If I had a dollar for every time a goalie or goalie parent told me they felt unsupported by their association, AAA club, junior team, or high school team I would be a rich man!
In the game of hockey, the goalie is hands down the most important player on a team. If we look at the history of teams that have won championships most of them have one thing in common, a good goalie. It’s no surprise that many NHL teams are now putting a large amount of time, money, and resources into developing their goalies. So why hasn’t this type of effort translated down to college, juniors, high school, or association hockey? I don’t know why, but I do know that is possible to support goalies without being on an NHL budget.
It starts with the decision makers within the organization being open minded to the fact that goalies and their families need more support than skaters do. This doesn’t mean that skaters don’t matter or that resources shouldn’t be put in place for them. It just means that the door needs to stop being closed on opportunities for goalies. You don’t have to work with everyone who attempts to get involved with the training and development of the goalies, but reply to their outreach, meet with them and see if they are offering something that could be the difference maker all the goalies and their parents are looking for. You never know their ideas may benefit the whole organization if the information is just passed along.
Second, it’s ok to have more than one goalie resource affiliated with the organization. The goalie coach or goalie school you’re currently working with should not have a problem with another goalie resource being brought in to benefit the goalies. If they do, they are not there for the right reasons and it’s time for the organization to re-think the goalie development model that’s being used.
They say it takes a village to raise a child, and I would say it takes an organization to develop a goalie.