Welcome to NVMHA's goaltender resource page for coaches and goaltenders. Coaching goaltenders is challenging at the best of times and for years the attitude is, "I'm not a goalie coach. I don't know what you guys talk about!" (Osaer, 2016, USA Hockey Development). This statement summarizes how many hockey coaches feel, but coaches do not need to be a goalie coach!

Coaches need to tweak their practice plans slightly to help in the development of their goaltenders. A goalie coach is a great resource and is recommended, but the reality is, a goalie coach can't attend every practice to work with young goalies.

NVMHA Goalie Stance

NVMHA's goaltender development section is going to focus on goaltender development by providing coaches with resources to maximize each goaltenders development throughout the season.  NVMHA's goaltender development page will focus on the following resources for coaches:

  • Level I, II, and III Development
  • Coaches Video Resources
  • Coaches Drill Resources

What happened to Canadian Goaltending?

Canadian goaltending has been in significant decline for several years from our glory days of goaltending. It is important to create interest in the position and all coaches can be actively involved in the promotion/development of the associations goaltenders. Canada was once a powerhouse in goaltending development, but Canada is losing ground to several top hockey nations throughout the world over the past 10 years.

Goaltender Decline


Hockey Coach

A goaltender will have the ability to improve while participating in team drills, but including one goaltender drill per practice to start will make your goaltenders feel like an integral part of the team and be a great benefit for improving their skills.

When choosing a drill, the coach should focus on what the goaltenders are expecting to achieve from the drill introduced at practice. Just like planning at drill for your players, a goaltender drill should achieve a similar objective and expectation.

Tips for Coaches:

  1. 1. Set aside specific time every practice to have one of your assistant coaches work individually with the goaltenders focusing on their skills.
  2. 2. Use a warm-up drill that is goalie specific.
  3. 3. Set aside minutes every practice for coach controlled goaltending drills. This could be 10 minutes at the beginning or end of practice.
  4. 4. Have your goaltenders work together while participating in goalie specific skating drills.