Professional Positioning Strategies
Today we are excited to introduce you to Professional Goalie Coach Pasco Valana of Elite Sports Management who has offered to put together a few technique pieces as a contributor to inGoal Magazine. Pasco will also be serving as Chief of Athlete Services for Hockey at the 2010 Olympic Winder Games in Vancouver – so we’ll also look forward to an interesting perspective on the games in a few months. Welcome to the team Pasco!
Pasco Valana, is a professional goaltending coach and consultant based in Vancouver Canada. He started coaching goaltenders in 1994 and in the process developed 41 NCAA scholarship goaltenders, 3 Hobey Baker Finalists, 2 National team members and 10 NHL draft choices. In 2009, Pasco’s clients won national championships at the Junior A Level, NCAA and Professional levels. Pasco has joined forces with Dallas Stars goaltending coach Mike Valley in the development of Elite Goalies Canada, a Professional Development Camp designed to bring professional services to amateur athletes.
Pasco’s contact information is [email protected] and
Professional Positioning Strategies
Think of your body divided into 4 main sections, 2 in the top and 2 on the bottom. The lines below represent the 4 main areas as described in this article.
The goaltender should have strong Visual Attachment on the puck, locked on to every movement that it makes. The puck should be directly in line with your head, evenly between your gloves and your stick and small Micro Moves should be used to maintain
squareness to the puck.
On the shot, the goalie should immediately recognize the angle that the puck is traveling otherwise known as the Puck Trajectory. This movement will enable the goaltender to react to its Vertical or Horizontal Angles.
It is important for the goaltender to not only become proficient in using the glove, blocker, glove and stick, but include your main body frame as well. The goaltender will use the Point of Decision Making to position his/her body to eliminate the shot.
Key Points to Remember
- The Vertical Angle is located slightly above the waist of most goaltenders where the gloves are to be in position. On the shot, release the position of the player’s stick at the point of impact will begin to show how and when the puck will rise.
- The same goes with the Horizontal Angle.
- Gloves should always be in front of the goaltender’s body in the peripheral range of vision. This is one of the single biggest mistakes that goaltenders make causing massive problems with balance, puck and rebound control, squareness, and positioning.
- The Gloves represent the high posts and elbow of the net. Each skate represents either Horizontal Posts.
- As the goalie begins to cut down the angle, the Net Space reduces and the shot eliminations become very economical.
- It is very important to remember that each of the 5 Zones create lanes to your net, and drastically affect the Net Space.
- The shapes range from Narrow and Tall in Zone 1, Wider and Tall in Zone 2, and Wider and Shorter in Zone 3
- The red blocks to the right of the ice surface document displays the shapes of the Netspace when the puck is occupying the assigned area.
- Your body should be positioned to cover the appropriate net space. In order to ensure that you gain and maintain proper net space coverage here are some general skate positioning areas (please keep in mind, customization may be required):
Zone 1 Toes of your skates, Zone 2 Heals on edge of crease, Zone 3, 1 Stick Blade Length on top of the crease.
If these guidelines are followed and become apart of the subconscious mind of the goaltender employing these tactics, increased save percentage and consistency will be the reward.