Stopping a hockey puck is one of the hardest things to do in all of sports. It’s a daunting task, and intimidating, for sure. To be a hockey goalie, you have to be fearless, agile, and quick, both in mind and body. Some of these traits: being fearless and having a quick mind, cannot be trained, because they are often innate. The physical aspects of being a goaltender can be learned.
Let’s start with the basics. To stop a puck, a goaltender has a large stick, gloves, a blocker, leg pads, and a chest pad. During the game, the goaltender spends the majority of his time in front of his team’s net, but if his team is trailing, the goaltender can be â€œpulledâ€ in exchange for an additional offensive player, with the goal of providing an additional offensive player to score a goal.
Over the history of the game, and due to concerns about injuries, the goaltender’s pads and equipment have expanded in size. This provides an advantage to today’s goalkeepers, as the goals have not expanded in size. However, stopping a hockey puck is still incredibly hard and involves a lot of training and knowledge. The goaltender still has to have skill in when to use which piece of equipment: his blocker, his stick, his glove, or his leg pads.
In terms of physical training the best way to do this is to practice footwork, strengthen forearms, and improve reflexes. Footwork is important because the goaltender must navigate a refined space very quickly. So goaltenders often do “land-based” drills with cones; the goaltender is instructed to navigate around the cones, often in a set pattern, in the fastest time possible. Goaltenders must lift weights and do strenuous exercise in order to build muscle, both for endurance and stamina, but also for reflexive purposes.
It’s very important that a hockey goalie has well-developed leg muscles, as he will often be crouched down in a near-sitting position for most of the game. In addition, as mentioned before, the goaltender is allowed to use the pads on his legs to stop the puck. One such maneuver, one of the more visually pleasing moves a goaltender can execute, is a “kick save” in which he will extend his legs to stop a swiftly moving puck.
Goaltenders also have large elongated sticks, with a wide end. It’s important that the goaltender have strong forearms so that he can stop any pucks headed toward his direction. In addition, the stick can be used to jab at pucks that are near the goal entrance. The goaltender must be well-trained to not drop his stick, as doing so will put him at a disadvantage. Perhaps above all, a goaltender needs to be trained in order to have excellent eyesight and reactions. This can be developed through various cognitive tests and mental games.
Quality goalie gear, whether you are a professional or playing in a league, is important in regards to safety and wearability. Goalie gear can be found on sites like Goalie Monkey, which offers Senior, Intermediate, Junior, and Youth varieties.
The goaltender is the last line of defense for his team, so he must be well-trained physically and mentally, and he must be able to anticipate where the puck is going to be, and not where it has already been. It’s a complex position that requires the utmost of devotion