Upcoming Events

 

Summer Skills Camp, Monday to Friday, August 5th to 9th,@ Cole Harbour Place, 800am to 400pm 

 

 

Weekly Summer Session, Saturday, June 22nd,@ Cole Harbour Place, 900am to 1000am 

 

Weekly Summer Session, Saturday, June 29th,@ Cole Harbour Place, 100pm to 200pm 

Ambition Unlimited Spring Session 6, Sunday, May 26th @ East Coast Varsity Arena 800am to 900am


Book Recommendations

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Goalie Quote of the Week

A warrior is worthless unless he rises above others and stands strong in the midst of a storm." 

-Yamamoto Tsunetomo

 

Entries in coaching (12)

Monday
Jul182016

Reboot for Ambition Unlimited

Dear Goalies and Parents,

How has everyone's summer being going?  I'm gearing up for a very busy late-July and August.  This will drive me right into the new 2016-17 season.

During this relative down time from June until now, I've been working on revamping my Ambition Unlimited program.  As some may remember, Ambition Unlimited was a "pay as you want" goalie development sessions.  The program has some limited success and helped support charitable causes like the Children's Wish and Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada.

Only Limited By Your Ambition!Hopefully through my work and enthusiasm, you might sense that goalie coaching is a passion for me.  I love the game, the position (a game within a game), and helping young people develop their skills and get more enjoyment out of the game.  I've also come out very publicly about some the issues I have with challenges of goalie development locally and across Canada.  There are two major ones and I'm going to call them out:

  1. Most minor hockey associations (from the local to the national level), have for years received money from goalie parents since the history of the organized youth sport, but have offered little to none of the support to their goaltenders.  Essentially, it has been a case of "taxation without representation" which has been the catalyst for revolution before.  A lot of individual teams do earmark some funds to pull in private goalie training.  Unfortunately, the burden in Canada for parents of goalies to garner development opportunities is to spend their own money to find it.
  2. Private (for-profit) goaltending programs, like MINE!  Obviously, to fill in the hole left or willfully ignored by minor hockey, many for-profit goaltending programs have cropped up.  High end goalie coaching in some places in Ontario run up to $300 an hour for a coach.  There is one major benefit of this: Canada has the largest population of these programs where the directors, eat, sleep, and breath goaltending.  This in turn has lead to some amazing coaches in Canada, and I really respect them and their knowledge.  BUT this has lead to another major problem:  the same coaches/developers that could create and maintain a development program for Hockey Canada DO NOT want to "kill the golden goose".    In other words, do not expect these private programs to support a "true" national development program wholeheartedly.  Most spend more time debating the reverse VH at the Hockey Canada goaltending development camps hosting major junior goalties rather than getting serious about helping the other 95% of minor hockey goalies. 

As a result, I've been thinking and re-thinking how to use Ambition Unlimited as a way to address these issues.

Firstly, Ambition will be offering FREE weekly/bimonthly group training sessions for all IP and Novice goaltenders for all minor hockey (and ringette) associations.  These sessions are to create a foundation for all kids who want to start the position and gain the important first fundamentals.  The "risk" parents take when their kids want to try the position are compounded when, in order to gain these skills, have to PAY to get them in addition to added cost of gear and lack of attention the goalies receive in practice.  AU is looking to take that risk off the table, as a result, I hope it will lead to more kids trying the position, getting the those first important skills, and finding that passion that will let them play a long, long time.

Secondly, these group sessions will be the crucible to help develop the next generation of ADULT VOLUNTEER or JUNIOR MENTOR goalie coaches.  The sessions can be used by teams, associations, or people just interested in getting real experience for their ADULT VOLUNTEERS, some of whom may never have been goaltenders.

For the JUNIOR MENTORS, I've been very fortunate to work with some of the most well-rounded and positive group of goaltenders.  Many of these boys and girls are now reaching young adulthood and with their natural leadership qualities, have had 7-8 years of goalie experience and have had a load of coaching from myself and other great coaches in the city.  They are ready to be turned into very effective JUNIOR MENTOR goalie coaches.  I currently have six candidates to help service my local three hockey associations and one candidate for ringette.  The junior mentor goalie coaches will all have their level one Hockey Canada certification and will work the above mentioned goalie clinics.  In turn, they will be assigned to a minor hockey team in their area.  In turn, as a consideration, this minor hockey team will need to "sponsor" this junior mentor goalie coach.  By sponsor, I mean either "purchase" the sponsor bars of the mentor goalie coach or make a donation to the coach's team.  Hopefully, this will keep everyone motivated like a professional goalie coach, while at the same time, keeping the fundraised money within the association.

Both the ADULT VOLUNTEERS and JUNIOR MENTORS will have complete support from me, including a full season on-ice development plan, appropriate for their adopted goaltenders' level.  I will also help liaise with the association and the head coaches of the teams they adopt, so that they are used most effectively.

The short term objective that I have is that the first five to six years of a young goaltender's career, he or she is going to near costless support.  Eventually, I hope to have a volunteer or junior mentor with every novice and atom team in the city within the next three years.  

Ambitious?  Yes, I think so!!

Thursday
May012014

Emery Loses His Stick Discipline

UE Motto: Be a Warrior!!

I came across this goal while watching a full recap of the New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers series.  I found a large portion of the goals against Emery came from plays that passed in front of him to his right to his left.  Many of these were very good goals that would have been scored against many an NHL tender.  I did notice that Emery, when torquing hard to his trapper side, he had a lot of difficulty keeping control of his stick.  This is not uncommon and the harder and more sudden a goalie has to shift, the greater trouble he's going to have in maintaining his stick discipline.  Stick discipline in this case is where the goalie keeps the stick on the ice, usually protecting his five-hole.

Now not to over-criticize, as most of these plays were bing-bang plays that moved the puck 40-50 feet east to west.  However, the forth goal in the third game was a lot less excusable.  Firstly, the pass was not to the farside so much as to a streaking player moving right up the middle.  Emery had very little lateral movement required here.  Secondly, the timing of the goal was especially harsh as it was the nail in the coffin for game 3.

I wanted to draw attention to this, not so much as to belittle Emery, but to highlight this issue with my young goalies.  Spring hockey has allowed me to work with a bunch of new netminders from my usual crop, so they are getting a lot of "flack" from me on their lack of stick discipline during lateral slides, especially to their trapper side.  But at least with Emery's example, they are in good company and it goes to show everyone, that even the pros need to work on the basics.  Banger Maxim #17:  Some things are simple to understand but they are not easy to execute.

 

I think it can be easily said that Ray Emery has had a tumultous career.  He has had some inspirational events in his career, as well, that I think could be motivational fodder for any aspiring goaltender.  Take a read of his Wikipedia bio.

Tuesday
Apr082014

Back To Basics II: Keeping Things Simple

UE Motto: Be a Warrior!!I got myself caught in a bit of writer's loop.  I had what I thought was a very easy topic to write about.  So easy in fact, that it was originally planned just as a tweet on my twitter feed.  But a timely conversation with a veteran athlete and long term educator combined with the goaltending travails of Reimer in Toronto has turned my tweet into a three page opinion piece that continues to find threads to cover.  It seems to be at least another week before it'll be completed.

As a result, while working on my end-of-season goalie reports of all my goalies this year, I started to find some common themes running through my analyses.  These were all pretty obvious to me, but may not always be to others.  I have certain biases as a goalie instructor and tend to emphasize things that I find really important to my tenders.  I thought I would take time off of writing my reports and my long stewing blog article to highlight these mantras.

The reason that I want to mention these goaltending elements is I find that goalie instructors (myself definitely included) can overcomplicate the position.  Taking a hard look at these points, I hope we can get back to the basics for both young and old as we approach season's end and start to plan for our summer and autumn programs.  Here they are in their most pared down glory:

1.  Positioning is 90% of a goalie's game

I have always said if a goalie could always be in perfect position all the time on shot release, she would have a minimum of 90% save percentage without even having to react to the release of the shot.  Positioning elements would be (a)ngle, (s)quareness, and (d)epth.Use positioning to fill space!!

2.  Hand and stick discipline/positioning counts way more than hand and reaction speed

I have become a big believer in that human hands and reaction speed have not kept up with the speed of the game and the shot releases most players.  As a result, many goalies have considerable difficulty with handling elevated shots and get beat swinging their hands at pucks when if their hands were in the correct position, they'd have made the save with little or no hand movement.  Hand discipline is maintaining the proper position of the hands during movement, save selection, and recovery to maximize coverage of the upper part of the net.  This is not to say that we can't work on improving our hand speed (although there is a lot of debate whether this can be improved on a muscular level, as it seems to be mostly determined genetically).  What is not questionable is that we can work on shortening our neural pathways in reading, reacting and intelligent anticipation.  So please don't totally neglect active-hands for a pure blocking-hands style, but lets make sure our hands are always in the right spot first!!   

3.  Want to be fast?  Want to be controlled?  Get your pins underneath your core right away

Goalies are famous for having very strong cores.  The balance and stability required to play the position are very demanding.  However, one of the neglected elements of the core and it connects to our first point about positioning is that in order to move, recovery, and reposition quickly, goalies have to try to always regain their edges underneath their core when standing or their knees when down on the ice.  

Keeping your knees under your body will give you lot more options!In executing movements, I often harp that while pushes with a leg needs to be strong, recovering that push leg under the goalie's body is just as, if not more, important.  Recovering that push leg quickly sets the goalie up to make another quick push.  Lateral pushes where the back leg drags behind the body in a long, extended push is like finger nails on chalkboard for a goalie coach.

When goalies hit their butterfly, either in a knee drive or a butterfly slide, they have to make sure that any recovery or down re-positioning requires that both knee be under their hips.  If the knees are way out past the width of their hips due to a desperate save or poor pad discipline, any recovery or backside edge push needs the goalie to snap their knees back under their body.   Dragging a push leg here will slow the goalie's lateral speed and open dangerous holes along the ice.

Having the back legs come back under the goalie's body not only set the goalie up for his next push, it will also build momentum and power in the direction the goalie is trying to push to.  In addition, holes get closed up more efficiently and with the legs providing stability of the upper body, the goalie can use his hands with more control and discipline instead of flailing around for balance.

4.  Create a simplified mindset to the position

Lastly, I have been recently reading several books about coaching youth.  I've distilled what I think is a great mindset that I would like all my goalies hold dear throughout their playing career.

In practice, work, sweat, and cry!!

In games, play, laugh, and have fun!!

Wednesday
Jan222014

The Fundamental Mind vs The Flexible Mind (or the steak vs the sizzle)

UE Motto: Be a Warrior!!

I have a bit of a story.  I was talking with an old-timer (actually the same age as myself, but I guess that qualifies), and we got in the discussion about modern goaltenders and how many goalies in professional game are playing a style almost indistinguishable from their peers.  He said it is even worse at the minor hockey level where goalies seem to him to be cut from the same piece of cloth.  Their styles and approach to play has become so standardized that goalies will make the same save time and time again and that this phenomena have made the position boring.

He lamented the lack of dynamic and exciting goalies from the past like Bill Ranford, Dominic Hasek, and Mike Palmeteer among the modern stable of NHL goaltenders.  All those great goalies of the past were personal heroes of mine as well and certainly had very unique styles to the position. 

There is no doubt that the goaltending game over the last 30 years has had a massive revolution.  Several major factors have lead to this revolution: video analysis, goalie instruction, increased competition for a small number of well-paying positions, and equipment advancements.  All these elements have created a general "school" of goaltending that is shared in large part by most experienced goaltenders today.  Goaltenders that adhere to this "school" of goaltending are operating in what I like to call the Fundamental Mind.  This is the steak of goaltending. Ryan Cruickshank of the Dartmouth Whalers shows that you can have a little sizzle with your steak!! 

Fundamental Mind is the mindset of a goalie who executes his saves/actions based on a systematic method of play.  There are scenarios that a goalie will encounter and from these scenarios, there are correct and efficient actions to counter them.  In many ways, the goalie feels there are right and wrong ways to do everything and that there should be an answer for the things the game throws at them.  In order to be a better goalie, the idea would be then to practice and perfect these reactions to make their execution as quickly and seamlessly as possible.  If the goalie does, then they will have played the game correctly and will, assuming rightly or wrongly, have success. 

When a goalie is operating with the Fundamental Mind they have very specific save selections for specific shots.  Also, they will play certain scenarios with the same type of approach (like stance, depth, and body-positioning).  Here is where many feel that the game gets boring.  Goalies, not just individuals but whole groups, will handle scenarios in exactly the same way giving the feel that they are just carbon-copies of some goalie-ideal.  With all the great goaltending minds out there analyzing and over-analyzing every game, play, shot, goal, and save, the game of goaltending is quickly coming to a sort of equilibrium.  As a result, goalies are adopting this equilibirum-style and goalie coaches are pushing it on their charges.  The growing popularity of the Fundamental Mind has created the seeming lack of goaltenders "flying by the seat of their pants" in the game to many lay observers.

While this gradual merging of styles to a standard "school" may be true to a large degree, with a more nuanced eye of the game, one can discern many subtle differences among the goaltenders.  I often wonder about the 80 plus goalies that I am training this year.  If I were only to see a silhouette of them while playing, would I be able to determine who they are?  (I think I could, but a laymen or casual observer would probably have a very difficult time).  To me, they are as different and varied as a high-quality jar of mixed-nuts (pun intended), but they are all still nuts. 

This video highlights a great example of the Fundamental Mind.  Jimmy Spratt was a Calgary Flames prospect whose pro career has sputtered.  This training video of his from 2009 is a remarkable example of goalie who appears to do everything right in a technical sense.  I have watched this video probably over 50 times and out of the 100's movements and save selections that Jimmy executes, I find it hard to find flaw with any of it.  His fluidity and speed are all amazing.  His execution is a near perfect model of modern goaltending that I can imagine.  That being said, something must have been missing for Jimmy as he hasn't been able to rise in the pro ranks. 

What may have been missing for Jimmy??

Flexible Mind is an approach to goaltending that encourages goalies to use whatever method is most expedient to stop the puck.  There is little concern with style or execution, and the focus is to just stop the puck.  This mindset was very popular in the late 80's and early 90's with goaltenders like Curtis Joseph, Bill Ranford, and Dominic Hasek.  We see glimpses of this still as a style with goaltenders like Tim Thomas and Martin Brodeur.  Their age is probably no coincidence.  I liken this type of play as the "sizzle" and there is no doubt this style of play is exciting for fans (but probably stressful for coaches and goalie-coaches).  The shortcoming of the Flexible Mind has always been consistency.  The play and performance outcomes seemed too varied.  This also leads to many problems for goalie coaches.  We can help people become more technical and express their Fundamental Mind quite well, but we have a very hard time to help goalies execute their Flexible Mind more effectively.  As I often say, if things go south for a goalie, it is easy to reset and go back to basics (the Fundamental Mind), but how do a I help a goalie who totally relies on the Flexible Mind?  Do I ask her to be more athletic, scrambling, and dynamic?

Goalies like Ranford and Joseph are in contrast to the Allaire revolution that took over high-level goaltending in the mid-90's with the adoption of Quebec Butterfly Style.  Francois Allaire was an innovator and a genius in many respects.  His push was to simplify the game by creating a style that totally eliminated the need for the Flexible Mind.  The drop-and-block, single save selection basis of his Quebec Butterfly Style garnered a huge following with J.S. Giguere leading the pack.  The feeling is that goalies from the Allaire era weren't athletic and didn't need to be.  And I think that criticism is valid for the most part.  It lead to larger and larger goalies with less and less mobility who had a general over-simplified view of the game. 

However, the game has since evolved with increased offensive talent, equipment shrinkage, and interference rule changes. As a result, this pure reliance on the Fundamental Mind has faded and we are starting to see an amazing transformation of both mindsets.  We are finally getting both the steak and the sizzle.  Fewer and fewer bad goals due to poor save execution, punctuated with saves that seem otherworldly.  Many are calling this a hybrid.  I'm not fond of the term for various reasons, but it does evoke an interesting image.

For the most part, at the professional level, goalies can't play entirely in the Flexible Mind or Fundamental Mind and expect to have a long career.  Rather they ground their game in the Fundamental Mind and dip into Flexible Mind at the appropriate and required time. The goalies that do this well, switching back and forth from the fundamental and flexible, will probably have the most success in the long term.  If they lock themselves into their Fundamental Mind, they'll find that they'll lose opportunities to make momentum shifting saves.  If they hinge their professional success on the Flexible Mind, they'll probably find themselves in long and drawn out high- and low-tides of performance.  Their lack of consistency will often find them on the bench to be used only in an emergency. 

As a rejoinder to my good friend that thinks modern goalies have devolved into an unexciting cadre of robo-goalies, I ask you to watch these top 10 save highlights from 2013 and judge for yourself whether today's goalies are finding the perfect melding of the fundamental and flexible mind.

Monday
Sep232013

Goalie Coaching Philosophy: The Goalie as Part of a Whole

Upper Echelon Motto: Be a Warrior!In the third part of my blog series of a Goalie Coaching Philosophy, I feel it is necessary to  draw the lens even further back and to start to look at goaltender's game within the larger game itself.

There is a definite and strongly held opinion (truism) that goalies are a special breed and are different from the rest of the team or the other positions.  It is almost cliche in the way in that the media, coaches, parents, and even some goalies like to perpetuate this idea.  I, myself, have been guilty for years in accepting this as writ.

But as I gained experience as a goalie developer and worked with more and more goalies, their coaches, and their teams, I have started to build strong feelings that this cliche, like many cliches, is actually wrong, and indeed, very harmful to all the parties involved.  I still am at fault in when I let the old canard, "oh, he's a goalie, that is why he is 'X'" slide as just a joke.  Usually when it happens, there is no time or it isn't a place to make a stand on a philosophical point.  I have, however, resolved myself to try and bring the goaltenders into the broader fraternity of the team covertly, if the coaching staff cling to the idea that "goaltenders are a different breed".

Tactically and strategically, there is many, many details about how we should argue that the goalie is really part of the whole.  I hinted at this in my earlier article Goaltending as a Team Defense Concept from the Upper Echelon Goaltending blog last season.  One of the biggest issues that I see is the goalie or the goalie's perspective not being utilized when drawing up defensive plays.  Very rarely have I heard coaches or players discuss a defending zone strategy, like how to handle an even man rush over the blue line, and how the goalie fits in it.  Tactically, I do hear it a little bit more, like who has what responsibility on a walk-out from behind the goal line or a cut to the net, but it is still infrequent and many don't understand that the goalie has a job in those situations beyond just "stopping the puck".We still want to see goalies making the stop!

Goalie coaches are also notorious for not recognizing the major tactical and strategic advantages as operating as a unified team-defense.  Many are of the "puck-stopper" only mentality.  Others have also taken a stand to isolate the goalie from the rest of the team.  Even at the highest levels, ego and territoriality cloud the judgement of goalie coaches.  Several of the incidents that lead to Francois Allaire's firing from the Maple Leafs over a year ago detail exactly how a goalie coach tried to keep his charges from becoming integrated into the team.

  In late fall, with the team trying to improve its penalty killing, assistant coach Greg Cronin wanted to have Allaire and the goalies sit in on penalty-killing meetings. Allaire didn’t want that. Cronin said he’d already talked to James Reimer.

  Randy Carlyle, who had worked with Allaire in Anaheim, gave the goalie coach a list of three conditions he would have to meet if he wanted to return for the 2012-13 season. The list included: working a maximum 17 days a month, including six with the Marlies, rather than being around the team every day; apologizing to the coaches on staff he had offended; and a commitment to teaching a more aggressive goaltending style.

Allaire warned Cronin not to speak to his goalies. Cronin responded in a most unfriendly way, and unrest within the staff was born.

Wilson, out of sheer frustration, finally went directly to the goalies, bypassing the celebrated goalie guru. Soon, Allaire and the other coaches weren’t even on speaking terms.

  Ron Wilson, dismayed with how Jonas Gustavsson and Reimer were playing so passively deep in the crease, asked Allaire in early February to get them to play more aggressively. Allaire said he had no intention of altering the way his goalies were playing.

 These listed stories really highlight a goalie coach trying to keep the goalies separate from their teams, not only in a personal sense, but also in a real game sense.  The Leafs' management was actively trying to integrate the goalies into their penalty-killing scenario and strategies (extremely vital at ANY level).  The Leafs were also trying to get the goalies to play more "aggressively" and while there is not much information to go on from the article, I know from experience goalies that play deep will force their team to defend much differently than a goalie who plays with more aggressive depth.  There is no judgement of right or wrong here.  For example, the Rangers have structured their defense to collapse and crowd the slot, because Lunquist plays deep. (Or even maybe, Lunquist plays deep because his team likes to collapse in the slot).  The Bruins played high-pressure defense with Tim Thomas which allowed him to be aggressive and charge out to fill lanes maximizing his small size.  But if the team want to play a certain defensive style, it is important that the goalie fit the role that is required and not just think his style or apporach to goaltending doesn't affect how his team can play.  It does!

Positioning of the goalie in the defensive zone when the attacking the team has the puck is a major influence on how goaltenders need to integrate and be part of the whole defensive.  Good solid positioning of a goaltender will quite often dictate options for the attackers in the same way that the defenses' positioning will affect the attack.  Goaltenders can use aggressive positioning (depth, squareness, and on angle) to eliminate strong shot options.  This will force attacking puck carriers to pursue other options like passing, cycling, or even continuing to carry the puck.  If the defenders know that the goalie has eliminated a shot as a choice, they won't be required to put themselves out of position by shot blocking or it may allow them to pursue a player that may have become isolated from carrying the puck too long.

Pressured breakaways is a topic that I have quite often written about and it is a very good example of "team defense" on what many assume is a play where the goalie is really alone.  He's not.  A well executed defense on a pressured breakaway should be very easy for a goaltender to stop, but in order to have the high rate of success possible, everyone has to know how they integrate together to make everyone's job easier.Pressured breakaways

"Active sticks" is a term used often to describe how players on a penalty kill can try to dictate options in a powerplay.  This term should also apply to a goaltender and not just during the PK, but at all times.  The goalie should have a strong ability to cut passes through their own blue paint.  This will allow their team to not worry too much about down low coverage if they know their goalie has got it cut-off.  This limits the amount of ground the defenders have to cover and makes the game easier for all.

"Quarterbacking" is a great term for goalies that are very vocal and active in the nets in calling the defensive coverage.  As I often say, goalies have the best seat in the house to see the game.  They should pass their vantage point onto their teammates by calling out what they see and what they think are threats.  This is part of being a leader on the team and it is part of integrating oneself with the "team defense" in a proactive way during the play.  If it is done well and in a positive/constructive way, the goalie's team will become very dependant on it, further cementing the goalie as part of the team, physically and psychologically.

"Puck-handling", or "puck possession" skills as I like to call it, are another way to utilize the goalie as more than just a "puck-stopper" and bring them into the fold of the greater team.  Most high-level goaltending play requires some ability at a goalie playing the puck.  The better the goalies are at this skill the more of an asset they are to their team and the more flexibility it gives the team in terms of breakouts and transitions.  In addition, a good puckhandling goalie will save a tremendous amount of "wear'n'tear" on his defense when he can play or handle loose pucks intelligently.  In junior or higher with sixty game schedules, if the goalie helps prevent his D-men from getting smucked into the corner or behind the net for a loose puck four or five times a game, that can mean huge dividends over the course of a season.  The dividends come from less risk of injury for the team and their key personnel.

Strong puck-possession skills will also allow the goalie opportunities to engage herself into the team's offense by assisting the transistion out of the team's zone.  It may even result in the goalie's name being called over the loudspeaker when announcing a point.  That is a well-deserved reward for developing a difficult, but important, skill.  Teams at the developmental level have to recognize on how to get a goalie to exercise these skills.  These developmental objectives need to start early, even as young as the novice level.  Teams at the elite level need to find ways to utilize their goaltender's puck-possession abilities to aid the transistion from defense to offense.  Set plays, options, and responsibilities should be clearly defined to everyone on the ice.

See my earlier blog post on the goalie as the quarterback of the defense.

Goalies have a multitude of roles to play on the ice well past the super-simple puck-stopper name.  Problems arise when teams and their coaches either have the inability to articulate those roles or actively supress or ignore them.  Either way, they effectively start to isolate the goalie and limit the many ways she can contribute to the team on the ice during the course of a game.  Again, this critique on coaches, players, and management harks back to this willful ignorance of the position and what it entails.

Bench communication between periods is essential.This on-ice isolation of the goalie in both the tactical and strategic aspects of the team game can lead to the greater, and more unfortunate, psychological separation of the goalie from the team.  This feeling that some goalies may have of not really being "part of their team" is real and can push many young kids out of the position.  I see this especially so in the younger levels in minor hockey where children quite often join hockey to help satisfy a social need of belonging which is a major benefit of team sports.  These new goalies who are so taken with the position of goalie that they brave the massive physical and emotional challenges.  Soon, they find themselves alone in the net either ignored by their coaches or teammates.  Many of these new goalies switch back to playing player in order to reconnect with their on-ice friends.  The pull of camradery and being an active part of the team is so strong that we lose many great potential netminders.

 The final article on this series about my Goalie Coaching Philosophy will work to tie all three parts together into a coherent system of goaltending.