I've been wondering lately how hard it is to transition to a goalie position. I had always wanted to try it but never got a chance.
Has anyone ever done it? I'm 29 and don't really play anything competitive anymore. What are things I should be considering other than the obvious cost?
I imagine its a little bit harder considering the network of people I know from playing hockey know me as a forward. I guess if it comes up this year and we have a no show goalie some nights like we did last season, I can volunteer to use someones equipment - normally I would never do that because its disgusting but would save me at least a $1000 in equipment costs to try it out once and at least see if I like it
Last season I played hockey for the first time in almost 10 years. I'm 22, so you can imagine that when I was 11 I wasn't that great at hockey to begin with, then 10 years of nothing makes that even worse. Spent the whole season playing rec league and shinny stuff as a player. Then I decided I wanted to fulfill my childhood dream of being a goalie, so I scoured ebay and local stores for all the second hand gear I could find. I only managed to hit the ice twice last year as a goalie, but here is what I can pass on about my experiences.
Expect to suck. I mean really, really suck. The skates are much different than player skates and even just making it to the net my first time out was a little tricky. I think the hardest thing I found was maneuvering around the crease, especially once I was in the butterfly. Goalies make the butterfly slide look a lot easier than it is.
This summer I went to one indoor 'shinny' session but soon found out all the players were extremely skilled including a number of pro's who were getting back in shape for the AHL, BCHL, and one guy who plays in Korea. Suffice to say, being it was my third time ever as a goalie, I got hilariously lit up. On the bright side nobody gave me a hard time about it. Still didn't feel good. I can imagine this winter when I play some more I'll have to deal with players getting mad at me.
That being said, I'm not discouraged and intend to stick with it until I'm confident enough to find a really low division team to 'tend full time for. Certainly seems like its worth all the money and heart ache.
Find a learn to play league to tend net for, they'll let you play for free and will give you all the shots you ever care to see. They don't care if you stop the puck or not and you don't have to feel intimidated looking like a spaz when you first start. No matter what, have fun and make sure you learn to stretch out.
I actually swapped out for a game with my goalie in the beginner league in my first season and it was a BLAST and made me want to play that much more, but the whole spending an as*load of $$ stops that.
Its really alot of fun you just have to really be aware of angles yadda yadda. If you can just try at a stick n puck session or something to try out all the gear and get a feel for it it helps a ton, I did that before the game so I didnt go in not having a feel for anything(and also got schooled by abuncha kids but it was still fun!).
May just be me, but I learned very quickly my 5-hole was weak as hell at the stick n puck. Gotta keep those legs SPREAD so when you go down you can properly cover that hole without the leg pads gettin all bunched up. After workin on that at the stick and puck and bruisn the crap outta my knees from goin down I didn't allow a single 5-hole goal during the game was pretty proud of myself.
Just gotta make sure you keep your eye on the puck, be aware of any quick passes across the ice that may come and defanitly be prepared for rebounds.
Obviously playing one game as a goalie doesn't make me an expert, but pretty much from a beginners eyes just get a feel for the equipment and skates and prepare to be hitting the ice with your knees alot and gettin back up(gets tiring as hell T_T). Seems to be alot of a head game really and just being aware and in the zone.
Also another big tip keep that stick on the ice! It helps a ton especially for coverin that 5-hole when you are standing up. I would HIGHLY advise from tryin to handle the puck or skatin out of the net to get it, being new to goalie equipment chances are youll just totally screw up.
Just enjoy, don't get too discouraged hopefully your team understands they cant completely rely on you, I know I lost the game I played 1-4 but I was only a goal allowed over average if that.
Give it a shot, if your team mates are ok with it then see how that first game goes and if you made a good amount of saves you will build up confidence and only get better.
just one question, have you suffered a head injury lately?
Hahaha, I can proudly answer no on that.
Originally Posted by Crosbyfan
It's really not a transition. It's essentially a different sport.
Good skating will help and athleticism generally but otherwise all you bring with you is an understanding of the game.
I realize that now! I did a ton of reading yesterday on the Vaughn website with all their goaltender resources page on different articles on situations and things to consider. Their article on breakaways is great.
Now that I'm a bit more educated on the different approach that goalies have to take as opposed to skating positions - I respect all the goalies so much more now! Until this week, I seriously did not comprehend the amount of detail needed in their play for them to be successful.
i didn't start playing any goal until my 20's. played regular goal in 'scrub', 'pickup', whatever you want to call it for a few years. usually play defence now but still fill in once in a while in goal.
got a set out equipment from a retiring goaltender then, and have upgraded over the years. at least now i don't have to deal with the heavier leather pads stuffed with deer hair (thought they molded better to your legs, they weighed a ton by the end of a game) and the 2 piece chest and arm protectors (arm protector was crappy even with added padding) that i originally had.
use a players helmet with a cooper goalie cage that i got at my local hockey shop. except for sticks, goalie jock, and a cage i'd get everything used - kijiji, craigslist, ebay (ask for shipping cost) & ads at arenas, etc.
make sure you get a good fitting pair of goalie skates - my first pair was at least a half size or more too big, and the transition to goalie skates is enough of a problem without that.
if you get a somewhat older set of goalie pads, buy some knee pads too - you'll appreciate the extra padding/protection for your knees.
things i did wrong at first (and to a lesser extent now) - didn't keep my stick flat on the ice, covered the short side too much, didn't always keep aware where i was in regards to the net, backed in too far. you'll become quickly aware of your faults - just try to not overcompensate the other way. don't get too hard on yourself either - it's like a different game in goal.
One thing you'll notice differently right away, since you played out is...as you're watching the puck advance towards you, you'll see the play develop and unfold far better from your position than from anywhere else. Notice who is attacking your net AWAY from the puck. You'll have to keep aware of where they are on the ice at all times. It helps you anticipate cross ice passes. Good luck in your new quest dream-killer. Stop many pucks and be the bane of many shooters.