Kachinas goalies, goalie parents and coaches,
This is the goalie director Hiroki Wakabayashi.
Summer is finally gone and the ice is getting better!
We are finishing the 8 weeks of goalie training, which means the 2nd cycle of the 4 week training is about to be done already.

  1. Puck Handling
    We start working on the puck handling skills, especially on coming out to behind the net to stop the rimmed puck and handing it to the DF or pass it up.
    I encourage my goalies to handle the puck out of the crease because it’s an essential skill for goalies and it could become a huge advantage especially in female hockey if you can handle the puck well.
    You expect to see some mistakes that might cost a goal or two along the way but I still encourage them to handle the puck because you can’t get better if you don’t try. 
    Thank you for understanding and supporting this concept.
  2. Catchball
    A few parents have asked me about how to improve the hand-eye coordination and tracking off the ice. Here’s my recommendation.
    The Catchball is a ball with bungee cord around your waist. It’s so simple but not easy to throw it forward then catch it just like you do with the glove.
    It’s very effective, fun and addictive. I have some for sale if you are interested so just let me know. $25 each.

5-hole is not much about the stick
Yes, 5-hole goals never look good and frustrate goalies, coaches and parents.
The first critic coming to your mind might be “What a softy,,, why didn’t you keep your stick in front?
Yes, it’s partly true, but it’s not that simple.
First of all, as much as we hate 5-hole goals as “the soft goals”, 5-hole is actually the 2nd most scored hole for the NHL goalies.
The 1st is another infamous “Glove Side High” so My goalie has a bad glove and 5-holeis a universal headache regardless of the level of hockey.

So WHY is 5-hole a tough place to protect???
Most of the 5-hole goals happen when the goalie is in motion = yet to set his/her feet before the shot is taken.
You simply can’t have quality butterfly saves while you’re still drifting and trying to set your feet.

Also, 5-hole goals happen a lot during the lateral movement when the goalie can’t squeeze the knees together quick enough after the push.

Yes, “keeping the stick in front” might help a bit but the stick can only cover so much.
It’s a general weakness as human forced to react with their feet while moving laterally.
We just need to keep on working on “setting the feet before the shot” like the drills below, as one of the most important principles of goaltending and the 5-hole should be taken care of by itself (at least better if not perfect). 
Uneven (not flat) butterfly is another big reason for 5-hole goals especially for beginner goalies and this habit has to be fixed as early as possible.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, concerns, or anything.
Thank you for your continuing support and see you at the rink!