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The Importance of Economical Body Movement

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Okay, that sounds like a mouthful doesn’t it? Economical Body Movement……hmmmm, what does that mean?

 Well, this concept means that you instinctively know that your body is moving squarely and under control in the direction of your save technique. After watching you all in these clinics for a few weeks, I see that there are subtle “counter weights” that cause your 5 Hole to open up or cause you to lose your balance or fail to get full extension to the puck. A counter weight could be your stick shoulder trailing behind your body when you are trying to make a save to your glove side. It could mean that both hands move behind your body when moving laterally and that opens up your 5 Hole. It could mean that instead of turning your head fully to watch the puck come to you, you are looking out of the corner of your eye and that prevents you from getting full extension on your save attempt.

Your hands are like steering wheels on a race car. You are doing some pretty dynamic and athletic moves as a goalie. If your head, hands, back shoulder and back knee are not moving or turning into the save, you will be sloppy. If you are sloppy, you are giving the shooter opportunities to get lucky. Don’t you hate it when you know exactly what the shooter is going to do only to just miss the puck on the save attempt or have it squib through you because you were sloppy on the save? Well, often this is a result of not steering your body in a controlled way. When your hands turn you into a pad, glove or stick save, there is a smooth flow to it. When you “drop anchor” by leaving your back shoulder opened up away from the direction you are moving, you are not fluid and it’s easier for a shooter to make a last second adjustment to score.

Don’t Be A Robot! Now, even though I just said it’s important to have economy of movement and smooth, fluid saves, you don’t want to be robotic about it. You need to know why you are butterfly sliding or laterally skating to a certain spot. If you look like a beautifully, sliding robot in your movements, but you don’t have a clue where you are supposed to be positioning yourself, you will not be very effective. Combine fluid movement with smart hockey sense and you will look very effective in net. Know how to set yourself on the angle to force a shooter into a decision. Know how to read left shot and right shot options of the approaching offensive players so you can read and react and dictate the choices they make with the puck.

   Glove Saves: Tonight we will do some catching glove saves. This is an art. Just   because you have a wonderful, state of the art glove does not mean you know how to catch with it. It doesn’t work by itself. There are concepts that you must execute well if you are going to have a glove hand that intimidates opposing shooters.
    First: realize that you must keep your hands ahead of your body so you can see the puck all the way into your glove.

    Two: turn your head and back shoulder in the direction of the save so you get full extension.

    Three: If the shot is taken from the low slot, turn your wrist slightly downward because you want the pocket of the glove to be in the lane of the sharply rising puck so you can make a clean catch instead of it bouncing off the heel of the glove.

    Four: A well-timed turn of the back shoulder with the glove wrist turned into the puck’s lane will allow you to make a top-shelf glove save look easy. Glove saves are a perfect example of economy of movement. Efficient turning of the body gives you a great chance of success. If you drop the glove and whip it up in a “Hail Mary” attempt at catching the puck, you will get scored on or give out an uncontrolled rebound from the shot

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

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