Does Size Really Matter? The NHL perspective.
I hopped on the phone with my friend Mike Valley who is the Director of Goaltending for the Dallas Stars to talk goalies and of course we started off by talking about size in goaltenders.
Remember when you were either a big blocking goaltender or a smaller, agile goalie?
Well, Mike makes it very clear that there is still room for smaller goalies but you must be exceptional in these three areas:
• Goaltending IQ
• Patience because you cannot drop and hope the puck hits you
• Reading the pucks off the blade so you can be in the right spot to make the save
• Positioning must be spot on
• Incredible athleticism
So if you are a smaller goalie, don’t despair, you can still be a game changer. Show teams you are an asset in the areas that they look for when drafting goalies:
• Potential to develop over the next several years
• Athletic base
• Ability to learn and be coached
• Mental strength
But if you are a smaller goalie be prepared to fight for it because there are 6’3” goalies out there who are working incredibly hard to improve their athleticism. Like those 300+lbs football lineman who can run 40 yards in five seconds! Are you kidding me? That is what training can do for your athleticism and what used to be the exception is now what every lineman who wants to play at the highest level must have.
You can be the nicest guy, very coachable, but you have to have those skills if you are going to make it.
If you are under 20 years of age and still a smaller goalie, don’t get down on yourself, just do your best day in and day out, see how far you can get and who knows – – maybe a late growth spurt will kick in.
From our discussion of size we went on to talk about:
• Developing skating skills in goaltenders
• Finding consistency as an elite goalie
• How the way you practice leads to consistency
• How the parents of top performers approached their hockey development
• How to work on puck tracking
• The value of being able to do the splits as a goalie
I have posted the entire interview over in the Shutout Academy if you are a member of the SOA, just login for immediate access. If you are not a member yet, then you can learn all about it HERE
My big take away from the entire interview was this quote from Mike…
“You are never as good as you think you are, you are never as bad as you think you are.”
Go get it!