This effective drill should be part of the dynamic warmup for every goaltender of any age and ability. It allows goalies to practice some of the basic movements they will use in the crease that are integral to their play as a netminder.
Explanation of the Drill
Three pucks are placed along the goal-line: puck number one should be about three feet from the post, puck #2 about 16-18 inches from puck #1 (farther from the post), and puck #3 should sit 18-24 inches from puck #2 (farther from the post towards the boards).
The exact distance between the pucks depends on the age and ability of the goalies. Two goalies face each other in stance, one on each side of the goal-line, square and centred (S & C) (with shoulders square and the puck in the middle of their bodies) with puck #1 between them.
They will mirror each other in all their movements. On the coach’s signal (tap of the stick) the two goalies shuffle, facing and staying square to each other, to the near boards (where the goal-line meets the boards) and go back to being square and centred (S & C) to puck #1.
The coach taps again and both goalies turn their heads and upper torso and look at puck #2. We call this a “visual lead and head turn”. Both goalies then “lock” visually onto puck #2, get up to their feet and shuffle (ie. one push with the drive leg) to be S & C to puck #2, all the while keeping visually locked on puck #2.
The coach then taps and both goalies get into the butterfly stance S & C to puck #2. The coach taps and both goalies duplicate the visual lead and turn their heads and upper torso to look at puck #1. Keeping locked on puck #1, both goalies then get up and shuffle to puck #1.
The goalies continue repeating this manoeuvre between puck #1 and puck #2 until, when they are at puck #1, the coach says “T push”. The goalies then repeat all of the above using a one-push “T push” instead of a shuffle except that, once they “T push” to the boards and then return to puck #1, they move between puck #1 and puck #3 with one T push.
When waiting for the coach to tap, both goalies hold their stance or their butterfly.
Coaches can add a step before having the goalies go down into a butterfly. When they are moving between the pucks, have your goalies “one shuffle” from being S & C to puck #1 to being S & C to puck #2 and repeat this manoeuvre to “one shuffle” back to be S & C to puck #1.
The goalies can continue to repeat this manoeuvre on signal until, when the goalie is S & C to puck #1, the coach says “T push”. The two goalies then repeat the same manoeuvres using “one T push” from puck #1 to puck #3. Again, with each manoeuvre from puck to puck, the goalies start with a visual lead and head turn before moving in a shuffle or a T push to be square to the other puck. This allows the goalies to practice their shuffle and T push manoeuvres before adding the butterfly.
For more advanced goalies, once they have practised recovering up and then moving to the next puck, you can have them stay down while moving between the pucks. When they go down into the butterfly, the goalies can stay down in the butterfly and move to the next puck while down, driving off the inside edge of their back skate and executing a back leg recovery to be S & C in a butterfly at the next puck. Once the goalies have mastered recovering up and moving, and recovering while down, the coach can mix it up, giving one vocal signal for the goalies to recover up and then move ( ie “recover up”) and a different signal for the goalies to move and recover while down. (“ie stay down”)