Q: I’m a goalie parent; what should I expect to see at my child’s 10U practices?
A: Goaltenders and their parents should expect a couple key things during every practice in order to make the practice fun and facilitate great development.
First of all, goalies should be allotted time to do a goalie movement drill, which should take 3-5 minutes, and a fundamental save drill that should also take 3-5 minutes. The great news is that even coaches who don’t have goaltending expertise can lead these drills. They are available to download on www.USAHockeyGoaltending.com.
The second aspect of practice parents and goalies should expect is a reasonable amount of time between each shot during a drill. This is vitally important because it’s critical for goalies to track each and every shot all the way into their equipment and track it all the way out, acting as if every rebound is live, just as it is in a game. Once they have done that, they can get set to face the next play. This not only helps the goalie develop good habits and fundamentals, it also helps the shooter, since they will always be shooting on a goalie who is set and ready to make a save, just like the goalies they will face in a game.
The author, Phil Osaer, played 12 seasons of pro hockey after earning All-CCHA honors at Ferris State. In 2014-15, he was Michigan State's director of hockey operations. Prior to that, Osaer served as an assistant coach and goaltending coach in the USHL.