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Understanding Reads

We all know how important tracking is to the goalie, however, sometimes we overlook the importance of reading, not only the puck but the play or the release of the shot by the player. For many goalies, they work of so many elements of their game and it is easy to not notice the effects both good and bad of reading a player.

Goalies learn to track from a very young age and often we attribute a lack of tracking to a goal scored. Many times, that tracking of the puck can easily be interrupted by a multitude of events like a screening player, quick passes, and release or even the goalie taking their eyes off the puck to observe other threats in the zone. If we explore parts of the goalie’s game while breaking it down even further, we will easily conclude the importance of reading the player as well as reading the puck.

It’s all about paying attention to the details that many times get overlooked. It can dramatically impact the goalie’s overall performance and consistency. The hard part is realizing why the puck has entered the net. It all comes down to accountability and how we interpret the chain of events that took place prior to the goal.

To provide some assemblance of what I am talking about, when a goalie attacks the player for better net coverage, but the player makes a different play then what was expected by the goalie.

Is it a tracking issue, reading the puck issue, or simply read the situation incorrectly? While there can be a culmination of things that could have caused this chain of events from not reading the players body language or having shown his attack posture early to allow the player to alter his plans.

This same play can have the same effect on the goalie even if they do not come out and attack the puck. If the goalie is set and misreads the player, it causes a delayed reaction, which is attributed to the weight distribution in anticipation of a shot or a play across the net. Often, these situations are very hard to analyze because we must go inside the mind of the goalie to help them figure out the real reason behind the read.

The goalie needs to identify if there were any distractions or screens that prevented the read. Sometimes it is a case of the goalie not being patient enough to observe the reading of the play or player causing them commit to a play early. While the goalie cannot be made to analyze each play on their own. They need to have someone to ask the questions and help them determine what the appropriate course of action was to take and any give play that the goalie has questioned.

At Gold in the Net, we have designed specific drills to allow the goalie to train their mind as well as their body that will enhance their read abilities and tactics. Sometimes it is the little things that can have the largest impact on your game. With so many levels to choose from we’ll have the perfect camp for you.

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