One part of what I do is teach goaltenders how to get ready for a game. Here is some of what we will cover in general:
What Everyone Needs to Know about a Goaltender’s Warm Up
Written by: Shaun Smith- Absolute Goaltender Training
After a recent “discussion” with a coach who was doing many things which I find taboo for goaltenders before a game it became a deep realization that people really don’t get what goalies need during warm up. Warm up should be about getting the goaltender ready to play. With the limited ice times warm ups can be anywhere from three to five minutes. The key to warm up then should be to getting the starting goalie warmed up as effectively as possible while the other goaltender gets the remainder of the pucks. Of course this means that goaltenders need to know prior to the game if they are going to play or not so that they can get the most out of their warm up. Below is what I would suggest for all goaltenders especially if your warm up time is limited.
Limited ice time means that goaltenders must to a lot of their pre-game preparation prior to going on the ice for the game. Before going on the ice I recommend that goaltenders warm up their body by going for a light jog and doing some stairs. This should then be followed by some stretching while the body is still warm. Stretching before going on the ice means that the time during warm up can be used for getting used to receiving pucks instead of stretching on the ice. Finally, I recommend that goaltenders spend at least five to fifteen minutes catching a ball that is passed by a partner or off a wall. The key is to get both of the goaltenders hands moving effectively and to get the eyes used to tracking an object into and off of the body. This can be done with a squash/tennis ball or reaction ball but the goaltender should be confident in catching 90-95% of the passes if using the reaction ball.
Some mental preparation should be completed at some point before the goaltender goes on the ice. Some goaltenders will do this before getting dressed while playing with a ball, when half dressed or just before going on the ice. There is no right or wrong time to complete mental training only the time which works best for the individual goaltender. Mental preparation should include going over the game plan for the upcoming game, positive self talk and imagery which is positive and confidence building. If the goaltender is too tight the goaltender should complete some relaxation exercise. A goaltender is tired or low energy should do some energy exciting exercises. One final note is that I recommend to all of my goalies to step out of the dressing room when the coach is completing any final technical talk before the game. Technical talk prior to the game can often leave to a goaltender that is over-thinking and not reacting. Make sure to tell your coach but most coaches will understand why you are doing this.
Next, as the goalie steps onto the ice, he/she should skate a few quick laps around the ice and can work on some puck handling shooting into the net or making passes to teammates. After the goaltender has completed a couple of laps he/she can finish off their stretching while on the ice. While the goaltender is completing their stretches they should be watching pucks off of the player’s sticks into the net or off of the glass. Get the eyes going now to ensure that the goaltender is ready.
Once the goaltender is done stretching the next step is to get some feel for the puck. This is completed by taking one shooter who has a relatively accurate shot and some pucks to the net. The goaltender should take shots from the slot while standing in the crease. The player should take all wrist shots and should place them in the same spot consecutively five times before moving to the next location. The shooter should place pucks at all four corners, the five hole and into the chest. This allows the goalie to loosen up, get visually attached to the puck and get a feel for the puck. If time permitting the goaltender should then complete some t-pushes off of the post to the center of the slot for a wrist shot; ten times each post.
The goaltender has began to get warmed up he must now face some harder shots from further out. The whole team should complete either a three position shot drill from the points, passes out from the corner to various puck carriers or half moon shots. The key is to allow the goaltender to make each save fully before the next shot. The goaltender must feel that he is able to make the save fully before the next shot.
The goaltender is now fully seeing the puck and needs to get in some last minute movement before the game starts. This can be completed by various 2 on 0 or 2 on 1 drills which allow again the goaltender time to move fully with the puck and track their rebounds to their new
position. You can also include rebounds that are only in front of the net, where they could be considered dangerous.
A properly prepared goaltender is one who will make those key saves early in the game if the team is not fully ready to play. Not only will the goaltender be more likely to make the big saves but they will also be less likely to get injured before and during the game. NEVER allow you players to deke your goaltenders out when they are cold. This will cause injury and can decrease the goaltenders confidence. A properly warmed up goaltender will be consistent every game as the warm up will be a sign that the goaltender is ready to play. Don't leave your goaltenders guessing who is playing to just before the game as there is just not enough time for both goaltenders to get fully ready. Instead encourage both goaltenders to put in the work during warm up. Your goaltenders and team will thank you. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org