the lineup if most pro teams in today's game. <<<Cheevers (still one of thee coolest masks of all time!!) glove behind his body, shoulders not square to the play, falling backward, stick off the ice, whats next - GOAL!!
If a goalie is prone to making big swooping glove saves with the glove or blocker, you'll see them falling on their butt and then scrambling to recover position. On he other hand if the goaltender has been instructed to play with balance and solid positioning, the first save will seldom result in bad positioning or loss of balance.
Watch for this in your own game play, be solid and square. This alone can have a huge impact on lowering your save percentage and helping keep your team in tight games.