Use visual targets to help goalies play the angles properly
Angles are, arguably, the most important part of a goaltender’s game. If you cannot manage your angles appropriately, it will be more difficult to make the simple saves. Using these 11 visual cues on the ice will assist goaltenders, at all levels, to manage where they are on the ice.
11 Visual Cues: Sequence 1
1 & 11 – Goal Line
2 & 10 – Board-side Hashmarks
3 & 9 – Defensive Zone Dots
4 & 8 – Blue Line on the Boards
4 & 7 – Neutral Zone Dots
6 – Straight up the Middle
11 Visual Cues: Sequence 2
1. Spray paint lines on the ice that match up with the visual cues
2. Set up pucks further out along the visual cues (spray paint dots to keep the set-up)
3. Players shoot from the spray painted dots, goalie uses spray painted lines to judge angles
In this drill I discuss marking the ice using rope and paint. This is not absolutely necessary to work with the visual cues but will help a younger goalie correct his or her position within a practice. After doing this once or twice, you shouldn’t have to do it anymore unless the goaltender continues struggling with angles.
Another good idea is to take video of the goalies telescoping in and out. You can then show them the video so they can see how the angles change while they move in and out at the cue. This will definitively teach them how angles work. All of this seems very simple and basic, yet almost all goalies struggle (even some of the most experienced) with angles at some time in their career. Work on this and you will definitely be a better goalie.
The Dot Drill is One of my Staple Off-Ice Agility Drills
The Dot Drill is one of the most effective off-ice hockey agility drills I’ve ever seen. This drill is easy and inexpensive to set up, and only takes about a minute of the athlete’s time each day – so there are no excuses not to do it!
Remember, the dots should be placed in a 2′ x 3′ rectangle, with one dot in the middle. Each dot should be about 5″ in diameter. You can spray paint the dots onto your garage or basement floor, or onto an old piece of carpet. You could also use something less permanent such as sidewalk chalk or tape.
I prefer the rubber dot drill mats because they have better grip and are more durable. If you decide to get one, make sure you pick up one of the thicker ones with the dots embedded in the mat itself – not just painted on.
The Dot Drill:
The Dot Drill consists of 5 movements, performed 6 times each. Here are the 5 movements.
1. Hour Glass (always facing forward) – over and back equals one rep
2. Right Foot “Slalom” (in, out, over, in, out, over) – back to the original dot equals one rep
3. Left Foot “Slalom” (in, out, over, in, out, over) – back to the original dot equals one rep
4. Two Foot “Slalom” (in, out, over, in, out, over) – back to the original dot equals one rep
5. Hour Glass with Spin – over and back equals one rep
HOW FAST IS FAST?
As your Dot Drill begins to improve, you’ll definitely want to compare your times to the national averages. Here’s a time chart to help you track your progress:
USE THIS DRILL IN YOUR OWN OFF-ICE TRAINING SESSIONS: