Focus, process, respond: New ball drill for goalies
If all you had to do was focus on the puck life would be pretty easy, but that is not enough.
You need to focus on the development of the play, on the puck, maybe on the stick … and then you need to process that information and select a response from your tool box.
Juggling is a great practice for dexterity, but we can add layers of complexity once you are competent. Those layers of complexity can challenge you to process and then process and respond.
What I have for you today is a drill that combines all those elements.
It was Carson’s first day doing this drill and as he developed more competency his lateral pushes got quicker and crisper, which is exactly what you want.
Here’s how it works: Read this first and then you can watch the video below to see it in action.
- The trainer (or training partner) has 4-6 lacrosse balls (or ping pong balls if you are throwing them inside) that are numbered either “1” or “2”. The number is written in black marker in four to six different spots on the ball in large font.
- The trainer stands behind the goalie and throws the ball off the wall or rebounder from different sides at different angles
- The goalie tries to pick up the number on the lacrosse ball as quickly as possible (this is tough because the ball will spin)
- The goalie calls the number out loud and then performs the proper movement response – such as lateral push right if it is an odd number and lateral push left if it is an even number.
- Go for 10-15 second intervals with about 45 seconds of rest in between. As the goalie becomes more competent you can increase the duration up to 30 seconds and add complexity to the movement response.
This is a fun one for everyone – enjoy the hilarity!
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.
You can get a FREE 14-Day Flexibility program for goalies HERE! and be sure to also check out Maria’s Shutout Academy, which features a semi-private online coaching element, and the goalie-specific programs that are created on an on-going basis each month.