IE #9: BODY CRADLING
When asked, the most commonly stated area that a goaltender wants to work on is rebound control. Noticing that this category of development displays the greatest volume of scoring chances it is vital to breakdown the approach into single components. Looking at the goaltenders largest area of coverage, and ultimately one of the easiest areas for a goaltender to develop rebound control pride, is the use of a goaltenders body to accept and control pucks.
As the use of the body is a rather easy puck-control tool, the ability to accept a puck is termed as a simple concept rather than complex. Below are the simple step by step areas of body cradling.
Step by Step ProcessCentered Body
The use of the body goes hand-in-hand with a strong, centered position. The goalie that established consistent and optimal positions will activate the body. This occurs because the body unit is taking up the bulk of the net and, therefore, the bulk of shots will attempt to access the net through this body coverage.
Facilitating the Down Move
As the shot is released, or following the shot release, depending on its proximity, the goalie must facilitate a neutral save. This means that the goalie cannot pull away from the shot but rather should facilitate a smooth transition to the ice in order to accept the puck. As the goalie sets, an internal collapse of the knee and ankle joints will allow this move to take place.
This is where many goalies have a problem. Instead of simply accepting the puck into the body unit, the goalie attempts to catch the puck. The glove and blocker play no role in actually stopping the puck. The role of the glove and blocker arms is to assist in the width and compactness of the body’s coverage. It is not to duplicate the body’s coverage. The puck should make contact with the goalie’s torso.
Two things actually cradle the puck. The first is a concaving of the torso as the puck comes into contact. The second is the use of the glove to secure the puck against the body (this latter move is optional on shots coming into the pelvic region). On shots that are higher on the chest, the goalie will need the glove to trap the puck against the body for retention purposes.
Click Below for Video Demonstration
GDI GOALTENDING IE V9 - Puck Acceptance - Body Cradling
The most difficult aspect of body cradling for most goaltenders is simply allowing themselves to use their body. In most cases, goalies instinctively try to use their glove and blocker to control the shot. Use of the body, with a glove cradle, after acceptance, is a superior approach. With a high degree of pride and care a dedicated goaltender can become consistent within one of the positions most dominant rebound control areas.
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