Have you ever felt like that?
Like you have more pucks bouncing off your glove than you actually catch in the pocket?
I had the same problem (still do a bit) until I stumbled upon this discovery and it transformed how I train hand-eye coordination in goalies.
Here’s the video from the day it actually went down:
Here’s the rationale behind it – – here’s why it actually works based on the science.
When you train a motor skill – which is what you are training when you do “hand-eye” training. You aren’t really making your reaction faster. You are just making a more efficient and effective response. You are taking a more direct line to the puck, you are running a motor program that says “I know exactly where to be” rather than a motor program that says “I think it is somewhere around here”.
The speed of nerve impulses (which is what reflexes limited by) is pretty constant, you cannot train your nerves to conduct faster, but you can train them to take a more direct route to the right muscle fibres for the right response.
So, when you train a motor skill, the trained response or motor pattern is SPECIFIC.
In other words, if I am trying to train you to push a red button as fast as possible and we train over and over again with the red button in one spot – – you will get really good at it.
Now let’s say we are going to test your ability to push that red button as fast as possible. Let’s say you will win a Tesla if you push it the fastest… but the button has been moved 5 inches up… you will not be as fast. You can still be fast, but you will not be as fast because the pattern is different now.
When you do your hand-eye training with a bare hand, you are training yourself to catch in your palm.
👉 Go get your glove right now and put it on.
👉 Point at the middle of your hand (where you catch a ball barehand).
👉 Now point at the pocket of your glove.
👉 Are they anywhere close to the same?
👉 Nope, the sure aren’t.
Are you thinking to yourself “That makes so much sense. Why didn’t I think of that?”
I know, that’s what I was saying too… other than the fact that I did think of it J
What about when I catch with my non- glove hand
My suggestion is don’t bother catching with your non- glove hand.
Are you EVER catching a puck with your blocker – – not ideally, I know it will happen sometimes in desperation, but we won’t focus our training on that.
For your blocker side, you should practice blocker drills like this one >> https://youtu.be/sF93pow0_40
Practice the skill
The bottom line here is you need to practice the skill of catching. For most of you the problem is that you just aren’t good at catching the puck rather than some ‘puck tracking issue’ – – that is good to work on too, but the skill of catching is the key.
Can you go out and play catch with your goalie glove and never drop a ball?
That is a great place to start and it is free.
Go get it!
PS – – – don’t just read this and go ‘huh – that is cool’ — actually DO it DoDo. Nothing will change until you take action! If you already ‘get it’ and you are thinking “I wish I just has a step-by-step program that I could just follow to transform my game and finally be the goalie I know I can be” then you can click below 👇