“Let me start with this: This is not a fantasy camp, this is a hard working camp, dedicated to making the goalies that participate more skilled, and more valuable to their teams.
I have been coaching camps for the last 14 years. It started in 1998 when I was playing Junior hockey in Canada, and soon I realized it was something I enjoyed tremendously. Giving back to the hockey community seemed so right. With that in mind, I started my own camps in 2004 in the Chicago areas (my hometown), and last summer I began building a Florida based camp.
I attend and oversee every camp from the ice, giving personal attention to all participant. Further, I make sure to limit the size of each on ice session to between 18-24 kids. This is not one of those factory-like camps that puts 60 people on the ice. I think that philosophy of teaching is ineffective, and the participants don’t get enough net time to make a significant impact on the game.
Any age is welcome, from the mites to beer leaguers – we want to see any tender who wants to build the foundation of their game out there.
Some basic principles of the camp:
- My camp’s foundation is the belief that the better skater you are, the better goaltender you will be.
- The structure of the camp allows the student to maximize his/her time in the net.
- We will cover basic goaltending moves, i.e. glove saves, butterfly saves, rebound control, breakaways, angles, etc..
- We will also teach you some off ice drills to help you be ready for when you step on the ice.
- Not only is the camp about physical abilities, but we will cover some “mental” drills to make sure the goalies start to learn how to prepare for the games/practices before they even step on the ice. Examples include hand eye coordination drills. Mentally visualizing yourself on the ice before you are on the ice to prepare.
- For select sessions there is a dry land training component to teach the proper techniques for out of season or in season cardio training off the ice.
Here is a typical day from my Florida Camp last year:
9:00 – Dry Land training/stretching
9:45 – Locker Room
10:OO – On Ice Skating Drills
10:15 – On Ice Stretching
10:25 – Break into three groups (5 goalies per)
G1 – Sliding Technique, endurance training
G2 – Butterfly Technique, shooting drills
G3 – One timers, shot reading technique.
These groups rotate every 20 minutes, and I myself run one of the groups. Shooters are assigned by skill level, so as to not over power the campers.
11:30 – Skating Technique Drills
11:45 – Goalie Hockey 3v3 games.
12:00 – Locker Room
As I mentioned earlier, spots are limited because I believe to get better you have to repeat the movements over and over again and generate muscle memory. Watching another goalie in the net can be beneficial, but to see the most rapid most improvement you need to be seeing shots in the net and executing the movement drills repetitively – not watching others.
I truly hope you enjoy my camp, and become a better goalie!”