No Red Lights: Hockey: Butterfly Slide - Pitfalls of the Slide (cont.) - Goalie News And Instruction By Roxanne Gaudiel

Butterfly Slide - Pitfalls of the Slide (cont.)

In the previous article on butterfly slides, Technically The Butterfly Slide, the technical aspects of the slide were covered, namely the role of the knees in executing a successful and powerful slide. Even though these instructions are put into words relatively easily, it is much harder in execution. When working with younger goalies, their body coordination may not be fully developed, which makes putting theory into practice much harder.

So let's start with understanding why this move is difficult to do. Hopefully this will allow goalies to identify troublesome areas so that they can execute a gorgeous butterfly slide. Here are some common reasons:

- Strength. The goalie is not strong enough. This is the main reason that younger goalies have difficult doing a good slide. If they cannot get a strong lateral push, they will not slide; they kind of just drop down. Chewed up/cut up ice does not help this as the friction may stop the slide dead in its tracks. Sometimes pads that have soaked up a lot of water will even stick/freeze to the ice which will definitely make the slide difficult. Don't get down on yourself if you experience these issues! With time and strength conditioning, your slide will improve!

- Skate Angle. If the skate is not perpendicular to the direction the goalie wants to go, you may not get a good push. The angle of the skate becomes extremely important as it is the base of which to push from. Most likely you will be pushing with only part of your skate. Typically, goalies will push with their toe and not be able to fully extend their leg. The result is a weak push and a slow butterfly slide. Learn how to control your skate angle so that you can fully extend your push and generate the most power possible.

Now that we have talked about the first part of the slide (the starting positions), we can focus on the second part: the positioning when moving. When using the slide, many goalies often forget to keep their hands in the same position. Their hands sink lower, maybe even touching the ice, when they drop into a butterfly. By dropping their hands, they have exposed the top corners of the net, giving the forward an obvious target to shoot for. It is important the the goalie concentrates on moving and stabilizing their hand positions. Moving in a butterfly slide should not be all about moving the legs. Rather, the goalie should focus on their body position and their hands which will dictate how much net they will cover.

The other vulnerable position is the five-hole. Sure, this may seem odd because the whole purpose of dropping to the butterfly is to cover the low shots, including the five hole. But during the slide, because one leg must push, the five-hole remains as the last area which is closed. The goalie should try to "snap" their knees together when sliding. Think of the pushing leg as having two functions: 1) pushing for the initial slide and 2) pulling the knees together. If you do both of these moves with the same strength and quickness, the five-hole will be not be exposed too long.

These are just some of the pitfalls of the butterfly slide. Hopefully, these understanding the more common pitfalls will help you avoid them!