Goaltending-Specific Skating Series: Drill 18 of 20
Drill # 18: Hip Swivels
This drill is actually neither basic, nor is it for beginners.
It is a drill that many students, young and old, struggle with. In retrospect, maybe it should not be part of this drill series, but it is a valuable drill in the development of a goaltender’s “down game” for such competitive situations as the back-side push.
Upon reaching the top of the circle or blue-line, the student drops to the butterfly. The hip swivels are performed by rotating the hips and then performing a butterfly slide. Once a short-distance slide has been performed, the hips start to turn and the sequence repeats itself back and forth down the ice.
When beginning to learn this drill it may be best to break it down into segments. The segments can be chained together at a later point.
Teach proper turning of the eyes, head and rotation of the torso as parts that eventually become a fluid unconscious sequence of movements occurring almost simultaneously. Once these elements are understood, add the hip swivel.
From a butterfly position rotate the hips towards a new line of movement. You can spray paint a few dots on the ice to show the goaltender how much of a rotation is desired. The athlete can practice this in isolation back and forth to both sides of the body.
Initially, no slide is required. Start in the down position with dots on both sides of the body moving away from the goaltender at a 45-degree angle. The objective is merely to learn to swivel on various angles around the crease. Over- or under-rotating will be self-evident since the goalie’s body will not be parallel to the dots.
Once comfortable with this, add the final element of loading the power leg and pushing down the line of the dots.
Once the sequence can be done to both sides you ask the student to put it together alternating sides without stopping to reset. This is naturally the most difficult part for everyone.
It depends on coordination, leg strength, sharp blades, ice conditions and loading angle as discussed in the article “Considerations in Power Slide Mechanics.”
Make certain the pads are completely up on their side to minimize surface drag as the goaltender pushes.
The gloves should remain out in front of the body with the stick on the ice centered between the knees.
Common problems include not remaining upright, sliding with the pad face flush to the ice, sloppy glove and stick positioning and having an under desirable loading angle on the power leg. The latter will make it difficult to push efficiently.