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Author: Hiroki Wakabayashi

Flash Screens and Drills to Train With

You might have noticed there have been more goals scored through the traffic in front of the net in the NHL the past five years. This is a no-brainer as the goalies at elite levels are getting so much better to the point that they don’t let in over 95% of long/middle range shots if they have a clear view of the puck. In the 2016 Stanley Cup Finals, Pittsburgh scored six goals through the traffic out of total 15 goals for while San Jose scored four screen shots out of total 11 goals for. This means a total 10...

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Work on Your Patience with ‘Gunslinger’ Drills

One of the toughest challenges for goalies is to be patient in the very last split second of the scoring situation right in front of the net. Often a goalie panics or tries so hard to move quick to one scoring option and gets beat by another option. For example, you see a sudden loose puck right in front of the net without your DF and an opponent is about to reach for it. The opponent may deke you around or he/she may take a quick shot, or even pass to someone in the backdoor you won’t see. If...

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Pair Juggling Drills

Juggling is a very popular hand-eye coordination training tool for goalies. It helps improve tracking, focus, reaction, proper hand movements and more. Here I introduce various juggling drills that you can work with your goalie partner. The series of drills are designed to increase the difficulty from simple two ball patterns up to four balls. Keep your hands in front similar to the basic stance, track the ball with your eyes closely and try to catch the ball as you catch the puck. All the drills require that you throw and catch at the same time. Throw the ball...

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Tennis Ball Chest Trap Drills

Trapping the shot that coming to your chest/stomach area is one of the most essential skills of goaltending. You should not give up any rebound on this routine save and giving up or leaking one often leads you and your team scrambling around the net to fight against a major scoring chance. Today I introduce a series of simple drills to enhance and improve the chest trap skills using tennis or racket ball which is light and bouncy making it tougher to control the rebound.

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Studying Hockey Systems for Goaltending : 5 on 3 (2)

Today we continue the series of articles from coach Hiroki Wakabayashi. Too often young goaltenders think their world begins and ends in the blue paint, learning all the intricate details of our position while assuming the rest of the team game holds little value to them. In this series we focus on the team game and how the systems employed by opposing teams can have an effect on how a goaltender reads, prepares for and ultimately handles scoring threats.

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