My Story

I started working with goalies off the ice in 2008, as a graduate student at the University of Minnesota training out of the Minnesota Top Team gym in Eagan, MN offering off-season development programs to junior and college-aged goalies. After seven off-seasons of training and seeing great results, one phone call changed everything when a parent called and said “You need to be working with younger goalies too.”

It became clear that I needed to extend my philosophies to goalies of all ages. In 2018 the Optimal Goalie facility was created to give goalies a place to develop off the ice where they felt comfortable to be themselves around like-minded individuals. I see every goalie I work with as a person first, and I always have an invested interest in every single goalie I work with.

I pride myself on honesty, integrity, and being a mentor to every goalie helping them reach success on and off the ice.

Larry Grace Jr.

Founder of Optimal Goalie

Athlete Testimonial

Over past three years Larry’s off-season programs have played a significant role in my development as a goalie and as an athlete. His philosophy of developing me as an athlete has taken my game to new levels. He creates a hardworking environment that gets you excited to come in each morning and get your work done. Larry really understands what it takes to play at the highest level and I am incredibly grateful for everything he has done for me.

Looking forward to next off-season!

Jack Stark
Yale University

More About Larry Grace Jr.

Larry was born and raised in the Twin Cities area. He began his goalie journey at six years old when he started playing hockey, eventually becoming a full time goalie at thirteen. Larry was a multi-sport athlete playing baseball, football, soccer, lacrosse and ran track while growing up in Apple Valley, Minnesota. He played high school hockey for Apple Valley Senior High School, before moving onto junior hockey. After junior hockey, Larry attended the University of Wisconsin Stout, where an injury ended his competitive playing days. It was during this time that Larry got into the goalie coaching world and noticed quickly the lack of athleticism in the goalies he was working with. It was at that this time he knew his passion for off-ice development would be his calling card. At the University of Wisconsin Stout, he earned a bachelor’s degree in human development with a minor in psychology.

Upon graduating from the University of Wisconsin Stout, Larry attended the University of Minnesota where he directed all his studies in Kinesiology towards goalie off-ice development. He graduated with a master’s degree in Kinesiology with an emphasis in sports performance and sports nutrition. Since graduating from the University of Minnesota, Larry has taught exercise science at several twin city community colleges and worked in higher education as an academic advisor.

Today, Larry has over fifteen years of experience in goalie off-ice development and has helped goalies from all over the United States improve their on-ice skills through his off-ice development programs. Larry also works for USA Hockey Goaltending as the goalie off-ice development leader for the state of Minnesota.

Are You Interested in Improving Your On-Ice Performance?

It starts by improving your off-ice training.