The discipline required for goalie training rivals that for any position in sports. Standout goaltenders need superb physical prowess and the ability to stay game-ready at all times. Follow these three tips to improve your focus and performance as a goalie.
Stay warm by stretching your legs and tapping the goal posts with your gloves and deflector during extra-wide stretches. During a play, always be ready for the puck. Keep your stick firmly down on the ice whenever the puck is over the near-end blue line. Never turn your head if play is going on—during a game or even an organized practice. Always wait for the referee’s or coach’s whistle.
Check out the best stretch sequence for hockey players.
Train Your Forearms
Strong forearms will help you control the stick. Simply doing more chores around the house will help young athletes. Raking leaves, shoveling snow and carrying groceries are small ways to beef up your arms (and you might even earn money for new equipment). One of the best forearm strengtheners is passing the puck with your fellow goalies during team practices. Try using a stick that’s heavier than the one you use during games.
Train Your Tail Off
Goalie training usually happens with the other skaters, so be prepared to “pull your own weight” during conditioning. Be realistic though: you are probably not going to beat the forwards in skating drills. Off the ice, cross-train with baseball, handball, racquetball and bicycling to the extent permitted. General calisthenics such as Push-Ups, Pull-Ups and free weights also work well for goalies. If you have trouble getting motivated to train, exercise while watching NHL games. Do floor stretches and calisthenics in front of the TV. No matter what it takes, make sure to get it done a few times a week.