Editor’s note: This article first published on November 28, 2013.
A recent article where we listed the top 6 “off-ice” sports and activities that help hockey players get better generated a lot of interest.
One of the comments we received was what about goalies? Does the same list apply? Good question.
To get an answer we got advice from David Marcoux, goaltending consultant for Hockey Canada.
“Goaltending requires a combination of specific technical elements, physical ability, psychological qualities, hockey smarts & leadership skills,” he says. Long gone are the days when you put the kids who could not skate in goal. The modern hockey goalie is truly a complete athlete in all aspects.
On the physical side alone, the list of physical abilities is impressive. A goalie must possess strength, flexibility, power, core stability, balance, coordination and a wide range of motion, quick feet, and stamina.
But that’s not all. Beyond the physical abilities, a goalie must also develop focus, concentration, and be able to stay physically relaxed under pressure. So considering the multitude of skills required, Marcoux’s list of top sport and activities for goalies is quite different than those recommended for hockey players.
Are you parents of a goalie? Let us know your thoughts on this list.
David Marcoux’s top 5 sports and activities to help develop better hockey goaltenders
- Ping-pong or badminton. These quick-reaction sports develop hand-eye coordination, reaction and movement time, concentration, core stability, and quick feet. Marcoux is quick to point out that former Calgary Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff played badminton in the summer as part of his training program to maintain quickness and hand-eye coordination.
- Taekwondo.Taekwondo helps with body control, focus, mind management, core strength and stability, as well as leg power.
- Yoga. Yoga is great to develop flexibility, range of motion, core strength, relaxation, focus, concentration, mind management, and breathing.
- Baseball. Help increase catching ability and hand-eye coordination while batting the ball.
- Gymnastics. Helps improve flexibility, core strength, along with range of motion, balance & power). On that note, Marcoux points out that many European hockey countries such as Finland, Russia, and Sweden scout gymnastics clubs to find young athletes who may want to become hockey goaltenders.