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Interview with Chicago Blackhawks Goalie Coach Stephane Waite

Thanks to inGoal Magazine reader Jason Power, we were able to have a quick e-mail interview with Chicago Blackhawks goalie coach Stephane Waite. In the summer, Stephane works with Jason, as the head coach at International Hockey Schools.

Chicago Blackhawks Goalie Coach Stephane Waite

Stephane Waite is in his 6th season as Chicago's Goalie Coach

inGoal: What is a typical day in the life of an NHL goalie coach?

SW:

For a 7 PM game day:

8:00 AM Prepare my morning skate practice (drill for my starting goalie based off last game and extra drills for my back up goalie)

8:30 AM Watching video on visitors’ goalies.(I have to prepare a report on them for our team’s meeting and coaching staff)

9:30 AM Video session with my starting goalie ( just 10 minutes with a positive approach, usually show recent saves and good plays)

10:15 AM Goalie warm up on the ice (starting goalie)

10:30 AM Team practice (after practice, I do some extra drills with my back up goalie)

11:30 AM Watch the visitor team morning skate (watch the goalies tendencies)

5:15 PM Quick review on opponents players tendencies.

5:45 PM My goalies and I have a meeting with the penalty killers.

6:00 PM Short meeting with my starter (the 3 keys of the games. ) e.g. beat the pass , be patient , battle

7:00 PM Watch the game in the press box. Focus on my goalie,take notes, prepare my next video session and my next practice from the notes I have. Meet with the coaches between periods. I’ll talk to my goalie between periods only if I notice something very major in his game. I don’t like to bother my goalie for details because he’s in his zone.

Cristobal Huet Chicago Blackhawks Goaltender

Cristobal Huet

inGoal: What do you do on the ice with pros that young goalies should be doing?

SW: Every day I build my practice like this: I have one moving drill, one technical drill and one or two reaction drills. As a goalie coach you need to be well prepared before going on the ice.

inGoal: What are the biggest mistakes that coaches or young goalies make?

SW: The biggest mistake is to not allow enough time to work on movements. Positioning is everything for goalies. When a goalie moves well, it allows him to challenge more, to beat the pass, to be square and set, to be more patient etc. Don’t be afraid to spend time on t-glide, shuffle, long across t-push, backward, forward, recovery etc.

inGoal: Is there was one piece of advice you’d give to all young goalies?

SW: Stay on your feet as long as possible! Too many young goalies go down for nothing or too early and that’s a very bad habit. In order to play proper butterfly style, you need to be very good on how you move in net. Moving well and being patient will make your game much easier.

inGoal: Can you tell us about your development program at International Hockey Schools?

SW: We have a very good organization at IHS. We are very well prepared for each on-ice session with a high quality coaching staff. My development program is very intense with a perfect mixture of moving drills, technical drills and reaction drills. The goalie’s progression is guaranteed if the student his ready to make a good enough commitment and dedication to the week.

Thanks to Shay Haas for the photo of Cristobal Huet

About The Author

David Hutchison

David is one of the founders of InGoal Magazine which he began in 2009. Of course he finds time for some goaltending of his own as well, and despite his age, clings desperately to the idea that some NHL team will call him to play for them - though in his mid-forties (OK, late 40s) it'll likely be for a practice when everyone else on their depth chart has the flu and the shooter tutor has gone in for repairs.

3 Comments

  1. John Werber

    Thanks for another great article. I believe Tretiak used to teach at IHS?

  2. Jason Power

    That is correct John. He was an instructor of ours for 15 years. One summer, we were notified he would no longer be with us due to his involvement in Russia. Ironically, a phone call was made to Stephen and it has been amazing since. The Irony is that Steph, as you know, replaced Tretiak in Chicago as their goaltending coach!

  3. John Werber

    Thank you Jason for the excellent article, and allowing me and my son to learn from wonderful professionals such as yourself and Stephane Waite.