Goalies need to be the hardest working players on the ice and always on their toes, yet relaxed enough to react to the puck and stay focused... the words "lazy" and "successful" do not coincide; this is why Point Blank Goalie camps are always up-tempo and high energy. During both on and off-ice training, our goalies will be fine tuning their speed, agility, hand-eye cooordination and explosiveness.
Muscle memory, repetition and concentration play key roles in successful goalie training. To incorporate those training techniques, here are just a few of the "rules" that Point Blank Instructors implement:
Follow the rebound on every shot. Although in certain drills goalies may not have the time in between shots to cover every rebound, it's important that a goalie can locate the puck after every save.
"NO 2 IN A ROW" rule. As a goalie, mental toughness is just as important as physical ability. The "No 2 in a row" rule reminds goalies that if they get scored on, wipe the slate clean immediately and make sure the next shot is a save.
End every drill with a save. At Point Blank, we utilize the entire rink and ice time by breaking each ice session into stations. In order to rotate stations or swap out of the net with another goalie, the last shot a goalie faces needs to be a save. This promotes "digging deep" and staying focused when the body and mind are fatigued.
Know how you got beat. When a goalie is scored on, it is extremely important for them to know "how" and "why". Once they realize how they're getting beat (ie: bad habits, open 5-holeoff angle, not watching the puck, etc.) it will be easier for them to find a remedy. Instructors will often ask the goalie why they got scored on, what happened that time and how they can use that knowledge to make that save the next time.
NHL goaltender Jean-Sebastian Giguere once said that if you ever see him make an amazing save then he did something wrong, and if he is playing well he never has to make spectacular saves. He received alot of praise after his stellar performance in the 2003 NHL play-offs, however, he explained that 2 of the best and most memorable saves that he made were a result of being out of position. Positioning is a big part of what we focus on at Point Blank goalie camp. Along with positioning, cirriculum is as follows :
Explolsive Lateral Movement
T-Push, Shuffle, Sliding Butterfly.
Challenging the shot by coming out to play the angle outside of the crease. Becoming familiar with the markings on the ice in order to know where one is in the crease. At all times we should be able to draw an imaginary line from the puck, through the goaies belly button, to the middle bar in the back of the net.
Rebounds and Recovery
Emphasis on making saves as opposed to just blocking shots which will assist in better rebound control and recovery to get to the second and third shot if necessary.
Communication is vital to any teams success and it starts with the goalie as they are the quarterbacks on the ice. Being able to read the play and quickly convey that information to teammates is a skill that every goalie should have.
Stopping the puck behind the net to make a strong, effective pass up the ice. Getting low in order to find the puck through traffic on a screened shot. Explosive transitions and speedy reaction on break-aways, dekes and deflections.