(AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jimmy Jeong)
Effective goaltending is all about speed. Use these off-ice drills to help your young goalies increase their quickness and lower their reaction time in front of the net.
Hockey Drill Prep
Before running these drills make sure you are warmed up properly. The best way to do this is to: stretch, do jumping jacks and jump rope 100 times. These exercises should be done with leg pads, glove blocker stick and helmet.
Note: All of these exercises should be done five out of seven days of the week, giving you two-days rest to build muscles.
Hockey Drill for Goalies No.1: Small Ball
Stand facing a wall, at about a distance of 10 feet. Throw a small rubber
ball against the wall. The object is to stop the ball from getting past you. You can do this with any of your equipment, but you must be standing up.
You can also have someone else throw the ball at the wall for you, but always start in your stance when having someone else throw. As you get comfortable with this drill, you will be tempted to throw the ball harder and stand closer to the wall. Remember not to get any closer then five feet from the wall. This will increase your quickness while wearing your goaltending equipment.
Hockey Drill for Goalies No.2: Playing Soccer
Stand facing a wall, at about a distance of 10 feet. Kick a "soccer" size
ball to the wall. The goal is to keep the ball moving to the wall and back by only using your legs.
Every time you miss you must start over again. Once you kick the ball to the wall 100 times without a miss, then you can move closer. Don't get any closer than five feet. This drill can be done without a stick and increases your ability to direct the puck off the pads.
Hockey Drill for Goalies No.3: Use Your Head
Stand facing a wall, at about a distance of 20 feet. Have someone throw a small
rubber ball against the wall, high. While the ball is in the air--and bouncing
toward you--follow the ball with your eyes. You are allowed to move your head, but don't raise your stick. Move your stance to be centered with the ball and don't let the ball get past you.