3 Skating Development Drills for Hockey Goalies

3 Skating Development Drills for Hockey Goalies
Functional skating development is key for young goalies.

“If a shot takes less than a second to stop, even with 40 shots against in a game, that’s less than a minute making saves.”

All head coaches need a plan for goalie development and we are going to help empower you to run training sessions confidently. This series of drills focuses on a unique setup called the “Zipper.” These drills I took from Steve Androlewicz of Racine Goalie Academy in St. Louis, MO. I love these drills as they can be done in a team or camp/clinic setting. Each movement in the pattern mimics movement a goalie would use in the crease to adjust their angle/squareness/depth. Success in goaltending and making the save is directly connected to their stance, balance, edge work and efficiency of movement.


  • Angle – The position of the puck relative to the centre of the net.
  • Squareness – The goalie’s position relative to the puck and the centre of the net 
  • Depth – The goalie’s position in the crease 
  • Dot Angle – The in-zone face off dot angle in relation to the centre of the net (middle post). This angle is very common with sustained offensive in zone puck control. Can also be known as the “funnel zone” off the rush (Valiquette, MSG Network). 


We start with basic movements: shuffles and t-pushes. Start with forward movement, diagonal from puck to puck. This creates the zipper pattern as we move through the drill. We want the goalie to visualize moving from the post to the opposite dot angle. You want to make sure that the goalie initiates all movements with their eyes, then rotate (identifying the new “shot angle”), squaring their torso and then adjusting their feet so they are moving directly to the next puck. The focus is for the lead or glide leg to arrive just outside of the puck, allowing the goalie to square up on the puck. The back leg or push foot needs to SNAP or quickly recover back under the body by mid movement. Many young goalies tend to “drag” their push foot, elongating the movement, putting them off balance and then setting in a low/wide stance when stopped.

Functional skating development is key for young goalies . . .



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Matthew Bourgeois

Matthew has been a coach and a scout for over 20 years at some of the highest levels. Matthew is coaching at Canisius College NCAA D1 this season. Matthew is a certified High Performance 1 coach and Goaltending Level 3 coach with Hockey Canada. Matthew works with the Ontario Hockey Federation, the Ontario Minor Hockey Association as well as the Northern Ontario Minor Hockey Association as a goaltending coach and mentor. Matthew’s passion lies in goalie development and guiding players to become the best version of themselves. Since 2009 Matthew has travelled to Europe, Asia, Australia and the US to work with some of the best hockey programs and is looking forward to sharing what he’s learned with the subscribers of The Coaches Site.

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