The Three H’s of Goaltending

One of the backbones of my goaltending philosophy is the three H’s. When goaltenders move, they should follow the progression of Head, Hands, Hips.

First, a goaltender should track the puck with their eyes (head). The head snaps to the puck and allows the goaltender to see the play and react accordingly. Your body will always go where your eyes and head are going, so this should be the first reaction to any change in play.

Immediately following the head snapping to the puck should be a goaltender’s hands moving to the new position. It is imperative that the hands get there first. I have two reasons for this: 1. The hands will guide the body into the new position. 2. If the body is late, the hands will still have an opportunity to get there first and are the most reactionary/mobile part of the player to attempt to make a desperate save.

Finally, the hips need to open and move to the new position on the ice that the play dictates. The goaltenders lead hip should open and adjust to the new angle with a strong push coming from the trailing foot/leg to propel the goalie to the new position on the ice.

This progression is a critical habit for goaltenders and should happen almost instantaneously. It is taught slowly, but in game situations should happen instantly. Goaltenders need to be able to immediately get their Head on the puck, put their Hands in a position to get to the puck and use their Hips to propel their body to the new position on the ice.

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4 Responses to The Three H’s of Goaltending

  1. Gringo says:

    Add another “H” called heart; complements the other three. Without it, you cannot survive in this position.

  2. bobandersonn says:

    Reblogged this on bobandersonn and commented:
    If you’re a goaltender of any variety of hockey and just starting out, this is a good read.

  3. Sharpless says:

    I recall the thought that you led this article with being mentioned repeatedly by the coaches during the goalie training camp that I took part in last year. It is important as you say to understand the underlying philosophy while attempting to become a better goalie. This is a useful post for players, both amateurs and experienced.

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