One of the most important parts to goaltending is your stance. It is the foundation that everything else will build off of, so no matter how elementary it might seem to you, it is critical that you work on it daily. One of the best things about being a goalie, however, is that there are so many approaches. Below are a few pointers to get you started, but keep in mind you may find you need to tweak things (and that’s ok!) for it to feel right. The important thing is not to get too extreme in your approach.
Feet: Your feet should be shoulder width apart. Sometimes you might find you have more balance if you’re slightly wider (a couple of inches), especially depending on how tall you are. Toes should be pointed forward, and weight should be slightly forward- you should not be so far forward your heels are off of the ground.
Knees and Hip: This is an essential part to balance. As you put your weight forward, you’ll naturally bend your knees. Make sure the bend is not too extreme and that they’re also not locked. The bend in your knee is also accompanied by a slight bend in your hip so that your chest is over the ball.
Elbows: Your elbows should be relaxed. You do not want them out in a “chicken wing” position, or tucked so tight into your body. Let them fall naturally and most comfortably.
Hands: Your top hand should be gripping the plastic in such a way that your index finger and thumb create a hinge. This should allow the stick to move freely in a forward to back motion. Your other fingers are lightly gripping the stick. Avoid the common death grip, and be sure that your grip allows your wrist to be behind the stick instead of out to the side (this will result in the “chicken wing” elbow position). The bottom hand should be 8-12” away from the top hand. Again, this is all preference, so find what works for you! Hold the stick off to the side at about eye level with the middle of your stick.
When all is said and done, you should find yourself in a very comfortable yet explosive position. If you feel off balance, work to tweak things in a very minimal manner. Often it only is a matter of inches or degrees in bend to get you to where you need to be.
We hope this helps! Please feel free to ask us any questions and we’ll do our best to answer them in our Question Bin Section!