Shop Talk: BTM Goalie School still going strong after 32 years
From July 2-6, the 32nd Annual BTM Goalie School was held at the Ice Den in Scottsdale.
On Monday, the 40-plus goalies arrived in waves for check-in, handing out of the school jersey and some swag. Goalies and parents attended a meeting outlining the program and expectations.
The goalies left the meeting to get ready for the first on-ice session. At the BTM Goalie School, we spend the first 30 minutes of each ice session working on goalie-specific power skating. This is one of the most underdeveloped skills goalies work on. Power skating drills in practices are usually pretty generic and tailored towards the players. Not that goalies can’t benefit from this or any type of skating, but over our 32 years of experience, we are firm believers in goalie-specific power skating.
After the power skating, the goalies are broken up into four stations. One is a puck shooting machine station where in the morning, we video tape the goalies and go over with each our video analysis session at lunch. We have two instructional stations teaching fundamentals and live-game situations. Our last station is our shooters station. Goalies don’t just stand in this station and get shots. They start at the post and push off to the shooter.
Each station and session work on different drills and skills throughout the week.
On Thursday afternoon, our power skating consists of “dots.” Any goalies who have attended the school over the years knows exactly what this is. It is the hardest power skating drill of the camp. It is a test of mental and physical endurance. Working hard, giving 100 percent no matter how tired you may be. This years “dot day” was the best I can remember. Also considering the number of younger goalies, I couldn’t have been prouder.
After our ice session each day, we did dryland training on the turf field. This included exercise stations that worked on a wide range of fitness skills including jump rope and tennis ball hand-eye coordination. Another day, we had Jodi come out and run the goalies and a couple of the moms through a yoga session. On July 4, we had the entire turf field to ourselves and used it to play soccer, floor ball, football and dodge ball. The last session of dry land training, we had a push up, sit up and jump rope competition, along with a Group 4 (oldest goalies in school) versus the instructors game of football. The instructors got the best of the goalies, but fun was had by all.
After our dryland sessions, the goalies got a well-deserved lunch break. During lunch, each of the four groups spent time going over the video from the morning puck shooting session.
Throughout the week, we had special guests come and talk to our goalies. Bauer and CCM came to talk and show goalie products – especially all the new 2018 products – and gave the goalies some swag.
We were fortunate to have former NHL goalie Corey Hirsch come out again this year and talk to the goalies about mental preparation and nutrition.
We had three adult former BTM Goalie School students (alumni) come out and volunteer throughout the week. Two of them had sons in the camp – the second generation of BTM goalies.
The goalie school culminated with Friday’s showdown competition and awards ceremony (pictured above). For the showdown, as always, we had a great crowd of parents, grandparents, siblings and friends for the grand finale of the school. This year was another epic shootout that included highlight-reel saves. We videotape the showdown and post on social media.
The school wrapped up with our awards presentation.
At the BTM Goalie School, our goal with the camp is hard work, learning, fun and friendships. It was my pleasure to work with this great group of goalies. Thanks to all that attended!
Randy Exelby is the owner of Behind The Mask Hockey Shops.
(Sept. 4, 2018)