How To Coach Hockey Goalies

How To Coach Hockey Goalies
Coaching hockey goalies requires a specialized set of skills and knowledge. Here are five key facts to consider when coaching hockey goalies:

1. Understand the position: Coaching hockey goalies requires a deep understanding of the position and its unique demands. Goalies have different responsibilities and face different challenges compared to other players on the ice.

2. Focus on fundamentals: Developing strong fundamental skills is essential for goaltenders. Emphasize proper positioning, skating, and technique to ensure goalies have a solid foundation to build upon.

3. Mental preparation: Being a goalie can be mentally challenging. Help goalies develop techniques for managing stress, staying focused, and rebounding from setbacks. Teaching visualization and concentration exercises can be beneficial.

4. Communication is crucial: Goalies should have strong communication skills to effectively coordinate with their defensemen and other players. Encourage goalies to direct their teammates and provide clear instructions during gameplay.

5. Individualized coaching: Each goalie is unique and may require individualized coaching. Pay attention to their strengths and weaknesses, identify areas for improvement, and tailor your coaching approach accordingly.


1. How can I help goalies improve their reflexes?
Answer: Incorporate drills that focus on quick reactions, such as rapid-fire shooting or reaction-based hand-eye coordination exercises.

2. What are some effective ways to teach proper positioning?
Answer: Utilize visual aids, like diagrams or videos, to illustrate the correct positioning techniques. Practice drills that specifically target positioning skills.

3. How can I help goalie build their confidence?
Answer: Provide positive reinforcement and constructive feedback. Encourage goalies to set small achievable goals and celebrate their successes.

4. Should I focus on teaching the butterfly technique?
Answer: The butterfly technique is a fundamental skill for goalies, so it should be a priority. However, also teach other techniques based on the individual goalie’s style and abilities.

5. How can I help goalies improve their rebound control?
Answer: Incorporate drills that simulate shots with rebounds and teach goalies techniques to control the puck after a save, such as directing it to a specific area or smothering it.

6. How can I best prepare goalies for high-pressure situations?
Answer: Design drills that mimic game situations and introduce pressure through time constraints or added distractions. Gradually increase the difficulty level over time.

7. How important is physical conditioning for goalies?
Answer: Physical conditioning is crucial for goalies to maintain strength, endurance, and quickness on the ice. Incorporate off-ice workouts that focus on core strength, flexibility, and cardio.

Coaching hockey goalies requires a deep understanding of the position, focusing on fundamentals, providing mental preparation techniques, emphasizing communication, and individualizing coaching approaches. Utilize various drills, feedback, and exercises to help goalies improve their skills, reflexes, confidence, and ability to handle high-pressure situations. Physical conditioning is also essential for their overall performance on the ice.