JT Takes On: Becoming a goalie

JT Takes On: Becoming a goalie

In this edition of ‘JT Takes On’, JT found out what it was like to lace up a pair of skates, wear 50 lbs. of equipment, and try to stop of few pucks along the way.

The goaltending coach who guided JT in the segment, Jim Stanaway, runs a nationwide goalie school called Goalies Inc. He has a goalie camp coming up on Aug. 16-17 at the Berry Events Center in Marquette. Information on registering for the camp can be found here.

When it comes to evaluating all the different positions in sports, being a goalie ranks near or at the top. It takes a supreme athlete to stop pucks that come flying at you at speeds of 70, 80, or even 90 mph. Jim Stanaway, of Goalies Inc., was my instructor for the day. Stanaway, a lifelong goalie, runs a nationwide goalie school. Stanaway is from Marquette.

Before we get to the skating part, I had to put on the pads– i.e. my best friends.

This was no easy task. Goalies wear between 40 and 50 pounds of gear and are still able to move lightning quick. I didn’t even make it to the ice before I suffered my first injury. I sliced my thumb open trying to work a hockey shoe lace around one of my skates.

It took me 20 minutes to get all of the gear on. Then, it was time to hit the ice. Right away, Coach Jim went to work on getting my goaltending position set. After that, we worked on my ability to move around the crease, which is a lot tougher than it looks.

Coach Stanaway put me through drill after drill after drill to get me ready to face some live action. I got the tee push down after a little work, which is moving from one side of the ice to the moving my head, hands, then lastly, my hips.

Working on moving in the crease is one thing– stopping pucks is another. Coach Stanaway had Todd Cooper, a forward for the Marquette Royales, fire some shots at me a what seemed like point blank range. Goalies have milliseconds to react to the puck, and its their job to keep it out of the four by six target.

My final test of the day was a rapid fire segment– all of the shots coming at me in succession. That did not go very well. Being a goalie is a lot harder than it looks.