Juggling may not be the answer

Traffic was moving pretty well considering it was New York city on a Friday morning. The shuttle bus wove its way from Grand Central toward the Midtown tunnel and out to Queen’s and LaGuardia airport (which really spruced itself up since the last time I flew out of there) and then it hit me!

Early morning walk to catch the shuttle bus - view of the Chrysler Bldg from Lexington.

Early morning walk to catch the shuttle bus – view of the Chrysler Bldg from Lexington.

It was a little crazy, because I wasn’t really thinking about anything much at all when the idea popped into my head.

Wanna know what it is? Some of you are NOT going to like it at all because it goes against what you have been told by your goalie coaches, even by me. Okay, here it is…

I am not convinced that juggling actually improves your hand-eye coordination.

I think it does improve dexterity, maybe it even helps hand-eye coordination, but I don’t think it improves it the way a goalie needs it.

I saw a video posted on FB a few weeks ago with a goalie juggling 3 balls off a wall, just as smooth as silk. It looked awesome – it got my attention for sure.

Then what I shall call the ‘Shuttle Bus Epiphany Of 2016’ hit me; “Is this how a goalie actually uses their hand-eye coordination?”

Do you really need quick response, relatively low velocity, continuous pattern training with your hands? Do you actually need to juggle the puck (sometimes I guess)?

Or do you need:

High velocity
Cognitively rich (like processing data about the stick position, etc)
Unpredictable patterns

I am thinking the latter is more transferable. So I am going to hit the gym to come up with some stuff that will hit on those three points and show you what I mean.

In the meantime, don’t stop juggling – I think dexterity is fine, I just don’t think it delivers you to the promised land.

Stay tuned.

PS – just sharing a little early Monday morning observation here – – the top athletes I train (I mean the pro’s, the Olympians, the best of the best) have elite habits.  They do their training, they ask for help, they invest in coaching, they eat properly, they get their rest, they have a vision for where they are going.  And they didn’t become like that once they “arrived”, those habits are what got them so far.