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Goalie Training: Time To Re-Thinking Juggling?

Goalie Training: Time To Re-Thinking Juggling?

Let me make this clear: I think it is still okay for goalies to use juggling as a way to train dexterity. I am not, however, convinced juggling will improve your tracking or hand-eye coordination the way a goalie uses those skills on the ice.

I recently saw a video of a couple young goalies wearing their glove and blocker while handling their sticks as a basketball player may work on their ball handling; around the waist, through the legs, loop over the back – all of it. On first glance my thought was, how is this relevant?

Upon further review I thought it is as relevant as when my ski coaches made us play tag on our skis without poles. It made us very comfortable with our tools, it improved our dexterity. Agility is not a big part of cross country ski racing (usually), but it sure came in handy from time to time.

Those goalies are learning to get comfortable with their equipment and it will serve them well.

Juggling can do the same.

But let’s look at hand-eye coordination from a more goalie specific perspective.

Catching or blocking pucks is not a regular, repeatable pattern. It is sporadic and unpredictable. It requires data interpretation and a calculated response.

So that is what I have tried to deliver with these drills. My goal is to make the brain and the hands work with a layer of neural complexity without sophisticated equipment.

See what I mean:

Maria-Mountain-150x150Hockey strength and conditioning coach Maria Mountain, MSc specializes in off-ice training for hockey goalies. As the founder of www.GoalieTrainingPro.com and the owner of Revolution Sport Conditioning in London, Ontario, Maria has trained Olympic Gold medalists, a Stanley Cup Champ and athletes from MLB, NHL, AHL, CHL, CIS and more.

You can get a FREE 14-Day Flexibility program for goalies HERE!

About The Author

Maria Mountain M.Sc.

Hockey strength and conditioning coach Maria Mountain, MSc specializes in off-ice training for hockey goalies. As the founder of www.GoalieTrainingPro.com and the owner of Revolution Sport Conditioning in London, Ontario, Maria has trained Olympic Gold medalists, a Stanley Cup Champ and athletes from MLB, NHL, AHL, CHL, CIS and more. Try Maria's Goalie Stretch Solution today.

3 Comments

  1. Rob Day

    Yes I was never a fan of juggling for those very reasons you gave. I have had my goalies do these hand eyes since early 90’s. It gets mind thinking of tracking a release and following to a point. Connecting the dots so to speak. H.as worked great for my goalies over the years.

    Reply
  2. Master Smallwood

    Good article. The trampoline + reaction ball is a good idea!

    I have the same issue with tennis balls (that they’re too predictable). I made a virtual reality game where you react to pucks being shot at you. I attached the link below. Once I’m done I would like to make it available to everyone. Happy puck-stopping 🙂

    Reply
    • David Hutchison

      wow – looks impressive and would love to try it!

      Reply

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