If there’s been one constant in all the advice we’ve received from the best goalies in the world when it comes to getting better at handling the puck, it’s that you need to handle it more.
That includes multiple conversations with Hall of Famer Martin Brodeur talking about using downtime in practice and getting teammates to skate patterns so he could hit them with passes. So, it made perfect sense to hear that Team Canada goalie Kirsten Campbell is a great with the puck because, frankly, we’ve never seen anyone live that mantra so purposefully.
Working with Canadian goaltending coach Brad Kirkwood as part of the NET360 Goalie Camp put on by her agency, Alpha Hockey, it was a revelation to see the different ways Campbell incorporated puck-handling skills into various warms up and drills. The premise is simple, ties perfectly into Brodeur’s advice, is easy for to emulate, and comes from Kirkwood.
Whenever possible, Campbell is making passes in practice.
“He always makes us handle the puck,” said Campbell, since drafted 14th overall by Toronto in the PWHL. “I think it’s important that no matter what’s happening on the ice you’re finding a way to keep improving your puck handling. Involving all the goalies in every practice keeps us engaged too and keeps us making hard tape-to-tape passes like we want in a game.”
When her playing partner was in the net for a drill that started with a pass, Campbell was almost always the one making that first pass instead of letting the goalie coach do it.
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