Our Training Philosophies
We believe a positive environment nurtures learning . . . we believe in quality over quantity . . . we believe personalized attention is the best way to take into account each student's learning style and playing style.
Goalcrease trainers are trained to identify and respect your individual playing style, to build on your strengths, and to eliminate your weaknesses.
On the ice, your instructor will be constantly teaching, demonstrating, reinforcing personal strengths, and constructively correcting mistakes as soon as they're spotted. There's no shot quota at the Goalcrease Training Center. We want every save to be a good save which means we're patient and skilled at correcting problems. In your video sessions, the training tips and corrections from the preceding ice session will be reviewed and reinforced. Slow motion/stop action is frequently used to break down every movement so that students can see bad habits being broken and good habits developing.
Overall, every certified Goalcrease trainer is carefully and thoughtfully taught to achieve specific training goals:
* Create a positive learning environment
* Treat each student respectfully and individually
* Expect respectful behavior from each student
* Accommodate and teach different styles of goalkeeping
* Enhance and reinforce each goalie's individual strengths
* Focus on the basic fundamentals of goalkeeping
* Repeat those basic fundamentals
* Provide immediate correction – constructively
* Turn the basic fundamentals into habit
* Turn hockey lessons into life's lessons when applicable and/or appropriate
Points of Emphasis By Age
This is a crucial part of their development. Most bad habits we see in goalies are developed during these years, due in large part to lack of instruction. Goalies need, like all athletes, the proper balance between competition and skill development. For goalies, most team practices are just more competition. Their teammates are trying to score on them and they have to stop as many shots as possible. This does not develop skill. Imagine putting your kids into a bunch of golf tournaments without ever putting them in golf lessons. If you are going to compete, you need some fundamental skills to build your game around. We help young goalies build their game from the ground up by instilling muscle memory of the most important skills.
* Maintaining good balance and stance during crease movements
* Tracking the puck visually
* Challenging shooters beyond the top of the crease
* Gap Control and backwards movement (to help master breakaways)
* Basic reflex saves (Stick saves, glove/blocker saves, half butterfly saves)*
*Reflex saves (as opposed to blocking saves) must be learned at a young age. Modern goalie equipment facilitates blocking saves quite easily and too many young goalies can rely on their gear to do much of the work for them. If they don't learn to use their reflexes at a young age, they will never reach their full potential in years to come.
By now most goalies have played a lot of games and recieved some formal training. For those that fit into the majority we start to challenge goalies develop patience and confidence in their positioning. As they grow taller they will be able to use the butterfly more often but still need to use it at the right time. At this age goalies should remain focused on their overall skating which will be crucial in the development of their puckhandling skills outside the crease. If they are strong enough at this age, they can start to learn more advanced skills and begin to focus more on recovery movements after the save and some more socondary save techniques. We will teach them the skills that can be used for all styles of play, because they are too young to consider themselves to play just one style of goaltending.
* Recovery basics
* Angles and positioning
* Proper timing and technique of the butterfly (and other "blocking" skills)
* Introduction to puckhandling/dump-in skills
Some goalies by now are nearly full grown while others are just beginning adolescence. This variance can be cause for a flexible approach to teaching and coaching. Those that are maturing physically and mentally are challenged more than ever to be dedicated and self-disciplined in their efforts. Goalies at this age are encouraged to take more responsibility for themselves to prepare for games, take care of their bodies, and push themselves in practice. By now many goalies will be able to identify their strengths and weaknesses, and with the help of our staff will learn how to use their strengths to their advantage and improve their weaknesses for a better all-around game.
* Mastery of movement skills
* Dyanamic use of recovery skills
* Creative use of the stick including puckhandling and poke checks
* Adaptability for all different game situations including rushes, attacks from behind the net, wide angles, tips/screens, and rebounds.
Whether a student who has been with us for years, or one just getting to know our staff, we can work within each athlete's abilities and tendencies while encouraging creativity and open-mindedness for the development of new skills and concepts. Goalies will be pushed to be more athletic and mentally tough. They are now ready for a more in-depth education about the position and also need inspiration to be at their competitive best.
* Adding speed to all basic skills while maintaining efficient techniques
* Situational mastery; when to be patient and when to be aggressive
* Mastery of all save techniques, both blocking and reflex saves
It's no suprise to us that goalies at these levels want to go back to basics. After years of instense competition they understand the value of fundamental skills. Fundamental skill mastery comes from thousands of repetitions to build muscle memory. These goalies will work on the sames skills as goalies at all other levels but do them faster and stronger. At the highest levels of play, there will be more traffic around the net and many goalies need to expand their set of blocking skills to adapt at the highest levels. They are also expected to handle the puck more than ever.
* Advanced blocking skills
* Advanced puckhandling drills