Online Training

Welcome to the Online Goalie Coaching Program

Are you a goalie coach or parent that has little goalie coaching experience, but wants to teach the most modern goaltending techniques? Fear not, this online goalie coaching program has broken down every element of the position so that you can teach the same drills and techniques taught by professional goalie coaches.  Using my teaching background, I have designed goalie lessons that are easy to follow regardless of your coaching experience.

This amazing resource is your one stop goalie coaching program. No longer do you need experience to be a goalie coach. Register and gain access to technical insights, what common mistakes to avoid, how to integrate goalies into team practices, off ice conditioning and extensive videos demonstrating proper skill application. Signing up will give you full access to Stefan Nichols, University of Ottawa goalie coach and Ottawa District Hockey Association goalie coach mentor. Join the goalie coach community where you can ask Stefan questions and receive timely answers to solve any of your goaltending needs.

Each lesson will be based on our goaltending curriculum ensuring consistent development throughout the season. This course will cover angles, positioning, butterflies, recoveries, breakaways and 10 other goaltending themes. For less than $8 a lesson, you can provide your goalies with everything they need to succeed. No longer can a coach say they don’t have a goalie program. For a low one-time fee, coaches have the entire season laid out for them. No more searching for things to do, simply register, log on and away you go!

I look forward to seeing you online!

Stefan Nichols


Example Lesson (reduced version)

Theme: Technical Positioning

Skill Building Lessons 1 & 2

The single most important element of goaltending is positioning. If a goalie is in the right position, every save becomes easier to execute because the goalie is optimizing net coverage.  Precise positioning means eliminating as much net as possible, so the shooter must make a perfect shot if he or she has a chance to score.

Positioning is so important and complex that we are going to spend the entire first month focusing on this area. To be a great positional goalie you need a strong stance, precise angles, constant squareness and accurate depth. Lacking any one of these elements will significantly reduce a goalie’s ability to make a save.

Development plan: Focus on each positional element for at least one week starting with stance and angles. Make sure to build on each week so that by the end of the month the goalies have a strong understanding of positioning. Even midget goalies need to work on these areas. When working with more experienced goalies provide more challenging scenarios (backdoor option, screen, tipper, PK, off the post short side, far side…) that require positional adjustments.

Please keep in mind this topic is immense so take your time going through everything. These two lessons will contain more content than any other throughout the year. We front load the content to get the goalies started off on the right foot instead of having to play catch up the rest of the year.

Age Appropriate modification: Many goalies already understand the concepts of positioning. However, at every level goalies get beat clean because they are off angle or not square to the puck. Explain to your goalies that if a puck goes in without them getting a piece of it, chances are they were off angle. With the older goalies make sure you give them the left hand vs right hand perspective as all goalies tend to square up to the body, not the puck. Try to reinforce that if a goalie is in position they will need very little movement to make the save. When a save is flashy chances are the goalie was out of position. Finally, to challenge the most elite goalies get them to square up to various pucks in various lanes and integrate movement instead of shooting from a set position. You will notice that even the best goalies often get caught out of position. Finally, try to work progressively taking your time adjusting the angle instead of just shooting. As the goalies become better positionally start integrating various skill handling and skating to force the goalies to track the puck with precision.


Goaltending Goal

Goal: To be great positionally. Every practice ask the goalie to focus on one positional goal. Start with angles as this is the most important positional element. The following practice or week, depending on progress and mastery, focus on squareness and finish with depth.  Each goal should built on the other so that by the end of the month you have a strong positional goalie. For competitive goalies major peewee and higher you can integrate all the elements as they should already have an understanding of each concept.


Technical Mastery

Precise Angles

For the purpose of this program angles are defined as the goalies ability to be lined up between the puck and the middle of the net. There should always be an equal amount of net on both sides of the goalie. If we could draw an imaginary line between the center of the net and the puck the goalie’s belly button would be directly above the imaginary line. Establishing a strong angle is the most important element in goaltending. To help the goalie establish good angles view this tutorial on how to establish reference points on the ice. http://weisstechhockey.com/blog/1397/11-visual-targets-for-hockey-goalies/.

To establish a perfect angle the goalie should start on the goal line in the middle of the net. They should then rotate their shoulders so the belly button is lined up in a straight line with the puck. Once this imaginary line is established the goalie should challenge to the appropriate depth. Obviously in a game a goalie does not have time to do all of this, but in a practice environment angles should be corrected so goalies understand where they should be in relation to the net and puck or ring. Finally, try to establish positional reference points on the ice (face off dots, goal line, hash marks, top of the circles) and get the goalies to memorise the proper position in the crease when the puck is at those reference points. This way in a game, when the puck crosses the reference points the goalies will know where they should be positioned in relation to the crease.

When following a pass, a goalie should always first turn their head to determine where they need to end up. If moving cross crease goalies should push through the middle of the crease and then out in order to establish an early angle on the puck or ring. If a goalie pushes in a straight line and the player receives the pass before the goalie can get set, the entire far side will be left open. Pushing through the middle of the crease allows goalies to gain the angle first and depth second so that if they are behind the play they are at least on angle with the puck.

The starting position on the post is also crucial to establishing a strong angle on the puck. When moving to the short side the goalie should place their feet on a 45° angle on the post. This will allow a quick push out to square up. When having to move far side (past the middle of the net), both feet should be flat on the goal line making it easier to first gain the angle and then depth.

Common Mistakes: Angles:

  • Goalie squares up to the body instead of the puck or ring. If the goalie is getting beat without getting a piece of the shot chances are they are square to the body and not the puck. Remind the goalies that the puck is always released at least a foot away from the body so if their chin is lined up with the shooters body, they are off angle.
  • Not turning the head and making visual contact before changing positions. When a goalie forgets to turn the head before moving, they often square up to the body leaving the far side open for a goal. It is essential that the goalie always take the time to turn the head before moving. The stronger angle will compensate for the time it takes to turn the head.

Constant Squareness:

The second most important element of positioning is the ability to be square to the puck. What this means is that a goalie’s belly button, chin, and stick are always directly lined up with the puck. If the center of the body is lined up with the puck this means the shoulders and legs are both facing the puck as well as the gloves. When a goalie is square the puck or ring would have to go through the center of the body to get to the net.

To ensure squareness the goalie should always rotate their shoulders towards the puck or ring before moving. Whenever a goalie moves he or she needs to first rotate the shoulders and gloves towards the new destination.

A goalie is not square if there is body is angled away from the puck leaving the sides of the net open. A great trick to share with goalies is to get them to use their gloves as guides to squareness. If a goalie notices the puck is lined up with one of the gloves, this means they are not square and should adjust so that the puck is centered between the two gloves.

Common mistakes: Squareness

  • You often see goalies loose squareness when a player is skating fast laterally and the goalie’s shuffles cannot match the speed of the skater. This gives the appearance of the goalie leading with their butt instead of facing the puck or ring directly. If you encounter this problem, remind the goalies to first turn their shoulders before shuffling. Another trick is to make sure when shuffling that the pushing leg is slightly in front of the other leg, which will create a natural rotation of the body towards the puck.
  • Some younger goalies will execute backward c-cuts instead of shuffling when tracking a player laterally. This improper technique will reduce squareness, give the appearance of leading with the butt and eliminate the initial challenge.

How to Integrate Positioning in Practice

Make sure before every practice to establish a goaltending goal. Some examples could be to be set in the stance for every shot, to never lose squareness, to remain challenging above the crease on every shot… This way the goalies have a concrete area to work on every practice.

  • Coach needs to instruct players to shoot from many different angles and lanes
  • Instruct players to skate fast laterally ensuring goalie squareness
  • Instruct players to shoot from different depths encouraging the goalies to control their challenge and not retreat to much.
  • Players dragging the pucks or pushing the puck before a shot reinforcing staying on angle. Instruct the goalies to focus on if the stick is facing the boards or the middle of the ice. This will help them establish squareness
  • When executing a flow drill get the player to stay in front of the net to play short rebound from shooter 2. Continuous flow drill. Goalies will need to challenge high on shot 1 and adjust depth on shot 2 because of rebound option
  • Get players to come in real tight and take a shot. Goalie needs to remain out high
  • Players skating from slot to bad angle where the goalie can begin to retreat in their net
  • Many different passing scenarios in the offensive zone
    • Corner to short, mid, far sides at all different depths
    • Any cross ice play, short passes, one timers

Video - Angles

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Video - Squareness

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Video - Off the Post

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Downloads


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