Goalie Dojo

Goalie Development => Goalie Development => : Goalie Coach Apr 12, 2012, 12:33 PM

: Skates and Skating for Goalies
: Goalie Coach Apr 12, 2012, 12:33 PM
In the old days they often put the worst skater in net. Today, the best goalies are also the best skaters on the team. I'm not talking about 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.

That is why goalies sharpen their skates much sharper than they did in the old days. Some goalies even get their skates sharpened differently on the front than the back. Gone are the "goalie cross cut". Most now sharpen like regular player's skates. It depends on personal preferences, but many young goalies get their goalie skates sharpened (regular player cut) with a ROH (radius on hollow) of around 5/8" or 3/4". I started at a duller 1" and then worked my kids down to 5/8" over 3 months. Check the blades and have them sharpened about every 6-8 hours of ice time. There are bound to be nicks in the blade caused by sliding into or jamming the posts. Some like them sharp, some like them duller. See how they skate/perform and adjust accordingly. Also ask them their thoughts. As the kid gets older and more demanding skating techniques are required, you can sharpen at a lower ROH (i.e. sharper blade).

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

Well, 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're 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.

If you want your kid to learn how to skate like a forward/defence that means you believe that your kid being a goalie is only a temporary phase. Being a goalie is a long term commitment like any other position. Don't worry, it's OK to try it out once or for a whole season before changing positions. He or she will have another perspective of the game and a better appreciation for goaltending, and know some extra tricks when it comes to skating and scoring on goalies.

It's OK for a new or young goalie to wear player skates but if he/she is going to continue for more than 1 season and their feet are big enough (child size 12+) , invest in a good pair of goalie skates because they are built for foot protection and the type of skating a goalie needs to do. Goalie skates are designed to distribute weight along the long flat blade for balance and to stand comfortably for a long period of time in addition to allowing easier lateral movement and push-offs. Also, the goalie skates have places to attach the leg pad straps properly under the boot. Unlike the low cut boot of a goalie skate, player skates have a higher cut boot at the back which may interfere with the straps of some leg pads. With player skates, you may have to improvise with some of the bottom leg pad straps.

If you look at young goalies, you will notice that the best ones can move smoothly and quickly to different positions around the net and are not always falling down. 

Skating ability is one of the most important things when it comes to modern goaltending!  8)
: Re: Skates and Skating for Goalies
: YoungGrasshopper Apr 12, 2012, 01:05 PM
Hi Goalie Coach,
Loved your post! I think you really understand the importance of skating which is instrumental to goaltender development. Your last point of goalies in player skates makes me cringe everytime I see that, but at the same time if it's a temporary position then all is well. You sure put that myth to rest though, goalies learn more skating techniques then players actually will in the end and honestly, the small movements look easy, but they kill your legs. Remember goalies don't get to glide, all the stoping and starting is hard work!

What I like most about your post, especially when you talk about the different cuts in skates, is that goaltending is all about preference. Some prefer sharper, others like the feel of a duller skate. Some love to butterfly, while others want to stand or use a one pad save. The key to enjoying goaltending is trying all the different perspectives, and utilizing the most efficient and enjoyable technique that fits you!