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alcoraces 01-12-2013 01:09 PM

Atom level goalie and stick positioning
Hoping someone who is more of a goaltender than I am can shed a bit of light on this debate:

9 and 10 year old goalies and how they should hold their stick on the ice while facing the shooter. I have a goalie coach who is insisting that the kids should have their stick held at a bit of an angle, while I am dead set against that as I believe it creates a ramp and while there are times when you might want that, I don't think this is a good technique to be teaching these kids at this age. Any advise or input on this topic would be greatly appreciated.

Also any further goaltending coaching resources to check out if anyone knows of some good ones. Thank you in advance.

Aucoin11* 01-12-2013 03:31 PM

What exactly do you think is bad about ramp esque stick positioning?

A commonly glossed over fact about goaltending is that there is, in actuality, no one distinct way to do any particular thing. There are, of course, general guidelines one must follow, but as long as you have rational and substantial reasoning behind certain minor tweaks(i.e. stick positioning) you can employ them.

To speak to your point. I personally hold my stick as a subtle ramp, because I follow the north american discipline of using my stick to direct rebounds. I believe the ramp, when properly used, is best for directing rebounds away from soft spots in front of me.

Also positioning it out in front a bit and not directly vertical allows for more give in the stick if the puck hits it square. To further explain what I mean by this,

1)picture holding your stick directly vertical and having a puck shot straight at it. There is a chance the puck will deflect somewhere away from the net, but there is also a vague chance it kind of powers through your stick or guides off of it and in to the net.
2)picture holding your stick in this angle/ramp and having a puck shot straight at it. There is virtually no chance that the puck will deflect right through your legs and into the net like there is if you hold it perfectly vertical.

European goalies tend to use their legs more and their stick to control rebounds. They also, at times, tend to drop into the butterfly with the stick at their side instead of directly in front of them the way most north american trained goalies do. Hiller and Bryz are the first to come to mind. This is a valid method as well, but as I said earlier ultimately it is up to you, or rather your child, to determine what works for you.

As far as a fantastic free goaltending resource, this is the best free one on the web.
scroll down a bit and there is an extremely lengthy pdf manual on goaltending.

digitaljohn 01-12-2013 09:12 PM

Angling the stick also prevents those lame goals where the puck knocks through the stick because the kids don't have the grip/strength yet. Actually can happen to adult goalies too when a shot catches a vertical stick in an odd way.

alcoraces 01-13-2013 01:04 PM

Great, thank you!

CoopALoop 01-13-2013 01:12 PM

Another reason for the angled stick is to "unlock" the blocker arm.

By positioning the stick at a small angle, this forces the goalie to move the blocker hand out from the body. By doing this, it mentally disengages the blocker arm from being stuck to the body at all times and promotes active hands.

Pcmm 01-21-2013 03:01 PM

We've found that angling the stick works AGAINST the goalie. most of the goals let in in our Novice level are from the stick being angled and the puck just riding up the stick and going between the goalie's legs. We focus on keeping the blade of the stick straight up and down to maximize the blocking effect. then again most of our kids want to drop down on their pads all the time too! we only have a couple of kids who can get up with any speed from that. Te also find that if the stick isn't right on the ice, lots of pucks just sneak through in that gap.

AIREAYE 01-21-2013 07:06 PM

An excellent post by my good friend Law Goalie over at MSH : http://www.modsquadhockey.com/forums...paddle-height/

bigbadbruins1 01-24-2013 08:04 AM

It all depends on the goalie. most goalies will have their stick at an angle, but if lack the speed and strength to deflect pucks where you want them to go then it wont be as effective.

Conversely a completely vertical stick will give rebounds straight back in front of the net and its also easier for a good shot to "break through" the blade of the stick with sheer force.

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