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There’s No One Magic Save That Can Take Care Of Every Situation!

I know that you probably want one perfect way to stop every shot that comes at you, but it’s just not possible. You can have 15 one on ones in a game and play them 15 different ways. How can that be possible you ask? Well, your ability to process the information that your eyes transfer to your brain will determine your level of success in stopping the puck. As I’ve said many times, you can’t just wait for someone to load up a shot to decide that is when you will pay attention. You have to observe an awful lot of things to come to the right decision on how you are going to stop the puck.

30 Seconds Of Exercise Crammed Into 60 Minutes Of Game Time….

If you make 30 saves in a 60 minute game, you’ve probably spent about 30 seconds actually making the saves. What do you do with the other 59 minutes and 30 seconds? Well, you are moving to position, following the puck, communicating with teammates and reading what the opposition is trying to do. In order for the 30 seconds of saves to go really well, you’ve got to be really smart in how you use your “down” time the rest of the game. My point is that if your total emphasis is on waiting for a shot to come and reacting to it, you are going about things the wrong way. You should be alert to see what is going on around you and take measures to force the other team into bad decisions with the puck by the way you position yourself. Be active in moving to space to discourage a shot or pass and your work load will lessen because your saves will be easier.

Save Techniques Are Like Potato Chips…..You Can’t Have Just One!

Let’s say you’re playing a one-on-one. Do you do the same save each time? You really can’t because there are many variables that will change how effective that one save technique will be. For example, is there a large gap between you and the D so the attacking forward can really jet across the crease or is your D playing a tight gap and eliminating that seam. If there is a large gap, you may have to either poke-check the player or be ready to make an explosive save across the crease. If your D is playing the attacking forward tight and there is minimal gap, you have to make sure you are not gliding back into the crease because the attacking player will probably shoot the puck. If that attacking forward is on your right side and he or she shoots left, you have to make sure you’re not cheating to the middle angle too early because their forehand is facing the short side of the net. How you decide to stop the one-on –one depends on how you read what’s going on in front of you. Get it?

It Ain’t Over After One Shot!

It’s great if you made a great save on the first shot, but if you’re not In position for the rebound, you’re not doing your job. You must be able to transition from your first save into a rebound save in order to be an effective goalie. Have good body control so you’re not out of position on the first shot and be smart to read the play early so you know what you may have to do after the first shot. Be proactive not reactive!!!

This article was contributed by Fred Quistgard of Quistgard Goalie Training.


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