Player development is crucial. While many focus on offense and defense too often they forget about the goalie. Don’t get me wrong, it’s important for teams to have a solid understanding of offense and defense, but to negate development of the goalie is done at your peril. Goalkeeping is a specialized position and most don’t have the same knowledge to teach it properly. One other challenge is that on a team of 15 you have one maybe two goalies. Too often the training for the goalie is relegated to just putting them in the net for practice, but not actually training them on their position.
A goalie has the difficult task of taking in a lot of information in a short amount of time. They must always know where they are in relation to the goal based on the location of the ball. This skill is one of the more difficult one to master and is crucial if the goalie is to be effective. The intent is to place yourself in between the ball and the goal to maximize coverage of the goal while minimizing available space for the ball. In truth it’s about cutting down the angle the ball will travel from the shooter to the goal. By cutting down the angle you improve your chances of saving the ball. A Floorball is rather small and can squeeze through some small spaces. As such, it’s important to minimize that space by using your body positioning. So how do you teach this concept?
What you need to do is try and get your goalies to understand their position conceptually. If use the two posts as a guide they should imagine an arc going out from one end to the other. Use the reference points around the goal to help players understand their positioning in relation to the goal. As the ball moves in relation to the goal so should the goalie.
The key in this process is to be situated to that the shooter sees as little open space of the goal as possible. Players tend to shoot for what is open, and by minimizing that space you increase your chances of a save. The more proficient a play is in their body positioning the more proficient they will be as a goalie. One key to remember is that players may be too focused on the ball and may become out of position.
An offensive player’s goal is to encourage this. One good coaching point is to stand behind the goal and watch how the goalie moves in relation to the play. When they are out of position stop and address it. The goal is rather small so big movements may not always be needed to be in the proper position. The more players understand this the better off they will be.
This skill is a foundational component to every goalie. Their understanding of how to move in the crease and know where they are in the crease matters. The more goalies can understand this the better they will be in the net. As a coach it is important to not shy away from training your goalies. Do what you can to understand the position and support them as bet as you can.