Carter Hutton Pro Tips Part 5: train your eyes for the game
Carter Hutton has already shared some great advice on how to play well went you aren’t playing often, including having the right mental approach, trying to get out of a goalie school mindset, and how to deal with practices that aren’t always good for the goalies, but the St. Louis Blues goaltender has one more important key to staying sharp.
For Hutton, translating practice time into strong games means training your eyes.
“For me, it’s all about seeing pucks,” Hutton told InGoal. “That’s the biggest thing: you face a ton of good shots in practice but in a game guys aren’t shooting any harder, it’s just that everything around it is going on faster, so your eyes have to pick things up quicker, fight through traffic quicker to battle. So I try to see a ton of shots in practice. I do a lot of one-timers, things that are game-like, where I can track pucks, use my eyes, and then off ice I do a lot of eye exercises to keep myself engaged. Eyes and mind are what get me going.”
Hutton already outlined the importance of ensuring you can track shots in practice in Part 3 of this series, saying he will back shooters up a bit if they are unloading too close.
“I like to back guys up a bit so I can track things, use my hands, make a save, follow it with my eyes,” he said. “It’s a lot more engaging with my eyes, being connected.”
When it comes to training his eyes off the ice, there wasn’t an opportunity to work directly with Hutton in-season, so we turned instead to Josh Tucker of True Focus Vision, who regularly trains a handful of NHL goalies, including this great look at his work with Minnesota Wild No. 1 Devan Dubnyk.
Josh produced a new video outlining how to stay dialled in during the season:
If you like what you see, and are interested in getting more of the same drills used by NHL prospects like Adam Wilcox (Buffalo Sabres) and Zane McIntyre (Boston Bruins), you can also purchase and download over 50 of their Goalie Hand Eye and Reaction Drills online. (use the code “ingoal” for 20% off)
And if you If you haven’t already, go back and read the first four parts of Hutton’s Pro Tips Series: