Select Page

Goaltender-Specific Skating Series: Drill 9 0f 20

Goaltender-Specific Skating Series: Drill 9 0f 20

Drill 9: Full Crease Arc – Short ShuffleDrill 9 Crease Diagram

The full crease arc shuffle is likely the single most common drill with which to begin crease-specific movement patterns.

This is because shuffling requires the least amount change in body position from the basic stance.

All students usually begin shuffling in line drills once some type of a stance has been taught and established. Once the idea of shuffling has been learned it can be transferred into the blue paint.

In this drill, the student may either begin on the post or already be advanced to the edge of the blue paint beside the goalpost.

Upon command, the goaltender begins shuffling along the curved arc of the crease (although the minor hockey semi-circular crease is different than the square-based crease at the professional level, which is what InGoal uses for its crease diagrams).

The goaltender maintains an upright stance so that the crest or logo on the jersey can be seen.

Do not bend forward excessively at the waist. This makes the goaltender look smaller than necessary. Remember, we want to play “BIG” in today’s game.

The hands should be out in front of the plane of the torso and no “double coverage” should exist.

The trapper should be open and held neither too low nor too high. The stick, if appropriately sized, should be on the ice.

The goaltender remains in control of their posture. This means the head doesn’t moves up or down as they shuffle, something commonly seen in beginners.

Every time they initiate a shuffle, these goalies tend to stand up to reduce to amount of resistance of the lead skate inside edge against which they must generate force. The most common consequence of this error is the stick being raised off the ice.

One way to teach youngsters to maintain their crouch is to have a string attached between two pieces of wood on a flat support base on the ice. The string is lowered to the top of the goaltender’s head once the stance is achieved. The goalie moves from wooden stand to stand without having to touch the string with their heads. The muscle memory is learned correctly from the beginning. This may not work in a large goalie school setting, but does with private and semi-private lessons.

In addition to the above mentioned fundamental considerations, the goaltender’s head should be slightly in a position of flexion.

The sharpness of the goaltender’s skates, their age and strength are also considerations in shuffling appropriately.

If the child does not possess strong legs and the ice is soft, it can become very difficult to shuffle and the student may fall down sideways frequently and become frustrated. If you see this happening or the child says they have trouble moving, then consider going to a lesser radius of hollow on the blade.

A second error with which to be familiar is the student cheating by turning sideways to make shuffling easier. In fact, it ceases to be shuffling and becomes sculling backwards with side of the goalie’s body facing the target.

Goalies with poor technique, strength and development either turn slightly off a square set position or move across the crease leading with their buttocks due to an inability to shuffle square to the target. If this happens you may as well go back to line drills since shuffling without remaining square to a potential release is flawed and will lead to failure.


About The Author

Tomas Hertz, MD BA

Tomas Hertz has been a contributing author to InGoal Magazine since 2010. He operated  "No Holes, No Goals Goaltending" in Kingston, Ontario for a decade and worked with developing goalies in the G.K.M.H.A. and K.A.M.H.A. He remains active as a timekeeper in the O.M.H.A. - O.W.H.A., the O.J.H.L. (Kingston Voyageurs), and the O.U.A.A. (R.M.C. Palladins). 

1 Comment

  1. Rick Besharah

    Shuffle Tips
    I’m glad that the author mentioned the head bobbing during shuffles and the stick’s blade coming off of the ice. These are large pieces of the puzzle for building great shuffle habits. Equally as important is making sure that goalies aren’t leaning to the side which they are shuffling to (as you can see within the demonstration video when the goaltender moves to his blocker side). If they are, their balance, stability, or conditioning is lacking. When goaltenders cheat this way, try slowing down the exercise, and ensure that the goaltender focuses more on pushing with force and stopping with force, pausing between each shuffle. This will allow the goaltender to ensure that his posture, balance, and stability is keeping up with his movement meanwhile training his edge work to occur with force regularly.

    Being Ready for the Shot AND the Pass
    If beginning the drill from the post, one is simulating the play with the puck in the corner. If the puck is in the corner, I would recommend not over committing solely to it in this area by challenging out of the rectangle area. Challenging the puck too much when the puck is located in the corner (and above the goal line) makes it increasingly difficult for the goaltender to get cross-crease in the event of a quick pass to the opposite side.

    Train with Purpose
    Although this may be a good exercise to teach beginners how to shuffle, it ignores the foundation teachings of depth and positioning required for the scenario which students should be visualizing as they perform this exercise. One would think that with the puck in the corner, that the opposition is throughout the D-zone awaiting a pass (or at least on their way). Therefore, shuffles with a direct line’s path should be implemented as the puck is carried from the corner, to behind the face off dot within the circle. Not a challenge to the corner.

    All goalie drills should be done with a specific game situation in mind to teach game theory to goaltenders. And all game situation exercises should be done with purpose. Unfortunately, I fail to see the connection between this exercise and anything a goalie would be faced with during a game.

    Train Efficiently – Compete Effectively