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We realize this may be cutting things a bit tight amid shrinking online shipping deadlines, but with 11 days left until Christmas still, InGoal Magazine wanted to share a few of our favorites items from the past year that are sure to brighten the big day for the goalie in your life.
As for those of you organized enough to already have your goalie’s stockings stuffed, there are also some great savings listed below just in case you want to stuff your own equipment bag instead, because let’s face it, if there was ever a year for Christmas self-care, this is it.
So, in no particular order, here are the items that every goalie needs for 2020:
WIDER BUTTERFLY FLARE
Seriously, what goalie doesn’t want a wider butterfly? Our good friend Maria Mountain actually has a Butterfly Challenge 3.0 App to help you add two to four inches to your butterfly flare – and it’s free! Maria has other paid programs, including the Shutout Academy and Turning Pro, which are both limited admission and not currently open (but you can get on the waitlist), as well as her three-level Strategic Mobility Program that you can purchase, download and access instantly. We’d argue (based on personal experience using it) the mobility program makes an ideal last-minute gift but Maria, whose international client list of high-end and professional goalies includes Carter Hutton of the Buffalo Sabres, will be the first to tell you to start with the latest iteration of her free 14-day butterfly challenge. You can’t go wrong with either.
YOUTH LESSONS FROM A LEGEND
Stephane Waite has already won the Stanley Cup twice as the goaltending coach of the Chicago Blackhawks, worked with goalies for over 35 years, and earned the praise of — and the 2016 World Cup of Hockey with —Montreal Canadiens No. 1 Carey Price.
It should go without saying, then, that most goalies would jump at the chance to work with Waite. Thanks to his six-part video instruction, they can. Designed specifically for goalies between the ages of 6 to 13, this 6-part video is a great tool for young goalies, parents and even goalie coaches. And best of all, it’s available in an instant download at a reasonable price, making it easy to put a world-class NHL goalie coach under the tree on short notice.
The videos, which feature almost 80 minutes of instruction, are available to download for just $21 for the entire set with the links below BUT InGoal Premium members will get an additional 20 percent discount (use the links here – Premium Members are automatically shown the discounted link):
BOLD STATEMENTS AND REALITY CHECKS
Whether you’re looking to re-affirm your status on the team, or want to give a friend a reality check about their real future in the game, the BHLPA (Beer Hockey League Players’ Association, as if you didn’t know already) has something for you this holiday season.
For the underappreciated backbone of the BHL team, a reminder you can wear to the rink to remind teammates not every goalie would put up with their warm-up headshots and disdain for backchecking and still show up on time every week. Leave no doubt you are:
And for those who seem to think a pro career is still possible, that somehow scouts might just show up to the local rink at 10 pm on a Tuesday night, a subtle reminder that it’s OK to be in the BHL, and embrace life in the BHL, because the reality is all roads lead here:
For more refined, classic goalie-suitable attire, nothing tops the stylish offering from our friend Matt at Vintage Goalie. From hats to hoodies to t-shirts, including his famous two-pad stack union original, there are options for goalies of every vintage, but for if the goalie on your shopping list is old enough to have worn brown-leather pads, there’s not a bad option in their inventory.
NEW GOALIE GEAR (AND ACCESSORIES) FROM THE HOCKEY SHOP
Of course, nothing is better under the tree than new goalie equipment. Whether it’s a big-ticket item like new pads and gloves, or smaller accessories to stuff the stocking, who better to turn to for great ideas — and even better savings — than our weekly InGoal Radio Podcast equipment expert Cam Matwiv from the Hockey Shop, who recently shared his top goalie gifts:
CUSTOM MASKS FOR LESS
Getting a custom-painted goalie mask is on the Christmas wish list of a lot of goalies every year, but that takes time (which you’re running out of) and the reality is not everyone needs or can afford high-end custom paint. The good news is there are reasonably priced alternatives.
Custom Cages is a Vancouver-based company that has quietly built up a strong reputation for delivering great custom goalie mask designs for less. You can choose from their assortment of stock vinyl decal kits for as low as $35, or create your own custom look by adding a team logo or other graphics to a range of template base options for just $65 (with a free preview).
Check out their website for the full range of stock designs, which include 119 different options, or get to work designing your own, like this one for Canucks goalie coach Ian Clark:
MASK UP IN STYLE
Speaking of new equipment, you already know his great work keeping you on top of which goalies are wearing what in the NHL and beyond, but Instagram standout Goalie Gear Nerd has also developed a stylish line of masks that can help keep you safe amid the pandemic. While it’s been hard to keep up with the demand for his iconic Cheevers-themed cover up, there are still masks available in several NHL team colors, as well as a special pink fundraiser mask to help the Black Girls Hockey Club, a non-profit focused on making hockey more inclusive.
NEW REALITY FOR GOALIE TRAINING
If you’ve been listening to the InGoal Radio Podcast the past two months, you’ve heard a lot of our guests sing the praises of Sense Arena, the new virtual reality goalie training tool that has quickly been adopted all the way up to the NHL over the past few months.
It’s a list that includes goaltending coach Bill Ranford, who built a training plan accessible within Sense Arena, and got several sets for the Los Angeles Kings, earning the praise of prospect Matthew Villalta. Fellow pros like Antoine Bibeau, Zach Fucale and Elvis Merzlikins praised how realistic it is while talking to us, adding that it’s ideal for working on their tracking and hands, whether it’s against computer shooters or video of real pro shooters. Sense Arena also comes with several vision- and brain-training tools and games built into the system; for an in-depth breakdown all the feature in this new, cutting-edge training tool, check out our review.
BETTER HANDS FOR LESS
If Sense Arena VR training is a little too high end, we’ve got a less expensive training tool to help the goalie on your Christmas list improve their glove work. The SKLZ Lightning Bolt Pro is a baseball pitching machine that first came to our attention while talking with Jake Allen of the Montreal Canadiens during the NHL pause earlier this summer. It weighs 2.5 pounds, shoots foam “baseballs” that are closer in size to a golf ball at speeds that can equate up to 100 miles an hour, with some unpredictability, from ground level, rising like a puck. It’s quickly become a favorite among parents and goalies right up to the pro level, including Boston Bruins prospect Jeremy Swayman, because of its portability and a relatively reasonable price point.
You can read our review of the SKLZ Lightning Bolt Pro, or just buy it here:
INSPIRING READS FOR ALL AGES
Shannon Szabados and Sami Jo Small have inspired goalies of all ages with their careers on Canada’s National Team, and continue to do so with their new books.
Szabados joined the InGoal Radio Podcast last week to talk about her incredible career, life as a new mom, and “Every Bunny Loves to Play,” the children’s book she wrote, illustrated and published. It’s gotten great reviews from parents and former teammates as a fun and easy read with universal underlying messages about adversity, persistence and encouragement for kids.
Small also joined us on the podcast earlier this summer to talk about her book, “The Role I Played,” a memoir about her career that is loaded with great stories and important messages about the ups and downs of elite athletics, that can both inspire and help goalies of all ages.
Longtime InGoal friend Eli Wilson can be found here in many places from our webinar with Carey Price to teaching tips and more. If you want to learn even more a great place to start is his book, “Hockey Goaltending,” which has something for goaltenders of all ages and abilities.
And with so many of us stuck at home wanting to work on our fitness, you might consider Devan McConnell’s, “Intent: A Practical Approach to Applied Sport Science for Athletic Development.” While the book is not goalie-specific we’re sure you’ll learn a tonne you can apply from the newly appointed High Performance Director for the Arizona Coyotes, who shared this video series on an NHL off-ice warm up for goaltenders when he was working with the New Jersey Devils.
GIFT OF MENTAL STRENGTH
What goalie wouldn’t want help with the mental side of the game? And who better to help than the sports psychologist who has worked with Vezina Trophy winner and Stanley Cup champion Braden Holtby and rising Philadelphia Flyers star Carter Hart when he was younger. InGoal Premium members know all about John Stevenson, whose current client list includes Frederik Anderson of the Toronto Maple Leafs, and now any goalie can get direct access to the same mental training (he calls it cognitive perceptual training) as his half dozen pro clients through a new three-tier private training programs offered through Zone Performance Psychology.
InGoal Members have also seen and heard from Pete Fry, the Goalie Mindset Guy, who works with goaltenders from minor hockey to pro. Pete’s articles such as Massively Increase your Odds of Playing Pro are always welcomed by our Members like Vegas Golden Knight Dylan Ferguson who joined Pete in presenting a webinar in the summer. If you’d like to work with Pete directly a great place to start is his Goalie Mindset Gym.
ART OF GOALTENDING
The most stylish position in sports doesn’t have to be limited to what we wear thanks to artists who produce compelling prints featuring goaltenders of the past, present, and maybe even the goalie on your current Christmas gift list. Bone Jack Designs not only offers a variety of goalie-focused art and products online, but he also does commission pieces on request, and while it may be too late for this year, consider this a head start on future goalie gifts.
Sebastien Chabauty is another popular artist with a passion for puck-stopping themes, and his work includes some autographed pieces from goaltending greats like Martin Brodeur.
While British Columbia based artist Jerry Markham is both an incredible wildlife artist and a passionate painter of vintage NHL goaltenders. From wall art to yes, even phone cases, we suggest you give him a visit.
GIFT OF GOALTENDING
Last but certainly not least, we’d like to think a subscription to InGoal Premium is the perfect gift for all goalies, and because we deliver digitally, you can buy right up to the last minute.
Seriously, though, what could be better than a full year of access to tips, drills and advice from top NHL goaltenders and goalie coaches? How about two full years for the price of one?
That’s right, but a one-year gift subscription to InGoal Premium and you not only get access for the upcoming year, but you also get access to our entire archive, featuring more than 50 Pro Reads with NHL goalies doing video review sessions to help young goalies learn to read the game better, more than 60 other Pro Tips and Pro Drills from top goalies and coaches, including Carey Price, Carter Hart, and coaches like Robb Tallas and Stephane Waite.
You can order a gift subscription to start anytime, including Christmas morning, and we have gift certificates that can be downloaded with images of their favorite goalie to make sure you have something to put in their stocking or under the tree with this gift.
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