At-Home Tips for Hockey Goalie Training
Your goalie training doesn't stop when you step off the ice. Staying in shape and building your skills at home helps you remain competitive. You can't simulate every goalie movement at home, but there are several ways for you work on your skills and build muscle and speed without having to go to the gym.
Back on Your Feet
Goalie equipment is an obstacle in itself. The large pads make fluid movement difficult. Working on standing and kneeling moves at home helps you make them second nature to you.
Start on your knees and put one foot on the floor in front of you. Push up on that foot, lift the other knee off the floor and hop to the side, away from the foot you planted on the floor. Steady yourself with the other foot. Keep your body slightly crouched. Repeat the lateral hop in both directions for 10 repetitions. Also, get both feet under you quickly by starting on your knees with your body leaning slightly forward and then put one foot on the floor and follow quickly with your other foot, pushing up into a standing position. Lower yourself back down one knee at a time and then repeat by starting on the other leg. During your 10 repetitions on each leg, speed is key. Do the up-up-down-down motion as quickly as possible.
Getting to the Side
Even with all your pads, you aren't big enough to cover the entire goal from an incoming puck. That makes it imperative to be able to get to each side of the goal quickly to stop your opponent from scoring. Close your eyes as you perform lateral hops, pushing off from your outside foot and landing on your other foot. This helps you develop balance as well as body positioning awareness. Start out with four repetitions and short hops and build up to 10 repetitions of wide hops. Build strength in your legs by doing normal squats, where you push your hips backward and down as if you were sitting in a chair. Don't allow your knees to go past your toes while you squat. As you come up out of the squat, add a lateral hop and squat again. Hop back to the original location for 12 repetitions.
Catching the Puck
Develop dexterity and hand-eye coordination by practicing at home. Try wall juggling, where you toss a tennis ball against a wall as fast as possible, trying to catch it in the same hand you used to throw it. Work both hands equally. Even though one typically holds the stick, you can still benefit from developing coordination on that hand. For added difficulty, perform the up-up-down-down move while wall juggling. A drop-slap-catch movement also helps improve coordination by interrupting a normal movement. Start with one hand over your head and then drop the ball toward the floor. Slap your hip with your dropping hand and then catch the ball with the same hand. Do one set of 10 repetitions with each hand.
Building muscle and endurance with a variety of exercises helps you stick it out for the entire game. Secure a resistance band to the bottom of a door or the leg of a sturdy piece of furniture such as a couch and then kneel on the leg closest to the secured band. Slide the handle over your other foot, which should be flat on the floor in front of you. Slide your foot outward as far as possible while keeping your foot flat; this might require you to have a sock on instead of a shoe. Against the resistance of the band, slide it back to the start position, and perform two sets of 10 reps on each leg. Other exercises that can increase your strength include bent over dumbbell rows, pushups on a stability ball and side squats.
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