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The Game Plan

Posted by on in Alexander
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For many years I have been involved with coaching and hockey teams, sometimes performing minor bench coach duties in addition to goaltending coach.

Inevitably, before each game or sometimes each period, head coach would present the "game plan". At levels beyond minor hockey, this would be done after the morning skate or at a pre game team meeting. Among the things covered in the "game plan" would be items such as forecheck, defensive zone coverage etc. Most times, if ever, were goaltenders part of the "plan". Obviously, being a unique individual position in a team sport, doesn't afford much opportunity to participate in the "team" play of the game.

But, now that I think back, it is perfectly logical for the goaltender to have his or her "game plan". Something defined which establishes what is a "rule of thumb" for dealing with different game scenarios or situations. Written and available to review by the goaltender prior to games or periods providing a "refresher" so to speak prior to the contest. Obviously, a great deal of a hockey game including the goaltending part is reacting to a particular set of circumstances. But, if you have a low risk "game plan" executed based on a set of circumstances, and which you have practised, your odds of success are far greater than if one just goes out and "wing it."

So, what would such a plan look like? Here is an example of some things such a "game plan" could cover off:

  1. back door plays
  2. deflections/tipped shots
  3. drop passes
  4. face off positioning
  5. retrieving & moving pucks
  6. odd man rushes
  7. one on one siutations
  8. breakaways
  9. penalty kill
  10. screen shots
  11. opposition traffic
  12. goal line attacks

This is not an all encompassing list but it does provide a great starting point. Besides the obvious benefits, making this a part of pre-game preparation (mental imagery) may also lead to improved anticipation skills.

 

 

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Guest Monday, 09 December 2019