Ice Hockey Systems Question

How many shots should a goalie be getting during a practice? Is it quantity or quality?

Justin Goldman Answer

It’s absolutely quality over quantity. I think every goalie is going to be different and it definitely depends on your role. If you are the starting goalie and you are playing a lot of games, you know, you are three quarters of the way though the season, maybe you are going to want to manage that shot count a little bit and take a few less shots because you are trying to manage your energy levels over the course of a season. 

It doesn’t matter if you are AAA U12 Team or Major Junior Team, you are playing a lot of games, you are on the ice a lot, you are managing your off-ice life as well so always quality over quantity. 

There is also a lot of research being done in the goaltending community about managing our hips, and we are seeing that a lot of younger goalies are having hip issues and a lot of older goalies are having to go in to have surgery, for torn labrums, all these different issues that are coming up with the hips.

So the less shots you can take in practice and the more that you can maximize the quality of the drills that you are doing and the quality of the shots that you are seeing, it’s definitely going to pay off in the long run. 

We want our goalies playing into their mid 30s without any issues, but right now, because of how many times we are butterflying, how many shots we are seeing, that becomes a huge issue over the course of many years. 

Always quality first, every goalie is of course, different, but generally speaking you want to focus on quality for sure.  

You can accomplish a lot in a practice without butterflying 800 times. One of the big keys to success at the higher levels is being able to keep your feet and hold your edges and make saves on your skates. 

If we can start to reinforce that with a lot of the younger goalies out there and a lot of the head coaches, Hey You Don’t Have to Butterfly on Every Single Shot. Put shots into their chest, put shots into their hands, were they can stand up, and make that save without executing a full blown butterfly. 

If you can get a lot of those shots into your routine and practice, you are managing your hips, you are having more quality over quantity, and you are still able to focus on tracking pucks into your body, activating your hands, making sure you are square to the puck. 

You can accomplish a lot of the same things by making saves on your skates without having the wear and tear on the hips by butterflying on every single shot that you see.