Locked in a room with 103 goalie coaches…

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Beautiful Madison, Wisconsin

Okay, so maybe I wasn’t LOCKED in there, but there were 103 goalie coaches all assembled in Madison, WI this past weekend for the Network Goaltending symposium. I have been to a lot of goalie camps and a lot of conferences and I can easily say this was hands down the BEST experience I have ever had.

I can’t explain it but there was a feeling in that room; a feeling of fellowship and generosity. Amazing. There may have been egos in the room, but it certainly did not show, which made it a little easier when I had to step up to the podium at 2:30pm on Saturday morning to stand and deliver.  

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3/4 of Network Goaltending – – Justin Goldman, Mike Valley and Thomas Magnusson – you won’t find a better crew.

I was there to talk about off-ice training for goalies – duh.  I am so comfortable talking about the topic and I present a lot, so nerves are not typically a problem, but when I looked out and saw the head of Swedish goaltending development Thomas Magnusson, Dallas Stars goalie coach Mike Valley, former head of Finnish goaltending Hannu Nykvist (now with the Red Bull Hockey Academy in Austria)…plus Jamie McLennan, Evgeni Nabokov, Brian D’Accord, Bob Janosz, Chris Terreri, Fred Brathwaite, Johan Hedberg, Jordan Sigalet, Mike BalesRobb Tallas…. you get the idea….I confess the nerves bubbled up a little.

Then Larry Sadler came up to me, leaned close and whispered some words of encouragement into my left ear…”Don’t F#$% it up” – – good advice 🙂  It was just what I needed.

Anyway, my presentations went well – I learned a ton – I will share more with you later.

So here are the top 10 moments from the Network Goaltending Symposium in no particular order…

  1. 2015-08-29 14.47.03

    Time to talk OFF-ICE training…

    Meeting Mike Valley in person for the first time, such a generous guy anyone would want to hang out with him and I predict that pro goalies will continue to flourish with him as their coach because he genuinely has their best interests at heart.  It is about THEM, not Mike.

  2. No one ever said, “Who brought the girl??”
  3. Learning about Finnish goalie development from Hannu – how much the emphasize the basics.
  4. Being surrounded by a group of ego-less goalie coaches in a spirit of sharing and learning for 3-days
  5. Visiting beautiful Madison, Wisconsin and more importantly accomphaying the group out to a compus bar and managing to remember that I was not back in University… in other words I manged to control myself and make things a lo easier for my 9:30am presentation on Sunday morning.
  6. Learning about the VH and the Reverse VH from the “Godfather” of Swedish goaltending, Thomas Magnusson.  I obviously knew the difference, but he did a great job of explainging the different styles for hte Reverse VH, why differnet goalis use them AND how they do that weird swivel around the post thing.
  7. Discovering that things I think are so blatatnly obvious – like the importance of a neutral pelvis is a foreign concept at the player and coach level.
  8. Dicovering that things that “look cool” – I am looking at you standing on a stability ball – are still thought to be beneficial.
  9. Spending two hours talking about hip mechanics, injuries and training with physiotherapist Robbie Ohashi and the University of Wisconsin’s hockey Strength and Conditioning Coach Jim Snider.  We locked ourselves away in the hockey team’s weight room (yes, a weight room for the hockey team) and learned, discussed, practiced – it was one of the best learning experiences I have had in the last 5-years.
  10. Meeting goalie coaches from youth hockey up to the NHL – putting faces to names I have know for years through HockeyTrainingPro.com.  Again, when people ask me “Why goalies??” with that screwed up look on their face… THIS is why!

Bonus – shooting quick 2-minute videos with Mike Valley, Chris Terreri, Fred Brathwaite and Thomas Magnusson – I will share those with you over the next couple of weeks.

You know those players who are just such awesome people, you want them to succeed at the highest level?  Well, that is how I feel about the guys from Network Goaltending.  I will go back to this event year after year after year – if only to witness the shenanigans at Wando’s on the Saturday night.

If you are a coach, put it on your calendar for next year and register as soon as you can.  It will sell out fast.  If you are a player or coach then follow Network Goaltending to help you develop your craft.  It will make you better.  No gimmicks, just the best of the best!