Goaltender-Specific Skating Series: Drill 5 of 20
This is an easy drill, as the video below shows, yet depending on the age of the goaltender, many puck-stoppers have trouble with it.
Young goaltenders lack both the gross motor control and power to move from post-to-post with a single long shuffle. They frequently fall into the goalpost or the meshing. The problem can be made worse with soft ice conditions or excessively sharp blades.
Therefore, there is really no need to teach this drill to very young students. Just keep working on shuffling in line drills and around the crease arc.
When you begin to teach this basic movement pattern you have the goaltender perform two to three short shuffles to get from post-to-post.
Bad habits can develop from the beginning and avoiding common errors is of great importance from the author’s perspective.
One common error sees a young goalie perform T-pushes from post-to-post. This simple occurs because they realize that by opening up one foot (i.e., turning it sideways) it is much easier to move to the other goalpost; however, the main reason for shuffling is so that the pad face remains square to the front of the net in case of a pass out.
Furthermore, when sufficient coordination and power have been developed, shuffling from post-to-post is very easy.
Conversely, the T-push requires additional unnecessary moves prior to reaching a goalpost. Remember, T-pushes are generally used when greater distances need to be covered in a short period of time.
A second common error involves the goalie moving on a flat arc from post-to-post. They neither shuffle nor employ T-pushes but just turn sideways to the front of the net and glide over to the other goalpost. This happens also in part because this is the only way they know how to keep track of play behind the net. They know nothing about the concept of “WINDOWS”.
As always, when performing this drill take that extra second to be deliberate with your technique at each goalpost. The head turns first and the hands and stick always lead.
This is especially true when moving from blocker to trapper-side post. You are moving from a position of stick weakness to a position of stick strength so lead with the stick. In case the shuffle is slow, the advanced movement of the goal-stick may, at times, prevent a puck being tucked in beside the post.