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Developing Goal Scorers

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  1. Developing Goal Scorers By Dan Brennan USA Hockey

  2. Introduction • Why are some players considered natural goal scorers and others not? • God given talent vs. development ? • Do we settle for less because the goalies are so much better now than in past decades and real athletes are playing the position instead of past decades when the big kid who didn’t move well and was the catcher on the baseball team also played goalie on the hockey team? • The goalie is now being very well coached are we doing our job as coaches to keep up and encourage goal scoring?

  3. Player Habits • Create pride and hunger through concentration. • Speed changes all areas of the neutral and offensive zone. • Stopping in front of the net after shooting or passing. (video clip) • Shot Camouflage

  4. Player Habits • Create space and in turn you create time and opportunity. • Compete with your buddies on a consistent basis on all your drills. • Look for seams away from the defense in close. (Hull, Bossy, Kovalchuck) • Practice push offs • Communicate with teammates in practice so eventually you won’t have to talk in a game thus not foreshadowing your next move.

  5. Coaching Habits • Allow drills to be played out to completion, we want kids to finish in games but they don’t finish in practice this will also develop confidence. • After proper warm up encourage kids to always shoot to score allow rebounds to play out before blowing the whistle, teach your kids to battle for garbage. Use battle drills and small area games to increase the competitive edge. • Competition drills to enhance scoring and mental grit as well as physical toughness around the net.

  6. Coaching Habits • Stick strength drills to prepare your kids to win the small battles in close for the puck. • Coaches “ hit the net or you’ll do push-ups” Kids are now hitting the goalie in the stomach instead of learning to pick corners. • Teach your kids to get with the times. The easy shot in past decades was low stick side on a goalie. Now kids have to be able to practice shooting higher more to compete with the hybrid goaltending style used by most goalies today.

  7. Body and Blade Positioning • Shooting off the right and wrong foot (video clip)

  8. Body and Blade Positioning • Shooting off the right and wrong foot (video clip) • Shooting 1 timers off to the side and in close in the slot. • Shooting after collecting a bad pass. (video clips)

  9. Body and Blade Positioning • Tip Ins: Body positioning in the slot, Blade positioning, avoid ramping. In air knock downs and re-directs. (video clips)

  10. Mental Preparation Before Games • Visualization before and during a game, see yourself scoring by mentally making it familiar. • Create high expectations through repetition in practice battle through checks and shoot to score always. • Mentally make yourself more competitive in practice and follow through on a daily basis during every drill.

  11. Mental Preparation Before Games • Study goaltenders in your league by using video and mentally memorize previous game situations. • Study defensemen on video and store them in your memory bank. • Mentally think of offensive seams you can create by communicating with line mates in the locker room before games and in practice.

  12. Mental Preparation During Games • Watch goalies on the other team during warm up look for tendencies and weakness. • Create scoring opportunities by splitting seams in the offensive zone. Get between the defense and become unpredictable by often lining up to shoot in different spots in the slot. (video clip)

  13. Mental Preparation During Games • Do we ever wonder why certain players want the puck during crunch time. These players see themselves scoring before it even happens. • Quick hands + quick release = Goals

  14. Closing Comments • The Goal Scorer does not know the difference between the top shelf and a garbage goal as long as they get their nightly quota the score sheet does not differentiate the two. (discussion) • Head up is the goalie coming out or deep in the crease. Use your surroundings and take charge of the situation and you will score more goals. (video Clip)

  15. Shameless USA Hockey Promotion • For more information on goal scoring on skill development go to • To order the USA Hockey Small Area Competitive Games Handbook go to • For information on the USA Hockey Skills and Drills For The Complete Player and Coach go to