Coach Snowden-Santi earns USA Hockey Bronze Goalie Certification

Last month I participated in a virtual clinic to receive USA Hockey Goaltending’s (USAHG) Bronze certification. The purpose of this clinic was to further the focus on goaltending within USAH’s American Development Model (ADM).

While much of the information shared was part of fundamentals already built into our lessons, there were ideas shared that you may begin to see incorporated into our instruction.

I wanted to share some of the information and ideas brought to the table.

51 in 30 - This is USAHG primary goal for the next decade. Having a US goalie play 51% of the NHL and NWHL minutes by 2030. To achieve this, they have focused on six pillars in developing goaltenders:

  • Stance
  • Skating
  • Positioning
  • Save selection
  • Rebound control
  • Recovery

It is important to note that USAHG sees the first three fundamentals as 95% of the focus in goaltender development - leaving save selection, rebound control, and recovery as a minimal part of the player’s early development. This emphasizes their desire to produce overall athletes, versus position specific development.

Of those skills that often gets left out of goaltender evolution is stick handling. We incorporate stick work into every lesson, for this exact reason. It is far too often we find goalies with plenty of skill, but a lackluster ability to handle the puck. You have seen, and will continue to see this at every SG lesson and practice.

With that increased stick handling, we are able to keep more goalies involved in each drill - passing pucks to each other, coaches, shooters, or even working to bury a rebound. It allows us expand the dimensions of each drill, and build up on the different skills we are developing.

Of course, the main thing we are looking to achieve with every time we step on the ice, is having fun! Too often goalies walk away from the position or worse, the game, feeling overlooked and cast aside. Our mission is to leave each participant in our lessons, goalie or otherwise, with a smile on their face. Hockey is a sport we are fortunate to play.

I hope this has provided some positive insight into USAHG’s ADM first certification course. I would encourage parents to look into these courses should they want to further understand their young goaltender’s development. I will certainly be registering for the Silver course next season.

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