Our coaching drill of the month for April shows some love to the most important player between the pipes, the goalie. Former Notre Dame Irish and current Ohio Machine goalie, Scott Rodgers, provides some insight on improving your techniques in making off-side hip saves.
To set up for this drill, the goalie going through the training will need to set themselves in the middle of the goal on their knees. You as the coach will then be placed 7-10 yards out in front of the goal with a bucket of tennis balls. You’ll want to use tennis balls as to avoid any injury during this rapid paced drill. As the coach, you’ll want to ready yourself in the shooting position and have one of your players load your stick with the next tennis ball as soon as you fire the first one. Make sure to keep your aim on the goalies off-side hip allowing them to practice the sweeping motion.
For the goalies, Rodgers points out two key lessons to keep in mind.
- Keep your eyes on the ball at all times, following it to your stick as it reaches the goal.
- Reset in your original position immediately after making the save – the quicker you go and more reps you put in will help solidify your muscle memory to use the proper sweeping technique.
- After you make the save, drive your bottom hand through and utilize a reverse cradle with your top hand – this will minimize the bounce back and help you control the ball after the save.