The Rick O’Shay gives an alternative perspective to the conventional “Shooter Tutor” style, roll-up canvases.
The Rick O’Shay is a great hockey targeting system that gives an alternative perspective to the conventional “Shooter Tutor” style, roll-up canvases. Since it’s a 3D mold, there are endless rebound possibilities, which makes for a much more realistic scrimmage experience.
The Rick O’Shay is made of super durable plastic, which will hold up to your hardest shots. In addition to being durable, it is also very light weight, and can be separated into halves, which makes it easier to transport. The Rick O’Shay is fastened to the net with bungee cords that fit between molded channels, which provide a shield against shots.
The most obvious difference between the Rick O’Shay and most other hockey targeting systems is the fact that the Rick O’Shay is a 3-dimensional model. This design gives a more realistic shooting experience, and provides for infinite rebound possibilities. One of my favorite design features is the glove pocket. If you’re trying to go upper right, and miss, your puck might land in the goalie’s glove, stopping play while you fish it out. The Rick O’Shay also features a more “up-to-date” hole set-up, which more closely resembles the open areas you’d see against a butterfly goalie.
All in all, the Rick O’Shay is a great targeting system, and is especially useful in drop-in situations where goalies can be scarce. It’s not quite as portable as a roll-up target, but it’s much more realistic. So it could be a great option if portability isn’t a huge deal to you.
The Ultimate Goalie Fixes Some of the Issues with Other Canvas Targeting Systems
If you’ve been following me over the past couple of years, you probably know I’m a huge believer in developing your snipes both on and off the ice. One of the main tools I’ve recommended and used over the past 20 years has been the Shooter Tutor, which is basically a canvas goalie with holes cut out in the corners and five-hole.
Shooter Tutor Overview:
The Shooter Tutor is a fantastic product, and I’ve used it myself for a number of different reasons:
It’s light weight, and easy to transport
It gives “dead” rebounds, which are more realistic in my opinion
It’s fun to work with!
Shooter Tutor Design Flaws
As good as the Shooter Tutor has been for me over the past 20 years, there are also a few drawbacks to be aware of:
The bungees are exposed, and will break if hit by pucks enough times (not a question of “if,” but “when”…)
It can be a pain to fish the pucks out of the net
Ultimate Goalie vs Shooter Tutor
The Ultimate Goalie has improved on the idea of the Shooter Tutor, correcting some of the “design flaws,” while keeping all of the characteristics that have made the Shooter Tutor a staple in my set of coaching tools.
Here’s a quick run-down on what makes the Ultimate Goalie such a great product:
NO BUNGEES EXPOSED – the Ultimate Goalie extended the canvas to wrap around the posts, keeping the bungees hidden behind the posts and crossbar
EASY TO GATHER PUCKS – the pull-string lifts up the bottom foot of the net, and makes for quick and easy puck gathering
Light-weight and portable – pack it up and bring it to the rink with you… no sweat!
“Dead (realistic) rebounds”
One Potential Design Flaw:
I love the Ultimate Goalie, but in all fairness, I had to mention one potential design flaw. The pulley cord is a little on the thin side. When I took it out for practice, one of our players caught a skate on it, and sliced through the rope. I tied it all back together, no problem… but a more durable rope would make more sense on this type of product.
All in all, the Ultimate Goalie is an awesome product, and one that I definitely recommend. I use it myself both on and off the ice, and the bungees haven’t begun to fray at all! And if you’re careful not to skate over the pulley cord, you shouldn’t have any problems whatsoever.
P.I.G. is One of my Favorite Off-ice Shooting Drills
When I was in high school, we had a hockey net and backstop out in my parents’ side yard. We also had a Shooter Tutor strapped up to the net, with about 100 pucks. Almost everyday my buddy and I would shoot pucks together. To keep it entertaining, most of the time we’d play a game called P.I.G.
P.I.G. is really fun, and can be played on or off the ice. Here’s how it works…
P.I.G. works a lot like H.O.R.S.E. in basketball, except that it’s a shorter game, so it’s a little more intense. Basically, a player calls his or her shot. The shots can be any typical shot, or you can get creative and start calling posts or crossbar, forehand, backhand, or even specifying shot type. If that player makes the shot, then the other player has to match it. If the other player misses, he or she gets a letter.
The player who called the first shot keeps calling shots until he or she misses the called shot (you don’t get a letter if you miss your own called shot). At that point it’s the other player’s turn to call a shot, and the process repeats itself.
You get two chances on the last letter.
In this video, my good friend Brett Fuller and I play a high-stakes game of P.I.G., to make it a little more interesting, the loser has to ride the bull (Happy Gilmore style) on camera. With so much on the line, neither of us wanted to lose!
I love putting a little additional pressure into practice drills––even off the ice! It gets you used to performing in clutch situations. Putting something embarrassing on the loser is definitely a fun way of doing this!
You’ll notice, 5-hole was giving us both a hard time in this video, and proved to be the game winner! Enjoy!
I’ve used quite a few “makeshift” shooting pads over the years. Some of these worked ok, some not as well. None has compared to the experience I’ve had with the Professional Shooting Pad. There are a few key features that make this a “must-have” item:
30″ by 60″ surface area, which is larger than most of the pads I’ve used in the past. This makes it big enough to give you a full range of motion on your wrist shots, slap shots and snap shots.
Made of a slick and durable material, which allows your pucks to slide similarly to ice––so it works great for shooting or stickhandling practice.
Durability allows you to take slap shots without damaging the pad; something I had to be careful about with some of my makeshift shooting pads!
Bevelled edge makes it easy to pull pucks up from beside your mat.
This shooting pad is lightweight, with a handle cutout, which makes it REALLY easy to transport (not the case with some of my previous shooting pads).
To sum it up, you need a shooting pad of some sort if you want to work on your shot from home. If you’re looking for one that mimics the feel of real ice, is big enough to take real shots with, will hold up to intense use, and is easily transportable, then this is the pad for you. It’ll save your stick, and help make you a better hockey player in the process!
The Shooter Tutor is one of my All-time Favorite Hockey Shooting Aids!
I first began using the Shooter Tutor when I was about 10 years old back in Toronto. My dad used to keep one in the trunk incase we had ever had a goalie “no-show” us for practice.
During high school (about 6 years later), I kept that same Shooter Tutor strapped to a full-sized goal in our side yard. I left it up through rain and shine, and shot anywhere from 50 to 100 pucks a day during the summers. Needless to say, it saw its fair share of abuse from me!
Years later, when I began running my own skill development camps, the first thing I invested in were two Shooter Tutors. There’s nothing worse than showing up to a practice or drop-in, and having nothing to shoot at… especially in a camp setting! So, following in my old man’s footsteps, I now keep one Shooter Tutor in my car for “emergencies,” and the other one is strapped to my EZ Goal so I can keep my shot sharp between games.
So… what’s so great about the Shooter Tutor? Well, a lot of things actually! It’s light-weight, portable, and durable enough to take years of abuse. The design is simple, yet sophisticated. You’ve got your classic 5 holes cut out; The steel bar sewn into the bottom keeps it hanging heavy so that pucks don’t trickle through under the “goalie”; You have to actually snipe to score (most of the time). Also, the combination of canvas with the bungie cord straps makes for a very realistic rebound when you miss your shot.
BEWARE OF IMITATIONS:
Because the Shooter Tutor is so well designed, lots of companies have tried to come up with their own versions. I obviously can’t speak for ALL of them, but I can tell you that I’ve used a number of them over the years, none has held a candle to the Shooter Tutor. Many of them tend to be lower quality, don’t stay strapped into the net as well, and don’t hold up to real shots from real pucks the same way the Shooter Tutor brand does. In my mind, the Shooter Tutor is tried and true, and well worth the investment!