small goalie in need of angle help
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small goalie in need of angle help

This is a discussion on small goalie in need of angle help within the Proper Technique/Style forums, part of the The Clinic category; so im only 4'11 and im going to play for my schools boys varsity team. last year (i was only ...

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    N00b pouncekittypounce1's Avatar
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    Post small goalie in need of angle help

    so im only 4'11 and im going to play for my schools boys varsity team. last year (i was only in 8th grade) i played as the starting goalie for our junior varsity team, basically by default. I did alright considering i havent played for very long. one thing ive been pretty good with, but struggling with, is angles. Im pretty sure its angles. and since im smaller, and will be playing at a pretty high level (for a girl) i was wondering if any of you smaller goalies at high levels have any advicd for angles? ive gotten a lot of good tips from my goalie coaches (one smaller like me) but im wondering if any of you respected goalies have anything different to tell me. thanks~!

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    Journeyman Berke Ricketti's Avatar
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    One of the first things I learned to improve my angles was landmarks on a standard rink (this works with NHL spec rinks, but also other ones. Just make sure to look around the place before the puck drops).

    Every rink had 9 landmarks you can use. Starting from your left hand side to your right hand side:

    1. Where the goal line meets the boards.
    2. The outside hashmarks.
    3. Where the blue line meets the boards.
    4. The Neutral zone faceoff dot.
    5. The center ice faceoff dot.
    6. The Neutral zone faceoff dot.
    7. Where the blue line meets the boards.
    8. The outside hashmarks.
    9. Where the goal line meets the boards.

    If you work under the assumption that in all rinks these will be in the same location with respect to one another, you can then use this to judge your position with respect to the net, and not have to constantly touch your posts.

    Also, I would recommend working a LOT on your skating and speed. As a smaller goalie, you will need to come out farther to cut off the shooting angles, which means you will need to be fast enough to not be caught out of position on cross-ice or backdoor passes.

    Goodluck!
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    Veteran Fullright's Avatar
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    Small? You bet. Well respected?....uuuhhhmmm.

    Berke gives you really sound advice. I would add to his list that it is imperative for you to learn your posts. Use your gloves/arms/stick handle to center yourself to the puck in relation to the net. One way which helped me during my time is to simply get in your stance and practice backing up getting an intuitive feel for the crossbar or get set on the goal line and back up to get an intuitive feel for the end boards. Focus on the posts rather than the crease itself because each rink will probably paint them differently. What you are trying to in grain is your sixth sense of where things are located. I also, like Berke, emphasize that you must continue to work on your skating. You likely are already a good skater but you cant ever better satisfied with your skating. Last thing: you are going to be a younger player playing older players. This might be hard for some time. They will test you and you need to be patient with yourself!

    Congratulations and enjoy yourself!

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    Superstar JDT47's Avatar
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    learn to be patient on the shot. dont go down until the shot is released as you being so small, they will have a lot up top to shoot at once you go down.
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    I'm playing under18A as a 5'3" 14 year old. I do have a couple tips that really helped me with angles but also in goaltending in general. First come out of your net ALOT. It's going to feel uncomfortable, atleast for me it did, but it will help tons. Cut off the angle as much as physically possible and that will give you some advantage already. Also play big. Make yourself look and feel big. stand up alittle and puff out your chest with confidence. Dare the shooter to score body language not only makes you feel more confident, but shooters recognize this whether consciously or not and it will throw them off. Shooters know when your not confident in yourself and will take advantage of it. Because your smaller shooters will shoot higher than usual so stay up. 80% of the shots you will face will be above the waist i guarantee. If you are facing shooters that are smart their main goal in life is to make you butterfly so they can shoot over your shoulders. They'll leg kick, smack their stick on the ice, wind up for a fake slap shot, they'll do anything to make you butterfly but if you stay calm and keep your feet planted in a confident stance it scares them. they wont know what to do which usually causes a shot right into you or they will try to hard to pick a corner and miss the net. Hope i helped alittle bit. Oh also whenever you go to make a save say in your head over and over i can make this save. i will make this save. it will help. :)
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    Veteran IB>50's Avatar
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    For the record, I'm 5'7" - never thought I'd have to ask this, but I hope I'm not too tall to join this thread :)

    Great advice from all! With regards to Berke's list, (I found) the best one to start with is number 5 - the centre ice dot. Stand in the middle of your crease and look across the centre ice dot - at this point, you should be looking at the centre of the other net. Stand at the left post and looking across the dot, you should be looking directly at the right post of the other net etc - you can see the visual relationships quite quickly with this procedure. This was the first trick I learned and it helped a lot. Note, I'm not suggesting you do this in the heat of battle - do this at practice, during pre-game warmup, and/or while play is in the other end! What you want to then do, is develop so that you can work backwards - at any time you are in the net, using any of the visual cues (all 9 of Berke's), without checking, you should be able to say where you are in with respect to the net (i.e. three feet off the goal line, 1 foot inside my right post etc..) Then check and see how close you really are. Time and practice will get this to be very natural, such that you will know without consciously checking your cues exactly where you are.

    As Willl... said, come out a lot and get used to backing into a specific position in your crease without checking - start small. Go 3 - 5 feet out of your crease, and try to back into a point say on the crease line and 2 feet off one of the posts(not saying this is where you should be, just picking a spot for example's sake). Keep at it! Of course, skating skills help - a lot of goalies struggle simply due to the fact that they think they are backing straight in when really (possible due to assymetric strength of a dominant foot/leg) they are moving in an arc or slightly lateral directon

    The beauty of these drills is that you don't need to be at a game or practice, nor do you need all your gear. Just grab your skates and go to a local "everyone welcome" type skate. Hang around the crease and do a bit of practice - watch out for the other skaters :) You'd be surprised what a couple of half hour to one hour sessions do for your positional play.

    BTW - the handle of my (white) stick is red from incessantly tapping on the right post both before I start my rush out to cut down the angle and any other chance I get when play is buzzing about in my end! My catching glove is black, but I'm sure the tip of the trapper is red as well

    Good luck

    A
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    Veteran IB>50's Avatar
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    Yikes - forgot one of the most important points - Line yourself up with the puck - NOT with the shooter's body. When I started, I never had any real goalie coaching, so it took me quite a while to figure this out for myself. This is especially important when (a) the shooter is on his/her wrong wing. (b) the shooter has a long reach (c) when the play is in close!!!!!!!
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    I'm 5'6" and regularly tap the posts with my trapper and stick to verify my bearings.
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    Berks ( points have helped me alot. The one thing I am TRYING to work on more is staying aggressive. I will come out, but usually end up backing up far too quickly and that just leaves too much net exposed. Also being being confident and aggressive (as someone mentioned) it will make the shooter second guess which will allow you enough time to throw a poke check or force them to take shot as opposed to taking the shot on their terms, which hopefully sails past the post or into your bread basket for an easy save.

    I know typing this is one thing, and I could coach all the points to a fellow goalie but for me putting this in to practice is somewhat difficult. after each goal (yes there are a few of them lol) I can tell you on almost everyone what I did wrong, but yet can not seem to learn quickly from this. I also do not get any practice session, its game or nothing mostly so can be a costly error if trying something for first time.

    All these suggestion have been beneficial readings to me also, so thank you for your great input.

    I am 5'7" also, not very flexable, and still relativley new to the postion.
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    [COLOR=#222222][FONT=Verdana]I'm a 6'2" goaltender, so I don't have this problem, but some of the goalies I work with complain about not being tall enough, and ask what they can do about it. First and foremost I tell them being short doesn't mean you can't hack it as a goalie. One example I love telling my shorter goalies about is the 2007 NCAA Division I national championship. At one end you have a 6'7" very talented Ben Bishop and at the other you have one of the most tenacious goalies I've ever seen Jeff Lerg sizing up at barely 5'6 (13" inches shorter). While both goalies played an incredible game, Jeff Lerg and the Michigan State Spartans edged Maine for the title. A great interview to read with Jeff Lerg is here.

    [COLOR=#800080]http://tdevils.wordpress.com/2010/03/09/jeff-lerg-qa/[/COLOR]

    I think that many shorter goalies out there can look at Jeff Lerg and why he was so successful despite his lack of height and apply some of his same technique to their game. I think angles are important no matter what your height is, and arguably I think they are more important for us slower taller goalies than the quicker shorter ones. With any goalie, no matter how tall or short you are, maximizing your net coverage is the name of the game. I feel that your best bet as a shorter goalie would be to focus on (along with your angles) your depth, proximity to the puck, and center body position while relying on your quickness to recover.

    Like most of those who posted before me said, Depth is even more crucial for the shorter goalies on shots anywhere from a stick length away and out. I always tell my goalies gain depth on the shooter, meaning get out of the net, challenge and attack the puck. Us taller goalies have to be careful how far out of the net we wonder because it makes it increasingly harder to move the extra distance to adjust angle or react to a back door rebound/pass. By nature, a shorter goalie has less mass to move and thus should be quicker moving from point A to point B. Depth allows you to gain more net coverage and elevates the percentage of making a save. It is important to note that when you are coming out of the net to challenge the shooter, be sure you to STOP moving forward before the shot is taken. It is very difficult for a goalie to execute a save when he is still moving towards the shooter. An example of this is at the 1:03 mark of this video where you can see I never stop moving towards the shooter and as a result what should have been an routine save ended up being a game winning goal.

    Proximity to the puck is similar to depth, but I use this when talking about in tight plays. Typically scramble situations. Proximity to the puck is achieved by getting some part of your body as close to the puck as possible eliminating any chance of your opponent shooting a puck over you. This can be done by getting your hands out in front of you towards the puck, or even your whole body. For shorter goalies this is very important because it allows you to cut down the angle that your opponent has in getting the puck over your body and into the net. A side note to this: When in you are in the butterfly position, be sure to keep your butt up and off your skates. Too many goalies I see, sit back in their butterfly. Get your chest and butt up and cover as much net as possible.

    Center body position (similar in concept to angles) is one part of my game that I worked very hard on to help elevate myself to the next level and it applies for all heights. This works simply by positioning the center point of your body directly inline with the puck and the net. Often times when I'm digging the biscuit out of the back of my net, and reviewing what I did wrong when the puck got past me, I realize I was too flat line to the puck. Meaning that when the shooter took the shot, my chest wasn't faced towards the puck, rather I was flat with the goal line and my chest was facing down ice. It is very important, especially for shorter goalies to get your body square to the shooter. This means hips closed on the target and the center of your chest directly in line with the puck and the back of the net.[/FONT][/COLOR]
    [COLOR=#222222][FONT=Verdana] [/FONT][/COLOR]
    [COLOR=#222222][FONT=Verdana]Lastly I would suggest working on ALL of the things talked about in this thread during practice or some open ice time. Games aren’t a place for goalies to work on improving. Games are when you have fun, compete hard, and shut your mind off. [/FONT][/COLOR]
    [COLOR=#222222][FONT=Verdana] [/FONT][/COLOR]
    [COLOR=#222222][FONT=Verdana]Hope this helps![/FONT][/COLOR]

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