The goalie position has unique physical demands compared to forwards and defensemen that should factor into the training process.
This image shows heart rate data (courtesy of @dmcconnell29) from a goalie in a game and a practice. Clearly there are differences in the conditioning demands in how goalies are being utilized in practices compared to games, but there’s another key takeaway:
Goalies are required to move at high intensities in short bursts, but generally not for sustained periods long enough to drive heart rate up, and then have LONG breaks to recover.
While there are some considerations for preparing goalies for “worst case scenarios”, goalies should really be trained more like sprinters – major focus on raising the ceiling for their speed/power, with supporting aerobic work to help with recovery and consistency.
Feel free to post any other comments/questions you have below. If you found this helpful, please share/re-post it so others can benefit.
To your success,
P.S. For comprehensive hockey training programs to improve your speed AND repeat sprint ability, check out: Speed Training for Hockey
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Kevin has rapidly established himself as a leader in the field of physical preparation and sports science for ice hockey. He is currently the Head Performance Coach for the Boston Bruins, where he oversees all aspects of designing and implementing the team’s performance training program, as well as monitoring the players’ performance, workload and recovery. Prior to Boston, Kevin spent 2 years as an Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach for the San Jose Sharks after serving as the Director of Performance at Endeavor Sports Performance in Pitman, NJ. He also spent 5 years as a Strength and Conditioning Coach with USA Hockey’s Women’s Olympic Hockey Team, and has been an invited speaker at conferences hosted by the NHL, NSCA, and USA Hockey.