No Red Lights: Hockey: Why the Goalie Should Be the Best Skater on the Ice - Goalie News And Instruction By Roxanne Gaudiel

Why the Goalie Should Be the Best Skater on the Ice

Sorry it's been so long in coming!!

In my recent practices, coaching the Princeton Sports Center Star's goalies, I've found that
many of the goalies need to practice their technical skating i.e. their edge work.  Actually, I would say nearly all of them (or at least roughly 80%) do not "know their edges." While I harp on my goalies about this, they are not alone. I find that it is more often than not that a goalie will lack skating skills. There may be many causes of this: Coaches may not think the goalies need to skate as well as forwards; The goalies may not but forth as much effort in skating drills because it's tough or because they think that goalies "I don't have to skate that much. The net is only 4ft across so why do I have to do full length sprints?!?"

Skating skills (which can be learned from full length sprints) have more to do with reactions and quickness than they do about skating far distances.  Being a good skater will allow the goalie to have better balance, which in turn allows for quicker reactions, and it's the precious few seconds, or rather milliseconds that goalie's have to react, so every moment counts.

So let's get technical: Being balanced allows the goalie to move quicker and in any direction. Skating ability provides increased balance because of a skate blade. A skate has two edges: the inside and the outside edge. 95% of the time, a goalie is on their inside edge. Their whole game is basically played on this inside edge. This is because (at any given moment) they need to either go down in a butterfly or move laterally, and both of these moves require the goalie to be on their inside edge. Being on the inside edge also balances the goalie (at least laterally - the goalie may still be too far forward or backward). To move laterally, the inside edge digs into the ice providing the edge of which to push off on. To go down, the skate must roll onto the inside of the foot, and therefore roll off of the inside edge. Because of this, having good inside edges, a result of good skating, will allow the goalie to have better control of their butterfly.

The moral of the skating story - and why it's so important for goalies to be good skaters - is not that they be the fastest skater... they must be the most technical skater. This will allow the goalie to have more control over their body movements and to react faster.