Goalie Dojo - Developing the mind, body and spirit of hockey goalies

Goalie Dojo is a dedicated place where goalies, coaches, parents, and fans can learn, share and discuss various topics about ice hockey goaltending. The articles, research and online resources at Goalie Dojo are contributed by experienced goalie "sensei's" around the world who are devoted to the art and science of modern goaltending, and creating an ideal environment and methods for developing young goaltenders. Please feel free to use and contribute to Goalie Dojo.

Goalie Development Goalie Development
Articles and discussions on the art and science of goaltending. Philosophies, methodologies, realities, and politics of goaltending from minor hockey to pro.
Goalie Schools/Coaches
Goalie Schools/Coaches
Find the right "Goalie Dojo"and "Goalie Sensei" in your area. Info, reviews and comments about goalie schools, camps, clinics, and coaches around the world.
Drills/Training Drills/Training
Specific drills and training for goalies from beginner to advanced levels. Instructional videos and training aids. Also see the downloadble tools below!
Goalie Equipment
Goalie Equipment
All about goalie equipment from skates to masks. How to buy, wear, break-in, and modify goalie equipment. News and reviews. Goalie Equipment Buy/Sell Classifieds.
Scouting/Marketing Scouting/Marketing
A place to introduce/market goalies to scouts, coaches and evaluators. Goalies can post info and video links. Goalies Available and Wanted Classifieds.
General Discussion/Forum
General Discussion/Forum
An online forum to discuss and share information, opinions and comments about goaltending and goalies at all levels around the world.

Hot Goaltending Topics

"Shooter/Spectator Illusion" - Understanding Puck Point of View (POV)

Many spectators and non-goalie coaches sometimes criticize goalies for leaving too much room at the top or side of their nets without realizing the shooter and spectator's point of view (POV) is much different than the POV of the puck. Where a shooter sees an opening may be just an "illusion". Goalies should be positioning themselves according to the the POV of the puck - not the shooter. The trajectory of the puck comes from the ice moving in an angle upwards... continue reading more and watch videos showing difference in puck and shooter POV

Fingers Up vs. Fingers Down - How Puck POV relates to Glove Positioning

If goalies play Puck POV then glove positioning is affected. Fingers up or fingers down? Click here to see which glove positioning should be used when playing Puck POV (article, videos and photos)

"Athleticism" - The Buzz Word in Goaltending (Read Article)

How many times do you hear someone use the word "athletic" or "athleticism" when talking about goalies?

"He is an athletic goalie."
"Athletic goalies are better than butterfly goalies."
"I like your kid's athleticism."
"At XYZ Goalie School we stress athleticism."

What does "athletic" or "athleticism" really mean? Read More

Canada Takes Steps to Improve Goalie Development

Hockey was invented in Canada over 100 years ago, yet there is still no formal or national program for goalie development. Young goalies and their parents are often left on their own to find any training. However, recently, Canada has taken steps that will help to develop high quality goalies and compete at the highest international levels.

1. CHL bans import (i.e. European) goalies from draft.
2. Hockey Canada plans to roll out a new goalie coach certification program.

Canada seems be trying to create an enviornment similar to that in some European countries which have been consistently producing elite goalies. It may take 10 years or so to see the results.

Read about Goalie Development in Sweden
Read about Goalie Development in Switzerland
Read about Goalie Development in Canada

"Going Down" is Predominant in Modern Goaltending

USA Hockey 2009 Level 5 Symposium Thesis
The Evolution of Goaltending and Proper Development Methods and Environment for Youth Goalies
Written by Hiroki Wakabayashi

Click to view or download thesis WORD file | PDF file

This thesis studies modern goaltending and the predominance of "going down" (i.e. butterfly) even on high shots, then relates this to the training and development of youth goalies while exposing the problem with net sizes. Real NHL stats and game videos are used to support thesis.

According to Wakabayashi's thesis and research,

"Top level goaltenders today employ the going down movement for over 90% of their saving actions so it would be proper to say the going down movement is the predominant saving action in today's goaltending."

"This commitment of going down and focusing on high shots can be called 'Go Down and Play High Theory'."

In his conclusions, Wakabayashi notes the difficulty in training youth goalies due to the size of the net and the disadvantages net size imposes on developing youth goalies properly.

The Problem with Developing Youth Goalies. The simple fix. Time for a Net Change!

"To train this 'Go Down, Play High' theory, youth goalies should be provided a proper playing environment. The hockey world needs to research and follow other sports to create smaller sized nets for youth goalies. Smaller nets will give youth goalies similar net
coverage as adults, thus they can develop better skating techniques to move to proper saving position and work on the predominant going down movement without sacrificing net coverage. Smaller nets would also help shooters to become more accurate and more creative, and to make goalies move laterally to create more scoring chances which would be beneficial for a better future of hockey."

Possible youth net sizes

Hiroki Wakabayashi is a goalie coach, president of Hockey Lab Japan, and developer of Goaltending DVD's GK Drills Pack 1 and GK Drills Pack 2. (Read bio)

Video showing smaller goalie net used in U7 hockey program (games and practices) in NJ, USA.

Useful Goalie Development Tools for goalies / coaches / instructors / parents

Goalie Stats Sheet Download this preconfigured spreadsheet to easily calculate and keep track of stats for minor hockey goalies. Save percentage is a good stat to watch! Click image to download. (MS Excel or compatible spreadsheet software required).

Goalie Stats Sheet

If you want to use paper and pen instead to keep track of goalie stats, please click to view, save and print the Goalie Stats Sheet PDF version below. Coaches can hand them out to goalie parents. Easy to use. Just remember to count the shots on goal at games.

Goalie Stats Sheet - PDF

Blank goalie drill sheets Goalie coaches and instructors can print these out on standard letter size paper and use to document and show goalie drills to students. Great for the clipboard! Click the image of the drill sheet to view and download the PDF file.

Click to download this goalie drill sheetClick to download this goalie drill sheetClick to download this goalie drill sheetClick to download this goalie drill sheetClick to download this goalie drill sheet

12 Common Crease Drills for goalies to practice movement such as forward/backward sculls or c-cuts, t-pushes, shuffles, backside recoveries and backside-up. Drills can be modified according to level and types of movement to practice. Click the links or images below to view and download the PDF files. Drills #1-6 | Drills #7-12

Crease Drills 1-6  Crease Drills 7-12

Diagram showing "shooting / skaters lanes" to help teach goalie students about angles and positioning. Young goalies are often told to come out (to cut down the angle) and then back in as the shooter comes in. This works fine if the shooter remains in the same lane. But once the shooter crosses to another lane the goalie must account for that and move diagonally/laterally instead of just backing in. Many young goalies "lose their angles" against shooters—especially those coming down the wings! Use the diagram to show where a goalie should be positioned in relation to a moving shooter. The grey areas are the dead angles where the goalie typically tries to seal the post with some type of post integration technique. Click the image to view and download the PDF file.

Click to view and download

Smartphone/Tablet App for Making Videos for Analysis Before, you needed to buy thousands of dollars worth of equipment and software to make slow-motion videos and annotate them. Now there is an app available that does the same thing for less than $5. With the "Coach's Eye" app you can take videos with your smartphone or tablet and then replay them frame-by-frame in slow motion while adding drawings, annotations and even voice overs. Then you can save the video or share it. A great tool for goalie coaches, instructors and parents. See the video below or visit the "Coach's Eye" website for more info. Click here to watch a goalie analysis video made using the app.


Are you a new (or future) Goalie Parent? The "Joy" of Goalie Parenting

A Goalie is Born.....Is your child a goalie? Read Topic

Some children between the ages 4 to 10 show certain signs that he or she may be a good candidate to be a hockey goaltender.

  • Signs that suggest your child has the mind and spirit geared towards being a goalie. more...
  • Signs that suggest your child has the athleticism and physical attributes geared towards being a goalie. more...

The Skating Myth - Goalies can't skate! Read Topic

In the old days they often put the worst or slowest skater in net. Today, the best goalies are also the best skaters on the team—not in terms of speed or doing cross-overs, but quickness, agility, versatility, and balance. Goalies have to do very technical, intricate and sometimes explosive movements with their feet in a small area so they are often using all parts of their skate blade in various foot/leg positions and directions. more...

Some parents don't want their kid playing goalie because they think their kid will not learn to skate.

It is a myth that young goalies do not learn to skate. Goalies do the same skating drills as players in practice—plus goalie specific skating techniques (i.e. shuffles, t-pushes, c-cuts, etc.). You can learn to skate regardless of whether you are a player or goalie, or using player, goalie or even figure skates. Having said that, the best young goalies are those that have good skating fundamentals and balance. So I don't recommend putting your kid in net right away if he/she can't skate. Take them to skating lessons and rec skating as much as possible first. more...

Goalie Dojo Shop Great gifts for goalies, coaches or yourself to show your appreciation for the art and science of goaltending.

Goalie Dojo Training Jacket
Front says either "Sensei" (i.e. for coach/instructor) or "Student" in Japanese and English. Back features large Goalie Dojo design. 2 styles available in Black/White Trim or Black/Red Trim. Click for product details and prices

Goalie Dojo Training Jacket - Front (Sensei)

Goalie Dojo Jerseys
Front features large Goalie Dojo design. 2 styles available in black with white trim in adult and youth sizes.
Click for product details and prices

Goalie Dojo Jerseys

Goalie Dojo T-shirts, hoodies and more...
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Goalie Dojo T-Shirt

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