Thursday, April 20, 2006

Goalie camp - day two

week two of The Goaltending Miseducation of the Social Bobcat started with me and my fellow goalie tutees being split up in mini-groups between four different stations:

1) butterfly save drill - assume the butterfly position (for those that aren't in the know, this is the save selection that positions the knees together and legs splayed in a manner that has no practical value other than within the narrow confines of hockey, see here) in front of the goal and proceed to direct low shots out of harm's way with the leg pads; the second portion of the drill had the shooters taking shots in any direction and height, to test your ability to make reaction-saves from the otherwise blocking position

2) shooter ID drill - goalie sets up facing his own goal with his back to two shooters; on command, goalie turns around and looks for the shooter with his stick raised, then advances out to cut down the angle of his shot on net.

3) pokecheck drill - goalie stands in front of his goal; three pucks lie on the ice about fifteen feet away. on command, goalie skates hard out to the pucks and executes a diving pokecheck, sliding on his stomach and knocking the puck a good distance away with the blade of the stick. goalie must then skate backwards to his crease and repeat until all pucks are properly dispatched. goalie must then skate backwards and cut off the angle of a shooter to the side of the net who fires three quick shots that the goalie must ward off.

4) post-to-post drill - with two shooters about fifteen feet out and on opposite sides of the net, goalie practices shuffling sideways from post to post, then advances out from the right post to the shooter on the left, or vice versa, to cover a shot on net.

As luck would have it, I got pegged to start the drill cycle in the most exhausting of them all, #3 pokecheck drill , or as i call it , "the Social Bobcat comedy routine"; i think on my first run through i whiffed on all three pucks that i was supposed to have elegantly directed away from danger. this is not a move that i have practiced much or utilized often in a game; to grasp the coordination of motion required, think of it as a one-handed pool cue shot executed while you're sliding on your stomach.

to make matters worse the coaches at that station decided that on our second time through we had to begin the drill by dropping on our stomachs and rolling over before getting back up to race out and jab at the pucks; i fared better on the puckstriking the second time around (got 2 out of 3) but was so winded at the end that i really didn't get back on angle to the shooter who was firing pucks at the net.

the other drills went fine (with the exception of one yahoo in my group at the #2 shooter ID drill who didn't seem to understand the concept of taking his turn for a decent number of shots and then stepping out to let others have a go at it.

i think Wilkie is doing a good job with introducing various drills but i do think that one of the first couple of sessions could have included the basics: mechanics of a good stance, butterfly recovery, etc.; i don't know about the rest of the students but i'm looking for a personal evaluation and discussion at some point, not just to be a participant in a goalie obstacle course. Will have to wait and see if we get some of that personal instruction later on.... if not i don't know if i'm going to get out of this camp what i was looking for.

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