This page contains the following information after the intro:

Section 1 - Tips on your first time out with Overdrive.
Section 2 - A look at scraping on the butterfly slide, which often worries goalies new to Overdrive.
Section 3 - Butterfly slide problems and ankle control.
Section 4 - A technique break because I couldn't resist, looking at dropping the moving leg, the VH and RVH.
Section 5 - Hints on getting Overdrive working.
Section 6 - Some notes on practice.

It's only natural for goalies to be worried about something as radical as putting an extra blade on their skates. Goaltender is an incredibly complex position, and the moves take forever to learn and to keep, so you don't want anything messing with them because it can cost you goals. The good news is that adjusting to Overdrive is very easy, but getting the most out of it takes some of work. Everyone has to learn how to use it. In addition, it's very common for goalies to put it on and wonder where it is. Two reasons for this are:

1-Overdrive on a car is 5th gear, meaning you use it after you've moved out of 4th gear. Originally, Overdrive was marketed for elite goalies who had 4 gears and needed more. If you're not moving out of 3rd gear on your moves, you won't be using Overdrive for much more than holding a wide stance.

2-Your feet will be programmed to avoid Overdrive. Whether you are elite level or not, at the beginning, your feet will avoid rolling into Overdrive because that would have previously caused a slipout (below #1). Now, with Overdrive, you not only have to roll your foot down into the ice, but you also have to grind it in (below #2), and that takes some time to learn, even for a top-level goalie. When Overdrive was legal, I saw NHL'ers put the blade on, work their moves, and do well with it. I also saw others put it on and expect it to do all the work, and they didn't get much out of it. Overdrive is a tool like any other and you have to learn how to use it.

Aside from the outlawing, the biggest complaint about Overdrive comes from goalies who put it on and don't notice it, they don't think it does much, but remember that the NHL outlawed Overdrive because it worked. If you aren't noticing it enough or are having problems with a move, call or e-mail me, but my advice will boil down to one thing - practice - and there's some helpful advice on this at the end of the page.

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When you first step onto the ice with the blade, you'll have a few worries about strange things happening to your feet, so the first thing to do is take a turn around the ice to realize that nothing horrible is going to happen. If you take a long, wide stride, you might feel Overdrive at the very end of your stride, and if you take a sharp turn, you might feel Overdrive on the outside skate.

Usually, the next thing I'll do is get down for some light stretching. Here's where you should be able to feel Overdrive. Go into a butterfly, slide one leg out (below left), and try to dig the toe in to get some bite from Overdrive by pushing the toe down (below right, purple arrow) and then out (white arrows). Move the foot around until you feel the blade catching or scraping. You should be able to hear it too; it makes a scratchy, scraping sound.
Once you have an idea of how to get hold of Overdrive, try digging it in to see if you can secure the foot enough to hold a small push of a few inches. Prior to getting the 'moves while down', you'll need to start small by doing this. The key to every Overdrive move is to get your feet moving in two ways. Move 'A' below is similar to when you stand on your tip-toes, which makes sense because with Overdrive we are adding more power from the toes. The move should use the full calf extension, similar to going all the way up on your tip-toes, not halfway.

Move 'B' is the one that you need to learn because goalie feet are programmed NOT to do this. Frame 1 above shows the skate with both Overdrive and the main blade on the ice. From that position, your foot has to roll down into Overdrive WITH FORCE (Frame 2+3). You have to dig it in and push down HARD (purple arrows). Without Overdrive, this would roll you into a wicked bootout, which is why you'll have to re-program your feet to do this. Be patient and remember that it takes some time to develop this move because Overdrive is a small blade with a thin grip on the ice.

In frame 1 above, the blue triangle shows Overdrive (white tip) and the main blade (purple tip) both on the ice. As the foot rolls, the triangle rolls onto the white tip, Overdrive (2+3). A failure to get this rolling motion is why some goalies are dissatisfied with Overdrive. They'll push straight across (red arrow under triangle #1) without adding in the rolling motion or the downward force in 2+3 .

Above (1-5) shows how the foot uses the blade to get a full push, rolling down hard into the blade and raising the heel all the way up. As you push across,you should hear the blade cutting into the ice, but you can also check how much you are using it by looking at the size of the mark Overdrive leaves. If you are rolling the foot properly, the Overdrive mark will be about 3" long, the full length of the blade. Even though Overdrive is curved, the mark will be straight and sit parallel to the mark the main blade leaves (below right, A).

 

As well as combining moves A + B into your foot roll, you'll also have to add that into a wider move, beyond the point when the foot has normally stopped working. I'm making this sound more complicated than it is, because everything comes naturally with practice, but let's take a look.

Above is a butterfly push to the right with Overdrive. The goalie in frame 1 is down and has lifted his left leg to push across with. In frames 2,3,4, he pushes across to a full extension. Without Overdrive, he'll run out of blade to push with before that, let's say in #3. When you put on Overdrive, your move will be programmed to stop pushing when your body is in position #3, so you'll have to practice the move to get it used to pushing farther and wider, to the position in frame 4. Again, this happens naturally when you practice the move.

Another thing you might want to try your first time out is to see how wide you can get with Overdrive. Take the position above, making sure to support yourself with your hands for safety. You should be able to get very wide on all four blades without the feet giving way. The idea here is to get a feel for the increased width.

Next, take a wide stance and test it to see how solid it will be (below). Then try moving out of it with a t-push left and right (below left) and a butterfly slide left and right (below right). It's important to learn how to move hard from a wide stance, because this is a huge advantage that Overdrive adds to your game.

So there are a few simple things to look at when you first use Overdrive. At this point, you'll probably have to start taking warm-up shots, and here, you should forget about Overdrive and focus on the puck. Don't get distracted by the blade and don't start changing your moves. Go through your game and get comfortable with the idea of another blade being down there. Then when you're not worried about it, you can start working on extending your moves.
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I've called this section 'butterfly slide scraping' because it is the only move this can happen on (below, 1-4, particularly around frame 2). On no other move does the foot slide out and load weight in this way. All references to scraping concern the butterfly slide.

Overdrive was originally marketed to elite goalies as a 5th gear, but since beginner goalies found it helped stabilize their stance and adding to their push, I sold it as a general add-on. However, problems cropped up because beginner goalies who hadn't smoothed out their butterfly slide were getting scraping, mainly because the move itself was slow, rough and sometimes awkward. Scraping is almost always an indication that your butterfly slide needs work.

Also, know that setting the blade farther out offers no additional power advantage because it will only lever you off the main blade early, AND, this positioning will increase the likelihood of scraping. New goalies who install the blade farther out in the hopes that they will have more power on their butterfly pushes are making a mistake. Install the blade as shown and practice your moves.

With every alteration of equipment, you gain and you lose, the gains hopefully outweighing the losses. A curved stick gives you a better forehand, but your backhand suffers. With Overdrive, you gain a large advantage in mobility and safety, but you might get some scraping on your butterfly slide that is very easy to get rid of. It's a pretty good trade-off. The image below shows a skate sliding out without Overdrive, and there's no doubt that you'll get an unhindered slide every time. The side of the boot has zero grip and can slide out very fast, but this becomes a problem when you want the same foot to hold for a push. You can't have both perfect slide and perfect push, but Overdrive comes very close.

Below is the same skate sliding out with Overdrive, and you can see that it is contacting the ice (blue arrow), which can cause scraping. An experienced goalie with a fast butterfly slide and a proper foot roll may notice a small 'click' as the skate flicks through Overdrive. A new goalie with a slower, more tentative butterfly slide may notice a bothersome scrape from the blade. From here on, I'll assume that you're bothered by the scraping and want to get rid of it.

The first thing to note is that because the blade is curved, only a portion of it can scrape at any one time, and unless you're moving wrong, it will always be the bottom third of the blade (below 1a, white bracket). In the image below, the goalie's right leg is sliding right (red arrow), and if we take a look at that foot from another angle, we see that as it slides out, only the bottom portion of the blade comes close to the ice (below 1, green arrow). It's very unlikely that the top 2/3 of the blade will scrape the ice when the foot slides out because the heel would have to lift a lot (below, 2), involving an awkward twist of the foot (green arrow) that would also break the seal of the pad along the ice.

So as the foot slides out, you'll want the foot leaning back towards the heel to reduce contact with Overdrive, and this happens automatically because as you widen out, the toe naturally lifts to relieve pressure on the inside of the leg. The shot below isn't perfect because the pads are lifting the foot, but the slight foot rotation onto the heel is his. Widen out on the ice, and you'll see that the foot wants to lift into the green zone (below), and this tendency reduces your chances of scraping.

Below shows two RBK skates with Overdrive installed properly. A customer sent the photo on the left of a store install, and the skate on the right is mine. When the foot slides out properly, the part of the boot that contacts the ice is shown by the black and red curly brackets, and you can see that Overdrive only occupies half that space or less - note that the bottom portion of the blade is angled in (green shading). If Overdrive is installed incorrectly, either too far out, too far back, or both (faded Overdrive, B) then it will occupy more of that sliding space and increase your chances of scraping without improving grip.

Overdrive and the main blade are set at different angles (90 degrees apart), so they cut into the ice differently. Below, the skate is sliding left (green arrows) with both blades contacting the ice. The working edge of the main blade (red blade, right, white tip) cuts into the ice like a chisel, digging the blade into the ice and likely stopping the skate. On the same move, the working edge of Overdrive (purple blade, left, black tip) scrapes the ice like a knife buttering bread. That curly-bracket part of Overdrive is being dragged through the move (white arrows), so it won't have nearly as much cutting power.

The image above shows the foot sliding out at the angle where Overdrive engages (above), but that isn't what happens on the ice. Below, the foot is sliding out from 1 to 2 (below, yellow line), and it is also rolling from A to B (below, right). Image X (below, left) shows that Overdrive contacts the ice for only a portion of the A to B roll, and the faster it rolls through #2+3, which occur at the beginning of the move, then the less chance of scraping. A snappy foot roll is important for using Overdrive and for avoiding it.

On the image above, the skate slides from 1-2, and again, speed is your friend, because the combined momentum of a snappy roll (A-B) and a fast slide (1-2) will remove any chance of scraping.

Also, the chances are reduced even further with a wide stance. A stance that is considered normal today places a lot of outward pressure on the feet (green arrows below). Releasing the main blade to slide out (red arrow below) releases that pressure, and the foot will move with a force that Overdrive cannot affect. In addition, remember that the opposite foot will be firmly planted, directing all your energy along the red arrow.

We'll see below that a wide stance lowers your leg angle and further reduces the chances of scraping, but for now we can see that numerous factors combine to negate the problem, all of them pointing to one thing: how good is your butterfly slide? If it's fast and smooth, scraping is a non-issue.

If you do get it, it will likely be on one foot or the other, rarely on both. This is because your blocker and trapper sides are weighted and positioned differently, so they slide out differently. The solution is always the same: practice. Smooth the move out and speed it up, do this for a few days and it will go away. I got it on my blocker side when I got new skates, and again with new pads. Each time, I practiced the move and it went away. If scraping ever returns, your move is being degraded by something. In my case it was the stiffness of new skates and pads. Moves also degrade through lack of use, so if you've taken time off, prepare to smooth them out, whether you are wearing Overdrive or not.

If a degraded or improper butterfly slide accentuates scraping, this will prove more so for beginner goalies. Let's preview the technique break with a look at how proper leg movement on the butterfly slide reduces or eliminates scraping.

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In the technique break below, we'll look at why the moving leg should drop early on butterfly slides, but here I'm going to point out that keeping the sliding leg stiff and straight increases the chances of Overdrive scraping. The strip below shows a stiff-legged butterfly slide (On 1,2,3, the right leg isn't bending down). He's moving right, and the blue and red bars show the weight transfer on the left and right feet. In order to move, you load the pushing foot with weight and then transfer that weight from one side to the other to power the move. The blue bars show weight shifting off of the left foot, and the red bars show the right foot taking on weight as the move progresses. The crucial point for Overdrive scraping is #2+3, when weight is loading onto the right foot.

On 2+3 when weight is loading onto the right foot, you are also briefly going onto both blades (red arrows, #3 below), so you'll get resistance from both at once, especially since you are driving the leg down from a high angle (green arrow) - that leg angle is driving the foot straight into both blades. What you need is a lower leg angle (yellow arrow, #3), a snappy foot roll (#4), or even better, both.

The strip below shows what happens when you drop the leg properly on your butterfly slide. From the same stance in #1, the right leg drops in #2 and slides out at a lower angle, giving you that all-important pad coverage along the ice. In #2, before much weight has loaded onto the right foot, it has already rolled off the main blade and onto Overdrive (like #4 above), so you avoid that in-between point when you are on both blades. By 3+4, when most of the weight has transferred to the right foot, that weight will be landing not on the skate, but the inside of the pad.

If your butterfly slide is slow and rough, if you're not using your ankles properly, and especially if you've installed the blade too far out, Overdrive can roll you back onto your main blade and stop the move. In fact, if you can't do a proper butterfly slide, then you're not ready for Overdrive.

In the strip below, the goalie starts a butterfly slide, but his foot catches in #2 (green line) and the momentum throws him off balance so that by #4, he is close to keeling onto his right side. If you can't control your ankle as the foot slides out, then Overdrive can engage (below A) and roll you back onto your main blade (below B), then the main blade will stop the move. Again - the main blade will stop the move. On this move, you have to keep your ankle firm as the foot slides out so that if you do contact Overdrive, you will scrape through it as quickly as possible.

On the other hand, if you want to recover with Overdrive, then you have to loosen the ankle to allow the exact same roll. Look at A+B above, and you may notice that this is how you use the blade to recover with. Overdrive engages, rolls you onto your main blade, and your momentum lifts you up. The strip below shows the move done properly: by #3, he'll roll his ankle to engage Overdrive, by #4+5, his foot has rolled and planted the main blade, at which point, he uses his momentum to lift him up. Again, you need to roll your ankles to use Overdrive and to avoid it. In fact, the broader point is that Overdrive introduces a new type of foot movement to your game, so practice and learn.

If your B-slide isn't good and you want to practice it, below is a simple, safe way to get it going. From the stance, drop the leg to form a VH (#2), then slide out (#3). Start slowly, repeat until it's smooth and then slowly widen the move, speed it up, and shorten it up. I highly recommend this to work your move because it's low stress, it's simple, slow, and you're also working two moves at once, your B-slide and your VH. Try it, going both ways, of course, and you'll see. I do this all the time to start my warm up.
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Here I'm going to take a short break and throw in some technique just because I like to do it and it livens things up a bit for everyone.

We saw above that if your B-slide is moving properly, then you'll be dropping the moving leg before it slides out, and while this reduces the chances of scraping, it also improves your coverage, and more. Below is a basic B-slide: from the stance, he drops the right leg (#2), this releases the foot and it slides right (#3).

Below shows the difference in the leg angle between keeping the leg straight (#1) and dropping it early (#2) on your B-slide, and this also gives you an idea of the improved coverage along the ice. As you slide across, the moving leg has to drop quickly to cover the ice, otherwise, shooters will be sliding it under you all the time. A standard move that you should memorize is when they deke wide to open you up and slide it back 5-hole. You see it on every shootout. Watch the best goalies (e.g.: Carey Price) and you'll see how compact and efficient their slides are, and dropping the moving leg quickly tightens it up a lot. I find that the VH to B-slide drill I showed above tightens things up nicely.

Another advantage to dropping the moving leg first is that it fits in with your other moves, giving them a common root - they will have the same 'trigger'. This reduces mental and physical clutter that can slow you down in the heat of a game. For example: if a player suddenly breaks in on you, you don't have time to flip through a catalogue of moves before choosing one. This will freeze you, mind and body, but with a similar root to your moves, you can be ready with the same initial reaction and then hopefully modify things left or right as the play develops. Not all your moves can have a common root, but the more, the better, because the bulk of your mental processing must be applied to what is happening in front off you. If you spend too much time sorting out what you should do, you literally will not see the play because your mind will be looking inward. Think of your mind as a spotlight, able to focus on one area at a time. To focus outward on the play and actually see it, you have to simplify and automate your own physical and mental processes, and giving your moves a common root helps.

Further to this point, dropping one leg fits in nicely with the VH move (above left), which, I should add, is a great move that has fallen out of favor and been replaced by the Reverse VH (above right). I like both moves, but the VH has to be practiced a ton, otherwise, holes form everywhere (red dots on both shots). If you close the holes on the VH, the big advantage is that your outside leg is loaded and ready to push across, even as you back up. With the Reverse VH, you can get glued to the post and have trouble moving across. Also, it's a move for in tight only. I see goalies on TV dropping into it as soon as the players cross the blue line, and that's a mistake. 'Presentation' (how you stand for the shooter) is very, very important, and if you go down early or show what you're going to do, forwards love it. What bothers them the most is if you stand there and do nothing. Stay up and stay big until you have to go down. The best goalies move the least. Also, when a new move comes in, it takes a while for forwards to find the weak spots, but at some point, you'll have to adjust when they do. The RVH is being overused right now, and soon, goalies will have to get back to work on the VH. Practice it and learn to love it.

 

Dropping one leg first also fits in with a variation of the VH that I see some goalies using (e.g.: Bernier on some shootouts) and I think will eventually become popular. The butterfly is a great move, the #1 move, but I think it gets overused, and sometimes it's just a mistake, because the goalie goes down and commits himself when the shooter still has other options. The idea with this move is to use the VH position on certain shots instead of the butterfly. The trick is being able to read the shooter to know which leg to drop. You'll have to check if he's a left or right shot, know what options this gives him, and then use the left or right VH. All of this requires a page of its own to fully explain, but you can figure things out on your own by referring to the shooter pages. It works really well, the coverage is great, you stay up to take away a lot of the upper net, and you have one leg loaded and ready to push for the side he is likely to deke to.

In panel A above, Reaves is a right shot on his proper wing. The easiest place for him to shoot is corner #1, and I explain why on the wrist shot pages (quickest release, shortest follow-through). Corners 2 + 3 are a toss-up, but they're the next easiest spots to hit. Corner 4 comes last because it needs the longest release and the most wrist roll to hit. Of course, this situation depends on a lot of other factors, it always does, but on this play you must cover corner #1, and you won't be doing that with a butterfly. When a goalie drops into a butterfly, high glove will be exposed unless you are expert with the 'fingers up' trapper position, and even then the glove often rotates down into the standard position.

I can't give a thorough explanation, but the idea here is to a wide stance that covers both sides low (sort of like Elliot), and when the shooter shows that he is going short side, use the VH (above, panel A), a light one with a slight knee bend is all you need. The short side (1+2) will be covered, #3 will have the leg there, and hopefully the blocker/shoulder will cover #4. Positioning and technique require a lot of practice here: endless repetition, keep your form tight, and use the 'fingers up' position - up and out front. When I do this move, I use the left VH on the left side, right VH on the right side, otherwise your programming gets crossed up. This move works best on shots from the side because you know well beforehand what you will do - the shooter almost walks into a trap. If you get the play wrong, your corners are covered and the leg is loaded to push across. Plays down the middle are riskier, because you have to be very good at reading the shooter and then quickly choose a left or right VH as he releases the puck. It's easier just to hold a very wide low stance and not go down. I live in Toronto and have seen Bernier use this on shootouts and it worked nicely. I played against NHL'ers this summer and it worked VERY nicely. Their problem is they shoot with so much force that it is hard to keep the puck down, and if they want to shoot low, their body position lets you know if you can read the signs. This explanation is way too brief, but hopefully it made some sense, and if you go through the 'shooters' pages and think about it on the ice, you'll figure it out. Also, study the highlights on nhl.com and you will see patterns developing, one of them being shooters going to corner #1 (short side high) A LOT.

As a side note, I positioned the goalie where Elliot was but would rather have both feet covering the posts. The rendering in Panel A was taken from a shooter's eye view (about 4' high). I built the rink to real-world dimensions and everything is exact to 1/32". Panel B was rendered at 4" off the ice to show you what the puck sees. Panel C has the goalie deeper in his crease to show you how the coverage changes. One thing you can see from this is how much room the 'fingers up' trapper position leaves underneath. You have to get the glove down AND out in front more than you would think in order to cover properly, especially as you cut your angle. When you push the trapper forward, it throws off your balance, so you have to drop into a slightly deeper crouch to maintain balance. Also, you have to improve the protection under your arms; I got some wicked bruises there using this style. When used effectively, the 'fingers up' changes your whole stance and works your legs more, but once you've disciplined the glove and locked in your form, it works beautifully. Crawford had some problems with this style a few years ago but adjusted nicely. One goalie I like watching for this is Neuvirth, but he's been unlucky with injury. His superior flexibility leaves him vulnerable to groin problems, which brings us back to Overdrive.

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If you put Overdrive on and don't work your moves, after about 6 months, your feet will have adjusted and you'll be using Overdrive to some extent on most of your moves. If you don't think you're using it all that much, try taking one blade off for a game just to see. You may be surprised at the difference. On the other hand, if you want the full benefit of the blade, then you'll have to start working your moves, and below are some tips that may prove helpful. Remember that Overdrive is a small piece of unsharpened steel with a limited grip on the ice, so it will take some time to get the more difficult moves. And again, goaltending moves are complicated and unnatural, so they'll degrade the second you stop working them. If you don't keep up with the practice, it's your fault.

The most important thing is to get your feet rolling with that A+B move I showed at the top of the page. Probably the safest way to work it is to get on your knees in a butterfly, dig the toe in and try pushing for a left and right slide. You have to get this move, it's a goaltending prerequisite, and once you do, all the others will be easy. You may not get much bite at the beginning, but keep in mind that it's a new way of moving your feet. Time and effort are all that is required, and anyone can do it. Also, your feet must have total freedom to move, unhindered by the pads in any way, and if you're unsure about why, read the 'About the Pads' page. In #2 below, he's angled his right leg quite high to load it for push, but as you get better, you'll need to lift it less and less. And in #3, as you extend, grind the foot in and make sure you are using Overdrive all the way to the end of your push.

Everyone thinks of Overdrive for stronger pushes, but moves have to start AND stop, and when you stop, you are likely preparing to make a save, so stopping is often the business end of a move. A stop has to be hard, sharp, and stable, and with Overdrive, you get all of these all of the time. It's very easy to learn how to stop harder with Overdrive, but if you don't take the 5 minutes to reprogram your feet, you may not get the full benefit. Do some t-pushes back and forth, and on your stops, drive the foot hard into the ice - low and as hard as you can (below #1). You'll stop on a dime and never boot out. As with other Overdrive moves, this is the opposite of what you would normally do, which is to avoid having the side of the boot roll into the ice (below #2, small green arrow), because a slipout here could be wicked, since the foot has a ton of weight loaded onto it. (below #2 insert).

So instead of lightening up on the stopping foot, you'll be grinding it down hard. You'll get a slight increase in stopping power from the Overdrive blade itself, but more importantly, you'll get the lower cutting angle of the main blade. In addition, you'll have a stability to your stops that eliminates foot wobble and blade skittering. In Panel 1 below, the skate is stopping with both blades down, and this forms a stable triangle that allows you to push down hard. A skate without Overdrive (#2) has to stop at a slightly higher angle (red line) so that the side of the boot doesn't hit the ice (green arrow). This stop is balanced on the inside edge, and the force of the move can wobble your ankles (red arrows), affecting the cutting edge and degrading the quality of your stop. When you're stopping to make a save, you can't have any wobble and consequent sliding of your edges because it changes your angle, and the extra movement translates up your body to your hands. With Overdrive, you have a rock-solid platform to make a save and subsequent move, especially if you stop using all 4 blades (#3).

If you're unsure about skate wobble, the 'About the Skates' page explains how it affects your working edge and your moves.

From the butterfly (below, #1), the goalie wants to recover with his left leg, and the idea with Overdrive is to lift that leg as little as possible to get your edge (#2), eventually working your way down to a simple flick of the foot. Without Overdrive, even the best goalies have to roll the foot higher to get their edge (#3). Goalies who don't practice the move have to pull the leg in and lift everything even more (#4). The best way to lower your recovery with Overdrive is to work backwards - start with your normal recovery and work it lower and wider until you're just flicking your foot (see below for a closer look at that movement).

As a side note, the goalie in #1 has a full, post-to-post flare, and soon, this will be a basic requirement of high-level goaltending, if it isn't already. If you plan on improving your flexibility, I suggest that at the very least, you go online and research the subject beforehand. What I do when I'm on the ice is take a butterfly position with one foot on the post and then widen the other foot out towards the other post, holding the position in the same way you would work any stretch. Always be very careful about pushing or overdoing any stretch, as it's a great way to injure yourself for a long time.

All of the above also applies to sliding recoveries, so if the goalie is sliding left (above, purple arrow, #1), then start with recoveries where you lift the leg a lot and then work the move lower and lower, from 4 to 3 to 2, until again, you are just flicking your foot to get up.

Below is a Reverse VH to the goalie's trapper side (he's a lefty, like me), and when the left leg is fully extended, you can still use it to recover without having to pull the leg in for a better grip (below #1, blue arrow and line). In #2, the yellow arrow shows how top-level goalies without Overdrive use the heel to recover from an extended position, but now you can add in toe pressure for a stronger recovery on this and other moves. But - you'll need to push the toe down very hard for the extra grip at that angle. With the heel in place, lever the toe down hard, very hard to secure the foot (#2, purple arrow), and then from that position, lift yourself straight up (green arrows #1). It's a difficult move that requires a fair bit of groin strength, but once you get it, you can then add in a left of right move for some really nice agility. Again, get the motion going by doing it at an easy angle before working up (or down) to the more extreme angles and widths.

As a final note, I'll say something about practice, because I'm often surprised by how many goalies don't bother to do it properly. On this subject, the masters of technique are musicians, since they have several thousand years of method behind them. Talk to your musician friends and copy all of their practice methods. Note how they break things into constituent elements, master them slowly, and build piece by piece.

Practice always boils down to endless repetition. You work a move, any move, over and over, slowly, smoothly, getting the speed up and then throwing in variations. Be creative here. Keep it simple or pile it on with combinations. Try a butterfly slide going left, then right, then quickly left and right, from the top of the crease to either side, then add in a move along the ice with a recovery. I work in sets of five or ten, then change it up and maybe work the hands for a break, maybe some stick work. Do something, don't just stand there, and don't wait for a coach to tell you what to do. Whenever I have nothing to do, I work my moves. If you're on the ice, find the time.

With every move you practice, it's very important to start slowly and methodically for the following reasons:

1: You'll move at a speed that allows you to understand what is required to properly execute the move. Without understanding, nothing follows. You have to know what your moves are made of, not only so that you can learn them, but also so that you can fix them when they inevitably break down.

2: You'll implant the proper muscle memory. Muscles do what they're told, and if you fill a move with mistakes early on, they're in there until you dig them out.

3: You'll smooth out the mechanics so you can gain speed. Until your moves are smooth, they will never be fast. Every rough point represents a sticking point that slows you down. Aim for smoothness and speed will soon follow; then you'll be impressed at how fast you can get.

4: It's safer. If you do a rough move quickly, every sticking point indicates a likely injury area should you continue.

Finally, I often get the strong side working and then copy and paste what I'm doing to the weaker side. Once I have a move, it's not mine for long if I don't practice it. Resign yourself to eternal practice and never stop integrating new moves into your game. Goaltending will always be changing, so experiment and be prepared to change, not just so you stay on top of the game physically, but also so that you stay active mentally. Remember that your brain is your most important piece of equipment.

So that's it for this page; I'm on to the next one. Any questions, give me a mail, and thanks for reading.

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