Today we’re looking at a drill from a private session from last week. Full disclosure, I got the inspiration for this drill from a drill I saw from Slovakian National Team coach Jan Lasak. His drill involved the goalie in their butterfly, focused on a puck to their side. On the cue, a shot was released and the goalie had to find it mid flight and make a save. I thought that was a great concept to build on. My twist on this drill is the starting position.
Things happen quickly around the net, and the popularity of the RVH lately means goalies are having to make a lot of saves from a deep position, but they almost never get the opportunity to practice that in team practices. So, for the drill, I had the goalie start in the RVH position, focused on a puck down to his side, and on my cue he turns his head and finds the puck. As you can hear, there’s virtually no delay between my cue and the shot. It’s intended to be a “bang bang” type of play.
This was the first time the goalie had performed this drill. You can see, as he becomes more comfortable, he begins to actually push into the save, rather than reaching from where he is. This drill is so versatile. Our intent today was to work on tracking, but we also work on the skill of shifting our weight to accelerate out of the post position. If you’re working with a younger goalie, you can strip away all those extras and simply have them shift focus from a stationary puck to the shot puck without the push off like the example below.
She’s still getting the benefit of picking up pucks quickly and accurately, without having to also worry about pushing off (yet).
The key concept for both of these drills is the same. Quickly finding the puck. If we can find it, we have the opportunity to stop it.