On Saturday, May 19, I was invited to make a presentation at the USA Hockey Level 4 Clinic in Rochester, Minn. The topic was goaltending.
While I usually present to groups like this in a classroom setting, this clinic was different. Organizers decided to have the goaltending segment part of a 90-minute on-ice clinic. It was pretty slick.
There were more than 100 youth hockey coaches on the ice during this time. They were divided into three groups. One group was taught checking techniques, one group was taught skating skills and one group was taught goaltending concepts. We rotated every 30 minutes.
I had the help of two goalies from the Rochester John Marshall High School boys team who served as demonstrators. We showed the coaches the basic stance, including catch glove and stick position. We also talked about the butterfly technique and the high school goalies demonstrated some of the lateral movements used by today’s goalies.
After that, we worked on various skating and movement skills. The session also included an opportunity for the coaches to try some of the goalie specific skills. They worked on forward and backward C-cuts across the ice and also tried doing shuffles and t-pushes. It think it was an eye-opener experience for the coaches who hopefully gained a better understanding of what it takes to be a successful goalie.
Following that workout, we discussed angle play and breakaway tactics. It was an action-packed half-hour…but it think the coaches got a lot out of the session.
I enjoy teaching coaches techniques they can use to help their goalies improve their individual skills.