Goaltending is the most important position on the ice — most of us can agree on that.
But when it comes to practices, goaltending is the most ignored position on the ice. That’s something Dave Starman, a member of USA Hockey Goalie Nation, wants to change.
Speaking at our Virtual Hockey Summit last September, Starman said while having a dedicated goaltending coach is ideal, it’s not always possible to have at every practice, depending on the level that you’re coaching. That’s one reason why coaches need to become empowered to be able to work with their goalies, even if the coach has never stopped a puck in his or her own life.
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Starman, who has 34 years of experience coaching at the youth and professional levels, says his main job at USA Hockey is to “create a program whereby the non-goalie can become a very effective goalie coach.”
“One of the things that we have found over many years is coaches sometimes get very afraid to work with their young goalies, because they’re afraid that they’re going to teach them the wrong thing.”
Fear not, because Starman is here to help.
“There are a lot of rinks and a lot of practices going on still to this day, where the practices are not benefiting the goalies, even with the best of intentions,” said Starman.
It starts with facilitating a practice plan with your goaltenders in mind, giving them drills that allow them to reset and work on their technique, rather than simply firing as many pucks at them as possible.
“The quality component is much more important than a quantitative component,” he said.