Three off ice goalie drills for a quicker glove hand.

I had a question asking for some off-ice goalie drills that would build a faster glove hand.  The goalie asked if he should be adding resistance to some of his movements to overload the muscle.  I think his logic was in the right direction, but not quite the correct vein.  In my opinion what gives some goalies a quicker glove hand is not the fact that they are stronger, but the fact that they are able to more quickly process the information coming into their brain and send out an reaction impulse to the body.  I also suspect that many of them also do a better job of keeping their glove in a good ready position – although this is getting into the technique side which is not my area of expertise.

So back to the question at hand – how can goalies get a faster more reactive glove hand?  Same way you get to Carnegie Hall – practice – practice – practice.  Have you ever juggled?  Were you great at it the first time you did it? Did it take you eight tries to get it feeling like second nature or did you have to practice for a few days to start getting the hang of it?  Probably the later.  Same goes for your glove hand.  Even if you work on this in practice, how many glove saves do you actually make?  8? 15? 99?  Probably closer to the low end of the scale.  Then think about how many actual glove saves you make in a game – not very many and the truth is that you just do not get much practice tracking and reacting to items with your glove hand.

In the video below I share three drills to help you track and react to an object with your glove hand.  The first one is just juggling and I give you a few tips on ways to make them more specific.  The second two drills are ‘ball drop and catch’ drills that you can do on your own, even if you do not have a wall to bounce the ball off.  If you have someone who can pass the ball to you or you can bounce the ball of the wall, you can do the exact same movements with your glove hand in a more goalie specific position.  I would like that the best!

You will see what I mean when you watch the video and you can have a chuckle at how bad I am at the ball drop-knee drop drill.  I was seriously tempted to edit it out, but then I thought – we are all friends here – hope you can have a good chuckle.  Very bad!!

Happy 2011 gang – let’s get busy making your goals reality!

Cheers,
Maria

PS – if one of your goals is to become a better goalie (and you are serious about it) then I can definitely help by giving you a step-by-step plan that will lead you directly to becoming a better, less injury prone goaltender.  If you are big on ambition, but short on time then you want my fast off-ice training system for goalies.  If you are seriously looking at taking your game to the varsity or pro level then check out my pro-style off-ice goalie specific program.
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Maria Mountain

Maria Mountain is a Fitness Coach and the owner of Revolution Conditioning in London, Ontario. She helps hockey players from AAA to professionals compete at their highest level while reducing their risk of injury. Dedicated to athletes who want to work hard, but train smart.

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