Questions I Got From Top Goalie Coaches At The WJHC

Over the holiday I was invited to do a Q&A session with some of the top goalie coaches in the world as part of a goaltending conference during the World Junior Hockey Championships.  I want to make sure you get the inside scoop on what they asked and what I told them.  Interestingly, it is a lot of the same stuff you guys ask me.  It was awesome and I was honored to be invited.

Right now I am down in South Beach Miami for my January Mastermind group meeting.  Yesterday it poured rain all day and was a little on the cool side (like 17C) but still much, much warmer than the -25C temperatures we left back home.  It was funny to see people down here in parkas and scarves in what would still be considered ‘shorts’ weather to me.

I will have to tell you about the hotel where we are staying next week.  I need to get some photos because you won’t believe how terrible it is without photo evidence 🙂

The meeting today went really well – I got some good advice from my coaches which will help me do a better job of getting you all the training programs you need to achieve your goals and live your dreams.

Facebook Coaching Group Will Close On Sunday

The second 28-Day Goalie Transformation starts on Monday and I am closing enrollment on Sunday.  We had amazing results with the first group – – that ran over the Christmas break, so I am pretty confident that this January group will meet and in some cases surpass the achievements of the original group.  See why it works and what it is about here – – 28-Day Goalie Transformation HERE.

Questions I Got From Top Goalie Coaches At The WJHC

So I had the opportunity to join Thomas Magnusson, the head of Swedish goaltending development and a group of 125 top goaltending coaches from Scandinavia and around the world (including my friend Magnus Olson) for a Q&A panel at the World Junior Hockey Championships in Malmo, Sweden.

Just to clarify, I was at Revolution Conditioning HQ in London, Ontario and joined the coaches via Skype to answer their questions live.

It was awesome!  There were coaches from all over the world – including Canada and the US, which is a long way to travel, but it just shows again how if you want to be the best you need to invest in yourself and learn from the best.

So today I am going to share with you the questions they asked and my answers – – saved you all a trip to Malmo – yer welcome!

Question #1 – at what age do you start training goalies?

A:  Personally, I typically will start a goalie at 14 years of age (if a goalie is 13 and it is the summer before they go into grade 9, I will start them that summer).   Part of this is because I want goalies under that age to be playing a variety of sports and developing overall athleticism.

Part of it is that I am busy in the gym working with the goalies who are 14-up.

Question #2 – The way I train goalies must be pretty specialized.  How do I do it?

A:  The answer to this one is ‘yes and no’.  Overall, a goalie needs to be an outstanding athlete with mobility, stability, strength, speed and stamina.  They share this in common with the skaters.

However, there are a few specific areas where goalies need some very specific movement patterns.  These areas need the specialized exercises.

I see some trainers who get far too carried away with their ‘goalie specific’ training by having players do off-ice movement drills with their pads on while jumping on a BOSU, etc.

My goal is not to replicate the movements on the ice – that is what you should be working on with your goalie coach – they are the experts in that department.  The goal is to enhance a goalie’s ability to move efficiently and effectively the way they need to.

Question #3 – What do you recommend for a pre-game routine from 1.5 hours before the game?

A: This one got cut off a bit when my internet connection blinked and the Skype connection got dropped, but here is the answer…

  • Hand-eye coordination drills – 5-minutes
  • Self-myofascial release – foam roll, lacrosse ball, etc – 5-10 minutes
  • Static stretch circuit – 5-8 stretches for a 30-45s hold each
  • Dynamic warm-up – 10-15 minutes
  • Could do a little more hand-eye at the end just before getting on the ice

Question #4 – What part of that warm-up would apply to kids.

A:  I liked this question – because this is an area where kids can be more like the ‘pros’ and learn some of these great pre-game habits.  I am shocked by the number of junior or college level players who do not have a pre-game warm-up (or at least a beneficial one)

I think it is just fine for kids to do each element, but just an abridged version that will only take about 10-minutes.

Question #5  – What specifically do I look at in the hips of goalies?

A:  First off, I want the goalies I work with to understand that not all hips are capable of doing the splits and trying to force themselves into positions that their body cannot tolerate is going to lead to injuries.

Hip internal rotation is an area we specifically look at, but again making sure that they feel it in right area – not inside the joint or in the ‘closing’ side of the joint.

Feeling a ‘pinch’ or ‘jam’ in the joint (or on the closing side of the joint) with stretching could indicate there is a bony impingement or it could be a restriction in the joint capsule.

Question #6 – Is there a simple way to tell if a goalie has an impingement in their hips?

A: Again, the answer is ‘yes and no’ – it is fairly easy to see if something is not quite right, but whether that is a true impingement or a capsular restriction or a mobility issue is another question.

So how do you know?  Well, if an athlete is getting a pinch, jam or other type of restriction in the joint when they try certain movements – often you will see it in their squat pattern when they tell you that when the try to get lower they just feel like they ‘can’t get lower’.  It is not necessarily a stretch they feel or pain; they often just feel stuck.

If they have been following a good and regular mobility program, but they still cannot get into certain positions, then it is time to refer them on to a good sport physiotherapist who can assess the player and help figure out where the restriction lies.

In most cases it will not be a bony impingement and can be resolved with some manual therapy or specific stretches, but it is always better to know for sure.

So there you go, now it is just like you were in Malmo with all those top-notch coaches or like you were in rainy Miami with me this week – wow – world traveler!  Talk soon.


PS – don’t forget to check out the 28-Day Goalie Transformation (and see why it works) HERE.  Once Monday hits and we start training, no new members will be added to the private group.