No question, positioning is, like skating competence, the foundation of great goaltending. As correct positioning is attained, then the usual formula follows that the next decision the goaltender has to deal with is the pending shot or pass. At this point, though we need to add another important element to the goaltending equation. WHEN do we do what we need to do what is necessary? That is what this third element known as "TIMING" is all about.

We'll now attempt to give you a brief explanation of instances, in goaltending, where it's importance is critical. First, timing is involved in gaining an optimum position or in repositioning. Whether doing so from stance or a lateral slide arriving "on time" is imperative. To gain position and have ample opportunity for good shot preparation or to slide into the path of a shot off a back door play requires a keen understanding and sense of this element.

Secondly, timing (patience) is involved in making the right move at the right time as in the instance of holding a stance position and not dropping into a butterfly until the puck carrier releases the shot so as to automatically reduce the options available to him. And lastly, there is a degree of timing involved when the goaltender adjusts his reaction to the play as it evolves in front of him.

Understand the important contribution timing can make to your success as a goaltender, and set a goal to develop it, through practice, along with all the other skills in your "toolbox"