It′s important to keep your head up when passing the puck. Most bad passes are caused by not looking up to spot your intended target. You should also be aware of where you are on the ice. Blind cross-ice passes are the leading cause of grey hairs among hockey coaches.
WORK ETHIC AND FITNESS You need to be the hardest worker and most fit player on your team. New York Rangers goalie Mike Richter won the fitness award every year. Hall of Famer Ed Belfour used to run triathlons. St. Louis′ Brian Elliott is the hardest-working goalie I′ve ever coached.
SKATING SKILLS The foundation of goaltending is based on balance and edges. The better skater you are the better goaltender you will be. Before every practice and every game your warmup should consist of simple skating drills: T-pushes shuffles and slides. You use a T-push for long crease movements. Push
When it comes to effectively passing the puck accuracy is the key. You want to look at your intended target and take your time to make a good hard accurate pass. It′s all in the follow through. It′s important to work on passing in practice. Take your time and work
HAND SKILLS With the advancement of the butterfly save in the early to mid-1990s goaltenders started perfecting their on-ice coverage and the use of their hands was a bit forgotten. Catching a puck means possession for your team and rebounds off your blocker are steered to the corner. In warmup
BOUNCE-BACK MENTALITY The best goalies know they′re going to have bad goals and more bad games. In an 82-game season it′s impossible not to. They can shrug it off and not let it get to them. Positive self-talk and a positive attitude are the keys to this. Goalies get scored
Blocker. Proper blocker sizing will allow a goaltender to control the face of the blocker. This will lead to better rebound control and protection. Similar to fitting for a glove from the end of the finger channels to the tips of a goaltender's fingers there should be no more than
Players must learn to protect themselves especially along the boards. When going into the corner use some fakes with your body stick or skates to avoid being a stationary target. Keep your skates parallel to the boards rather than pointing toward the boards. As soon as you pick up the
The breakaway is the most exciting play in hockey. They don′t come along every day but if you practice a few simple techniques you′ll be ready the next time you′re one-on-one with a goalie.
Remember This... The backhand shot shouldn′t be a dying skill. It′s just as important as a good wrist shot. Most players don′t have a strong backhand shot because they don′t practice it enough. Coaches need to develop drills that will help you practice this very important but under-used shot.
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