Proper Goal Stick Sizing
"Buying the Right Stick is as Important as Choosing Correct Fitting Skates"
Working in retail and owning a Goalie School and Training Facility has shown me various misconceptions. There is one thing that "really bugs me" is kids with improperly sized goal sticks. All too often kids want a big pro model stick or one with a big curve. Even worse, the coach or parent entices the child to get a bigger stick so he can pokecheck further or so he won't grow out of it. This is ridiculous!!
Buying the proper stick is as important as buying the proper glove-do it right!-Follow these guidelines and you can't go wrong:
1. Youth goalies under 10-12 years should not have a curve. House Leaguers should wait a couple more years before buying a curved stick. Learn to stop the puck before shooting it.
2. Junior goaltenders don't need a huge curve. The bigger the curve, the bigger the chance of missing a shot at the stick. Pokechecking is more difficult with a curved stick-the toe of the stick is off the ice when the blade is pushed forward. In the backhand position the puck can easily slide under the curved area. Curved sticks often cannot be placed totally flat. The blade is usually rockered which will put the toe up when the heel is down and vice versa. Rebounds are also much harder to control off a curved surface as opposed to a straight one.
1. In stance with skates on and the stick blade flat on the ice the shaft should not be higher than the goalie's shoulder. Buy a stick that fits. Never cut a goalie stick. They are balanced and cutting the shaft eliminates that required balance.
1. In stance with skates on and the stick blade flat on the ice, the blocker should be positioned between the waist and the bottom knee roll on the pad. If the blocker is too low the goaltender will lean forward, be off balance and he will have difficulty with the top corner. If too high, the goaltender will have difficulty with low shots and stick manoeuvrability.
1. In stance with skates on and the stick blade flat on the ice, the goaltender must be comfortable. Use the lie # on the shaft as a guide, but don't rely on each manufacturer's lie to be the same-they're not even close! (E.g. A Louisville 13 lie is 2 or 3 inches different from a Koho lie 13.) Pro Pattern sticks often do not show a lie so be careful. The lie signifies the angle the blade is on. A 13 lie will position the blocker hand further away from the body and closer to the ice, thus creating a larger opening under the arm. Using a 15 lie will put the blocker hand closer to the body and further from the ice. Every goaltender will like a different lie and this may change during the season and throughout his/her career. It may be necessary to try several sticks before finding the correct one. Quite often incorrect glove positioning is mistaken for incorrect lie. Before rushing to get a new stick make sure the hands are in the proper location.
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