How To Play Bigger

How to play “bigger” in the net. It’s simple: the answer is get closer to the puck. My dad was the one who taught me this concept back in 1998 when they were still teaching the “windmill”. Since I was small, the idea was that I could make high saves much easier by stopping the puck earlier in its trajectory before it elevated. And ever since then I’ve utilized that concept, both up high and in tight down low on slides and breakaways. It wasn’t until a few years ago I stumbled across @thegoalieguild videos talking about “box control” that I’d heard any organized discussion around the topic ever. Needless to say, trajectory/box control are a vital piece to many elite goal-tenders tool boxes today. 

So, big or small, how do you get closer to the puck?

1. Attack with the hands
A. Hood over pucks in tight
B. Point hands at the puck when on your feet

2. Depth Control
A. Utilize quick seacuts in and out of the crease
B. Read the play well, challenge as much as the play allows

If you’re a smaller guy, both of these concepts will be incredibly vital. If you’re a bigger goalie, you’ll likely just need to focus more on the hands and less on your depth control.

These are the 2 pillars of how I’ve played bigger than my size my entire career. Start practicing and utilizing these things today. You’ll notice a dramatic difference in the consistency of your play in certain areas.