Hey goalies! Coach Dana here and I am going to answer a question that I get asked A LOT: How can I practice hockey goalie by myself? Also worded commonly as-What can my goalie work on when they’re away from the rink on their own to improve on the ice? What are some ideas for improving as a goalie? Here are my top FIVE ideas for you with links to examples that you can get started on TODAY!
How to Practice Hockey Goalie by Yourself
1. Hand-Eye Drills: SO MUCH of goaltending is about seeing the puck and following the play so this is an easy one to work on by yourself. Here are a few links for you including solo drills, drills to be done with a partner, and some advanced hand-eye drills. I personally use the Lava Ball which can be purchased online but a lacrosse ball or racquetball will work just fine (Tennis Balls don’t have enough zing to them for me).
2. Improve Agility: Agility is a KEY INGREDIENT to success in the crease. Everything that we do as goalies needs to be executed with speed, control, and power so these areas should be a main focus. I have a lot of examples of agility drills for free on Youtube but if you are looking for a more structured routine you can get the ‘Quick in the Crease’ Program that will provide you 3 agility routines to work on right here.
3. Flexibility: Flexibility is a BIG deal to goalies not only because we need it to make saves and recover on the ice, but also because it is our best defense against injuries. Here are a couple of quick links to some flexibility routines. If you would like to have a monthly program that integrates flexibility, hand-eye, strength, agility, speed, and power and is built specifically for goalies than get The Goalie Gym Pass here and get the AdvantEDGE in your game!
4. Study the Game: This may sound corny but hear me out-the best goalies are students of the game. If you watch hockey and don’t pay attention to the goalies than you should start doing this ASAP. Not just when the puck is coming in on them, but note how they communicate with their players, how they read the play and are scanning the ice, how they set-up and recover, and how they control rebounds and read the shots. Study equipment, stances, different styles of play, different sizes of goalies (a small goalie has to play differently in the crease than a larger goalie-note the individual’s strengths and weaknesses with adjustments), and learn from the rich history of the position and the game. If you have a true passion for all things goalie than you can bet that will help you to open your mind and pick up pieces of every learning experience that you study. AdvantEDGE Goaltending has a unique way of fostering a passion for goaltending with our clients-we give ‘Goalie Homework’. We give free goalie hockey cards out and in return we ask you to learn something about the goalie that you got whether it is something that you like about their technique (or don’t like), specifics about their equipment, or unique stories about their career.
5. Train your Mind: Goalie is a very stressful position that requires confidence, calmness, consistency, coachability and a high compete level. The 5C’s (as I call them) need to be developed and addressed across all parts of development-being a good teammate, performing in pressure situations, showing up every day, leading by example, and focusing on learning are all things that you NEED to work at constantly. An industry leader in goalie specific mental training is Inner Mind Sports and I am excited to announce that we have formed a partnership to bring a new dimension of training to the Advantedge Goalies! Access their 95 mental training lessons for goalies here!