Dave Page Goalie School Week 4

Ben Tompkins, Freedom 2021/Coatesville, making a save during the full-field fast break drill to end the session.

Ben Tompkins, Freedom 2021/Coatesville, making a save during the full-field fast break drill to end the session.

This Sunday, our goalies put in a 4th week of hard work, and the improvements are starting to be noticeable. Having just come off of a week of film, this was an especially productive week for our goalies, since our staff was able to use the film to guide the drills and coaching points for the day. The day went as follows:

All goalies initially warmed up with a series of walk-the-line, arc work, and lateral footwork. After working through this, goalies were split into groups and worked through the following stations:

Attack-stick Low and Tight Bouncers

One of the common themes seen in a lot of our goalies’ film was a tendency to “reach” low for shots rather than bending into their front knee to bring their whole body down to the shot. Also, many goalies were tending to either “drop” their stick to the shot, or “swing” it to the shot, as opposed to driving and attacking it upfield with their hands as well as their feet. Using a smaller stick forces puts goalies at a disadvantage, forcing them to focus on attacking shots and being decisive with their hands as opposed to swinging their stick or blocking shots. With the reduced stopping area, goalies also are forced to get down, because their stick limits their reach.

Angled-cage Hip-high Shots

A Coach Page original, this drill is used to force goalies to get their hands upfield/away from their body to make saves, something that many goalies struggle with on hip shots in particular. Rather than rotating and dropping our hands to our hip on an off-hip shot, we want to get that top hand away from the body. And on stickside hip shots, we want to make sure we aren’t reaching flat to a shot to the pipe, but getting upfield with our hands. To train this, we tilt the cage in a way that allows the shooter to beat the goalie much easier if they are flat with their hands. Think about the goal-line being the same, but the stickside pipe is tilted 18 inches upfield while the shooter is taking a shot from the off-stick wing (across the goalie’s body). If the goalie reaches his hands flat, the ball can sneak inside that 18-inch elevated pipe, but if he drive his hands upfield, he’ll intercept the shot on its path. Keep an eye out for a video demo of this drill to come!

Footwork, Wall-work and Agility

The third station was a fast-paced variety of drills that trained both the technique and athleticism of our goalies. This was a great one, but tough for goalies who headed straight to the Attack Stick station!

All in all, the first month is in the books as a great success for our group of goalies, and with one more to go before we take a 2 week break for the Holiday’s, it’s a great time to be training with us!



Dave Page