Sunday, March 3, 2013

How to stand out at try outs

It's tryout season, a nerve racking time for any goaltender. Tryouts always seem to have too many goalies who never get enough shots. There are however a few steps you can take to make sure you are standing apart from the crowd.

1) If possible ask the coach or person running the tryout what they are looking for in a goalie. Hopefully you get some kind of answer like rebound control or someone who is aggressive. This will give you areas to focus your game on during the tryout.

2) Don't waste any ice. Even coaches selecting teams tryouts are difficult and it always feels like you never saw of some kids. As a goalie make sure you are one of the first ones on the ice and a grab a spot on the boards to do your crease movements while everyone else is skating around. If you are waiting for a few other goalies to take shots and you have a little room work on skating or stretching just stay out if the way of the drill.

3) Make sure you see enough shots. Do not let another goalie hog the net. Agree on how many shots you will take and kick the other goalie after they hit their shot limit.

4) Do not give up two goals in a row. You never know when the coaches will be looking so make sure you are not giving up a string of goals or they may not look your way again.

5) Have fun. You can always tell when a goalie enjoys being on the ice. This type attitude is contagious and the type teams need to have to be successful.

Try to follow these 5 steps during your next tryout and good luck to all of our goalies out there.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Say what you see

I have many parents and coaches asking me what their goalies should be saying to their defensemen.

The first and most simple rule I tell all goalies is "say what you see, and keep it short".

In a conversation I had with Mike Richter he said the best player he ever played with was Brian Leetch because Brian always said whatever he was seeing. Brian always said what he was looking at and what he was doing. Even if you couldn't see him you knew exactly what was happening around him.

Another benefit to saying whatever you see is it keeps you in the moment. If your eyes and mouth are working together it is easier to keep your mind and body in unison as well.

Once a goalie starts talking there are a few basic guidelines.

Call out the rush. As a play moves through the neutral zone the goalie should always call out the numbers of the rush. 3 on 2, 2 on 1, 2 on 2, etc.

Identify open players. If a player is open say it and where on the ice. "Open far post", "Open high slot".

Screens. If you can't see let people know.

Forechecking pressure. One hard. Two hard. Time. Are all common phrases.

More complicated verbal commands should be discussed between coaches, players, and the goalies. This usually pertains to how to handle the puck in breakout situations.

Some common phrases are:

Wheel: When a dman has pressure and uses the net to cut off the forechecker.

Hard around: Dman rims the puck hard.

Reverse: Dman reverses the puck behind the net usually when under pressure.

D to D: D to D pass

Stretch or far blue: Refers to a stretch play when trying to catch a team in a line change.

To conclude what a goalie or any player really needs to do is act as a second set of eyes and you do that by saying whatever you are seeing.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Core Workout Tips

Core training
Core is probably the most important muscle group to train because a strong core increases your overall strength, but is often over looked. Most think of core training as strictly working on your “six pack” abs however there is much more to a strong core. A strong core can improve strength in every area because no matter what muscle group you are working your core is involved. The core group consists of 6 different muscle groups ranging from your mid to lower back, from your rib area down to your groin. Your “core” is made up of the following muscle groups.

Abdominal area:
Transverse Abdominus
Internal Obliques
Core Strength
Spinal area:
Rectus Abdominus
Lateral Flexion

Tips for training your core
Your back is part of your “core”. Be extremely careful when working your lower back because we all know how important our spine is. Reverse sit ups on a swiss ball is a great way to strengthen the core muscles that wrap from front to back, as well as Supermans. Weight is not necessary to strengthen this area. Strengthening these muscles will actually tighten everything up from front to back giving a leaner look.

Weight is not always necessary
When adding weights to your core exercises you are working on building the muscles in size, just like any other area. Adding weight is helpful but not always necessary so mix it up. Keep in mind building up the abdominal area will make it stick out more, so if you’re looking to be lean and not bulky don’t be too excessive with the weights, light weight for core will often do the job. I like to use weight every third core exercise in a routine.

Think core first
Do your core workout before the rest of your routine. Doing this will make you realize how important those muscles really are. Doing core before working other major muscle groups will keep those muscles burning throughout the rest of your workout.

Stability exercises make you strong. A strong stable core makes your whole body stronger and is extremely important for those participating in contact sports. Swiss balls are a great way to increase stability strength.

If you want to see the results to all the hard work you put into your core workouts make sure you’re eating right and doing your cardio…it’s the only way.

Ryan Jean
Own the Crease Contributor

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Drill the Basics in the Summer

The summer is a great time to drill the basics. The summer is a time when you are not caught in the hectic schedule of a regular season and when the majority of your practice time is not dedicated to the team.

Take the opportunity to really get back to the basics. The beginning of your summer should be dedicated to refining your fundamentals so you have a good base to build on later. Take your time and go a little slower to make sure your footwork is not sloppy, your recoveries are correct, puck tracking and rebound control need to be worked on everyday. This is the way most pro goalies attack their summer schedules.

When I sent a framework for the summer it is basically as follows:
Phase 1
T-pushes, Shuffles, Stops, C-Cuts, Edge Work, Butterfly Slides, Back Side Recoveries, and Balance.

I will drill Phase 1 as long as it takes until I feel totally comfortable with all of my movements. I want everything to be powerful yet economical, no excess movements and no loss of balance. I do not even begin with pucks until I can make sure I will not be incorporating any bad habits into the rest of my training.

Phase 2
Tracking & Rebound Control
Eye Tracking, 1st Foot off the stick, 1st Foot into the body, 1st Foot off the body, Rebound Tracking (follow with eyes and proper recovery), Stick Involvement, and Visual Attachment

I will do drills slowly with lots of room to track the puck I will make sure I get a read the 1st foot off the stick staying patient to not move until I get a read on the puck. At this point I would rather be beat by a shot then have a hitch in my save reaction. I want to make sure my eyes are tracking the puck and allowing my body to make the proper, and efficient save selection.

Next I will begin to add small movements into shooting drills be sure to visually attach before I start my movement. I will then get a good a read on the shot; track it into and off my body and then make the correct recovery (freeze rebound, place it, track it, recovery properly). I will make sure I follow one puck until it stops moving. If I make a mistake I will stop where I am and correct it. If I get up on the wrong leg I will put the leg back down and recovery to the good one. If a puck is within 5 feet of me I will recover down. If it is further I will recover up to my basic stance.

Phase 3
Now I begin to add battling drills. By doing this I can make sure that I am already in the habit of tracking pucks and recovering properly. After I have confidence in my base it makes it easier to choose better save selections in my recoveries while still battling and never giving up a on puck.

Phase 4
Phase 4 is added on top of the other phases. Phase 4 is generally initiated at the end of practices after all phases have been integrated. Phase 4 consists of goalie specific conditioning drills designed keep eyes, hands, feet, movement intact during exhausting cardio.

This is the same type of frame I employ with all of my goaltenders. Of course the program should be tailored to each individual goalie and what they need. Some phases may take longer for some goalies then others. This is the way I train myself as well as training my pro goalies and my other elite goalies that I spend a lot of time with.

Remember the Summer is a time when Elite goalies do not need to worry about what the team needs to work on and can be selective of the shots they are taking.

(In no way I am suggesting a goalie skips on a summer practice, I am suggesting that when practice schedules are not as hectic goalies should be finding ice time to work on their specific needs instead of team needs. Find time on your own or with a goalie coach. During practices let your coach know you will be spending extra time tracking pucks)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Should My Goalie Play other sports?


The more I coach in both hockey and lacrosse and it is becoming apparent that many kids seem to be losing their sports IQ. The simple cause of this, kids are becoming too specialized and are not just out there playing to have fun anymore.

Goalies today are leaps and bounds beyond where any of the professional goalies were at the same age from a technical standpoint. At younger and younger ages kids are being taught; how to butterfly properly, leg recovery, backside recoveries, butterfly slides, etc. but they are losing the hockey instinct that the older generations got from playing street hockey all summer and mixing up other sports.

By playing other sports kids will become more athletic, increase their sports IQ, and learn to compete. Most sports are generally the same; there is a goal, an offense, and a defense. The offense competes against the defense to score. Athletes must understand passing lanes, danger situations, and perhaps most importantly how to compete.

Along with playing other sports your young goalies should be encouraged make up their own games. This will help hand eye coordination, general athletic ability, creativity, and compete factor. When my brothers and I were growing up we were always playing games, whether we made them up or saw them some place else we played all summer day and night and we always wanted to win (I won all the time).

Listen to your child. Some kids need some time away from the rink. Hockey year round is not always the greatest for kids, often time away from the rink makes them want to play even more. Then there are the Rink Rats (guilty) some kids you just cannot keep away from the rink so let them play whenever they can.

If your child wants to play everyday, or wants to take the summer off you should also take advantage of all of the great coaches and summer programs out there. Make sure to do your research though. Ask some former and current students and parents about the camp. Make sure it is well structured and the kids are learning. The more repeat customers and referrals a camp has the more likely it is a great quality camp.

Finally enjoy your summer, try some new things, have fun, and be safe.