Has hockey practice really changed for goaltenders in the last 60 years. Yes they have in the sense that there are now goalie coaches for higher and goalie schools providing team services.
Teams will provide a budget so that the parents can bring in their own goalie coaches or attend their goalie coaches on Ice program.
So, we must admit team practice has changed to a degree. That said, we look at practises in three categories.
- Practice was not worth getting dressed for. After quick warm up, standing around seemed to be the order of the day as the team was busy with breakouts, break-ins, face-offs offensive work and defensive work. Oh someone did come down and take some shots on us if we were lucky. Normally it would be the injured player or one of the coaching staff whose focus was primarily scoring on us.
- Practice impart had something to offer us goaltenders. A warm-up and perhaps one on ones, two on ones, some game situations. Now please understand it really wasn’t designated training for us goaltenders, but it did keep us active for a portion of the practice, if not at least half of the practice. The other half we were left on our own or getting shot on by someone who knew nothing or very little about teaching goaltending.
- In this scenario the practice was full of activity from start to finish. We got a chance to do a variety of things throughout the whole practice involving the game of hockey but not necessarily for specific designated goaltending training where they work on specific weaknesses like they do with the forwards or defence. But we did get a great sweat.
Let’s consider the complete overview of practice time during the season. Let us suggest we have 30 hours of team practice for example for the purpose of seasonal training.
Let us immediately take half of those hours and discard them as illustrated above. We typically lose half our practice time due to the fact we are not being trained or occupied constructively. This time is typically used up to focus on the players skating skill development breakouts offensive and defensive objectives.
Now let’s take the remaining 15 hours and suggest half of those hours we were very active although it was not specific training to strengthen or improve our personal development necessarily. Rather the drills designed for the practice all involved a goaltender being necessary to make the drill more effective.
The rest of the time would be very specific training designated by a goalie coach or someone qualified perhaps to assist us in development.
So as you can see practice for goaltenders isn’t what it should be, doesn’t deliver what it could, and therefore has to change.