Thursday, March 21, 2013

Ball Hockey Goalie - Hip To Be Square

My ball hockey season has been complicated by a wonky shoulder but I have not been satisfied with my goal tending this year regardless of the injury. I'm moving around too much (happy feet) and have been giving up some bad goals from mid court and from both the left and right wings.

While scaling back my participation this last month hoping to "fix" my shoulder issues with some down time I decided to look at my fundamentals and do some research. Lo and behold I discovered two bad habits....

Staying Square

Often you would hear the phrase "stay square to the shooter" when referring to goal tending but that is not really true. It is much better to stay square to the puck, or in my case, the ball.

"It is important to remember that it is the puck that is most important, not the shooter.  Frequently, goalies will square to the shooter, and although the puck is very close to the shooter, this is still not correct.  Remember, it is the puck's perspective that we should be concerned with."


As well I have a tendency to let my glove hand drop to my hip in what I call a "gunslinger" position. Even if I square up to the ball I am leaving the shooter my top left hoping I can recover with the trapper in time with a quick draw. Factoring in my bad shoulder that technique is even more ineffective. It is far better to hold the glove higher and in the open position to cover more of the net. Like good posture it is easy to do when you are THINKING about it but often you will slide back to bad habits when your attention is elsewhere.

"Many goalie don’t take advantage of the huge gloves they have on their hand.  When the glove is held out and open so that the forward can see the palm of your hand, you are A. covering more cage behind you and B. you may be dissuading a shooter to shoot on you, especially on the glove side. "

The Fix

Tonight I put theory to practice at TNBH and made an effort to address both concerns. I immediately noticed two things. Many shooters missed the net entirely which may have been the result of taking away more of the net. I also noticed I did not need to make as many "outstretching" leg and arm saves as usual - most likely because I was square to the ball more than the shooter's body and many shots simply hit me in the pads or torso.

Going Forward

I am going to continue focusing upon both these points and, hopefully over time, they will become second nature.Work in progress.

For the love of the game!

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