Home > Game Situations, Technique > Tapping Your Posts Method

Tapping Your Posts Method

My last post focused on the 3 key things needed to be in proper position. A goaltender does not get into a given position and remain static, rather a goaltender is constantly getting into position at different angles and depths. This moving in and around (telescoping) the crease can easily cause you to lose your angle because you are not aware of where you are relative to the net.

One of the best methods for being aware of your location relative to the net is to tap the posts. On your blocker side you use the top of the goalie stick facing the net to reach back and tap the outside of the post. For your catcher side you use the backside of the glove to tap. Where you strike the post will give you instant feedback as to where you are relative to the net.

For example, if you tap with your glove and you barely strike the tip near the netting, you are most likely (depending on arm wingspan) left of the center of the net. However, if you reach out and you strike somewhere near your elbow, you are right of the center of the net. As soon as you know how close to center you are, you will be able to quickly readjust your angle and be on your way to the proper position.

When a player enters the zone and is not directly centered I tap the post of the side of the zone they are skating down as I push off from the crossbar to get into position. If the puck is brought deeper into the zones and I telescope back into my crease I tap the same post again to make sure I skated back in a straight line. In the event a play starts to move laterally across the zone I tap the post where the play starts and use that as a guide as I make the transition to the other side and tap the other side’s post to double check that I made it over correctly.

Open skates, practices, and pre-game warmups are the perfect times to learn how to tap off your posts and improve your positioning. Here is a great drill where you cover your goalie mask and work with another player to telescope in and out by only using your sense of touch to tap off the posts. Another thing you can do is have one player skate around the rink and you keep trying to get into the proper position, while another player gives you constructive feedback as to how you are doing.

I do not use landmarks on and around the rink as guides for determining if I am in the right position because every rink will have different dimensions and setups. By learning how to tap off your posts you will reduce the amount of times you look off the puck to see where you are. Knowing where you are relative to the net at any given moment is a talent that takes years of practice and tapping off your posts is one of the easiest ways to do it. In fact, you will see NHL goaltenders from across the league tapping their posts throughout the game.

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  1. April 3, 2012 at 2:48 pm

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