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New program debuts for goalie coach development

05/09/2018, 9:00am EDT
By Mike Doyle

The three-tier system will feature Bronze, Silver and Gold classifications

USA Hockey's new Goalie Coach Development Program works in conjunction with its Coaching Education Program (CEP) to give coaches at every level the opportunity to hone their goalie-teaching skills.

“We’ve created a Goalie Coach Development Program that has three levels,” said Phil Osaer, USA Hockey’s American Development Model manager for goaltending. “It's sort of like an elective system within the CEP, with the goal that every team in the United States has at least one coach on the staff having gone through some goalie coach development.”

Three tiers

The three-tier system – Bronze, Silver and Gold – allows coaches who are going for CEP certification to move up levels on the traditional coaching track when completing a corresponding Goalie Coach Development Program level.   

For example, whether you’re a goalie coach or a skater coach, you have to complete Level 1 of the CEP. Once you have your Level 1 certification completed, coaches now have an option to complete the Bronze Level goalie program, which would meet the same criteria and earn the traditional Level 2 credential.

“Each level of the goalie coaching program still focuses on long-term athlete development, principles in the American Development Model and off-ice training,” Osaer said. “So, we’ll make sure we hit a lot of the same components that are in our CEP.”

Likewise, coaches who have Level 2 or 3 certification can advance another level by completing a Silver clinic, which is more advanced.

“We dive deep into the intricacies of goalie development,” Osaer said “The silver level is longer; it’s a two-day clinic mirrored after our Level 4 of the CEP.”

The Gold Level training goes along with gaining Level 5 certification. The first one USA Hockey will offer is this summer at the 2018 National Hockey Coaches Symposium in Lake Placid.

“This will be about half with the general coaching population and half goalie-specific over the time of the Level 5 symposium,” Osaer said. “In order to pass your Gold certification, there will be a peered-reviewed process, so coaches there along with the instructors will review the coach’s ability to adapt in an on-ice situation, to teach the details of goaltending development and other game and practice situations. We really wanted to find a way to make sure that our coaches are not only able to spend the time, but also able to provide a world-leading development environment for our goalies.”

Support on every front

Last season, USA Hockey created an online module specifically for goaltending education. The module is a prerequisite for the goalie development program. Coaches signing up for the Goalie Coach Development Program will get a prompt to take that training. Osaer recommends that all coaches and parents of goalies experience that module. It’s a minimal time investment and it gives a good introduction to coaching goalies.

“This is a step we recognized as a need to help all of our youth goalies,” said Osaer. “We want to provide an environment where they can be given world-leading support on every front. This is something we know will help coaches.

As anyone in youth sports, we want to help all our kids chase their dreams and be successful adults, and this is one thing that we’ll continue to focus on.”

Goaltender webinars continue through offseason

Throughout the summer, USA Hockey will continue running its popular goaltender webinars. The webinars are aimed at coaches, administrators and goalie parents. Each webinar focuses on one aspect of goalie development. They go on throughout the season and past webinars are available at under the Goaltender Development tab. Go here to view previous webinars.

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