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Starting in Goal as an Adult

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Wife told me if i lose 50 lbs that I can buy nice stuff as a reward. Pretty sure I'm going to get Brian's S Series.

Not sure what your budget is, but you can probably do better than the S series. The Gnetik 5.0 is an unbelievable pad for the money, it's far and away the best senior level set on the market. The Gnetik 2 is coming in October, which means that Gnetik 1's will go on clearance. If you want the flat faced pad like a Subzero, you can still find good deals on a Subzero 1, which is a pro level pad, for a price close to a S series. One other thing to keep in mind, Brian's pads tend to run big. They will not fit the same size as Bauer, RBK, or CCM, and would likely be a shorter size. How tall are you? What is your ATK? (ankle-to-knee measurement, measure the distance between your ankle bone and middle of your knee while sitting with your leg bent at 90*)

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Not sure what your budget is, but you can probably do better than the S series. The Gnetik 5.0 is an unbelievable pad for the money, it's far and away the best senior level set on the market. The Gnetik 2 is coming in October, which means that Gnetik 1's will go on clearance. If you want the flat faced pad like a Subzero, you can still find good deals on a Subzero 1, which is a pro level pad, for a price close to a S series. One other thing to keep in mind, Brian's pads tend to run big. They will not fit the same size as Bauer, RBK, or CCM, and would likely be a shorter size. How tall are you? What is your ATK? (ankle-to-knee measurement, measure the distance between your ankle bone and middle of your knee while sitting with your leg bent at 90*)

Thanks, but I already got them :)

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The part I'm now having the most difficulty with is that the butterfly position is kind of uncomfortable. It's an awkward movement, I have a good foot of space in the 5-hole, and it kinda hurts my knees when I go down. I should mention this is while on skates (with guards on) at home, as I don't yet have all my gear to be able to even consider hitting the ice.

Maybe my mechanics are bad. Does anyone have suggestions on videos or something that shows the fundamentals? Unfortunately starting this as an adult there isn't a whole lot of practice opportunity and I'm not sure jumping right into pickup is the best idea either.

Is the ProHybrid series any good? Does it go over fundamentals or does it assume you already know the basics?

Interestingly, it might get better when you get into the pads. People with hip flexibility problems (like new adult goalies) can't get into a comfortable butterfly if their toes aren't pointing downwards. In a carpetfly, your knees and feet are at the same level and your toes point forwards. When you put on pads, the knee blocks inside will elevate your knee above your foot and create a downward angle and also allow you to point your toes down. All of that reduces the stress on your knees and hips, which will widen your butterfly and eliminate some of that discomfort.

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Interestingly, it might get better when you get into the pads. People with hip flexibility problems (like new adult goalies) can't get into a comfortable butterfly if their toes aren't pointing downwards. In a carpetfly, your knees and feet are at the same level and your toes point forwards. When you put on pads, the knee blocks inside will elevate your knee above your foot and create a downward angle and also allow you to point your toes down. All of that reduces the stress on your knees and hips, which will widen your butterfly and eliminate some of that discomfort.

Thanks, but I was talking about WITH the pads on.

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Thanks, but I already got them :)

Cool. One thing to keep in mind with them. They are a stiffer, flat faced pad. You will have to make them looser than you think so they will rotate properly and not restrict your movements. Like almost floppy. There shouldn't be any firm tension in any of the straps, especially the toe ties or boot strap. I forget, do the S series have the Smart Strap? if they do, it should be loose-ish and the knee strap should only be tight enough to keep your knee in the landing gear when you go down. If not, the straps should get more loose as you go up the pad from the bottom. A big mistake new goalies make is strapping the pads too tight.

Thanks, but I was talking about WITH the pads on.

Do your toes point downwards in the butterfly?

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Cool. One thing to keep in mind with them. They are a stiffer, flat faced pad. You will have to make them looser than you think so they will rotate properly and not restrict your movements. Like almost floppy. There shouldn't be any firm tension in any of the straps, especially the toe ties or boot strap. I forget, do the S series have the Smart Strap? if they do, it should be loose-ish and the knee strap should only be tight enough to keep your knee in the landing gear when you go down. If not, the straps should get more loose as you go up the pad from the bottom. A big mistake new goalies make is strapping the pads too tight.

Do your toes point downwards in the butterfly?

Yes they have smart straps only (the Gnetik 5.0 has both, I think). I've been playing with the tightness of the straps and my issue is that I'm not really sure how tight or loose things should be (because I've never worn pads with normal straps) but once I get it where I lik it I think I'll really like the smart straps.

Toes point outward like they should, I just have a tendancy to open my legs when I go down so I have a good foot between the top edges of my pads in the butterfly. I also seem to have trouble with the pads not going back into place properly when I stand back up.

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Yes they have smart straps only (the Gnetik 5.0 has both, I think). I've been playing with the tightness of the straps and my issue is that I'm not really sure how tight or loose things should be (because I've never worn pads with normal straps) but once I get it where I lik it I think I'll really like the smart straps.

Toes point outward like they should, I just have a tendancy to open my legs when I go down so I have a good foot between the top edges of my pads in the butterfly. I also seem to have trouble with the pads not going back into place properly when I stand back up.

In my Subzeros, the Smart strap was only tight to the point that it held the pad in place. I could twist the pad back and forth on my leg without any restriction from the strap. It was not so tight as to hold the front of my shin up against the pad constantly, there was space there.

When you say outward, what direction is that? NHL goalies with huge flared butterflys, like Lundqvist, point their toes towards the puck parallel to the ice, like this

galleryflyerspg-vertical.jpg

But a goalie with less flxibility and a more narrow butterfly, like Brodeur, will point his toes towards the puck but also down towards the ice so his heel is higher than his toes, like this

8065042.jpg

That downwards point is what takes the pressure off your hips and knees. As far as opening your legs when you drop, you can fix that by thinking about it differently. When you drop into your butterfly, your hips should be in the exact same place they were when you were in your stance, just with your knees under you now. So in your stance, your knees should be more under you. When you drop down, drive your knees straight down under you, bringing them together as you do. They should move sideways in, not forward as you drop. While you drop, also keep your hips up and forward instead of dropping with your butt. That will help you keep your legs in and closed.

As far as the pad returning to "zero", where are you putting the boot strap? is it through the hole at the back of the skate, like Brodeur's above, or is through the larger space in the middle? If it's through the heel, it may be too tight.

Edited by psulion22

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Much more like Brodeur, but I'm not 100% sure. I'm going to take some video from various angles this weekend so you guys can see what I'm doing wrong :)

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Much more like Brodeur, but I'm not 100% sure. I'm going to take some video from various angles this weekend so you guys can see what I'm doing wrong :)

That would help.

I coach adults in a learn to play hockey clinic like you mentioned. All of the beginner goalies I have coached have done the same two things - strapped their pads too tight, and brought their knees forward (and incidentally their feet behind them) when they dropped which opens the 5 hole.

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That would help.

I coach adults in a learn to play hockey clinic like you mentioned. All of the beginner goalies I have coached have done the same two things - strapped their pads too tight, and brought their knees forward (and incidentally their feet behind them) when they dropped which opens the 5 hole.

I used the video of Chris Mason showing off his smart straps as a general basis for how tight I was making mine (at one point the interviewer actually tugs on his straps a bit). It's better than it was when I first started messing with them.

See the 0:20 mark:

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I used the video of Chris Mason showing off his smart straps as a general basis for how tight I was making mine (at one point the interviewer actually tugs on his straps a bit). It's better than it was when I first started messing with them.

See the 0:20 mark:

Yeah, that is definitely as tight as you would want to go. When I had my Subzeros, I wore it at the point there was any resistance. It was enough to just curl the calf lock a little. One other thing I did was adjusted the strap so that it attached higher on the calf. So the two sides of the strap were not the same length. That helped with allowing my ankle more room to float.

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Yeah, that is definitely as tight as you would want to go. When I had my Subzeros, I wore it at the point there was any resistance. It was enough to just curl the calf lock a little. One other thing I did was adjusted the strap so that it attached higher on the calf. So the two sides of the strap were not the same length. That helped with allowing my ankle more room to float.

That makes sense. I also actually had a custom sliding toe bridge made for these things by Sarah at PAW. I don't know how much that really matters for my level but what the hell.

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That makes sense. I also actually had a custom sliding toe bridge made for these things by Sarah at PAW. I don't know how much that really matters for my level but what the hell.

That's actually probably the reason the pads don't return to "zero". I found that too much slack in the toe ties (which the sliding bridges would give) caused the pad to not rotate back properly. Having her build you a thicker knee stack may give you a little more flexibility too.

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That's actually probably the reason the pads don't return to "zero". I found that too much slack in the toe ties (which the sliding bridges would give) caused the pad to not rotate back properly. Having her build you a thicker knee stack may give you a little more flexibility too.

Ah, I haven't tried them yet. So you think they would actually make things worse? I bet I could pretty easily get her to make me some thicker pads for my knee stacks. I do plan on wearing knee pads as well. I bought the Bauer Supreme but they were bulky as shit and I didn't care for them. It was almost too much. Trying the Reactor ones this week (already ordered, should be here today).

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Ah, I haven't tried them yet. So you think they would actually make things worse? I bet I could pretty easily get her to make me some thicker pads for my knee stacks. I do plan on wearing knee pads as well. I bought the Bauer Supreme but they were bulky as shit and I didn't care for them. It was almost too much. Trying the Reactor ones this week (already ordered, should be here today).

Nah it could be a whole host of problems causing it, usually realted to strapping being either too loose/thight somewhere. try them out. I didn't know the toe bridges on the S series were removable to put the slider in. She does make the thicker knee stacks. They're a standard item right on her website. I was never able to find a knee pad that wasn't too bulky. I wear the Bauer Pro pants with the attached knee protection that has worked well so far. It doesn't go into the knee lock so bulk isn't a factor. Sarah also makes a knee pad that people seem to like. There's a Maltese get one too that looks promising, but cost is prohibitive.

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Optimus, one cheat I do is that I don't use the toe tie/toe bridge. What I then do is use my toes to push the pads a little closer together. Doesn't seal the 5 hole totally, but shrinks it a bit.

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Okay, time for a big update. I have pretty much everything I need, now. Here's a quick rundown of everything I got, with links so you can take a look yourself.

Base Layer:

Protective Wear:Mask:Skates:Stick:Pads:Jersey:I actually still need a bag to put all this crap in, but my Mammoth player bag should be here in a few weeks so I'll probably just re-use my Bauer player bag for now and just carry my leg pads (though not sure by what, since they have no leather straps). I want a GRIT SUMO tower though. Our team goalie has one and loves it. I also want to get some thigh pads that lace into my pads. The ones that came with my pads are a couple inches too tall.

With me being the size and shape I am, of course I have a couple fit issues. First, the arms on my C/A are simply too long. They make it difficult to get my gloves on all the way.

Here you can see the left and right arm (with one being pulled up a bit):

bJhV9vCm.jpg Rh9cy3ym.jpg

I imagine this should be a pretty simple fix, and I could probably handle it myself with a speedy stitcher or could take it to Jakes in LA to have it altered.

Second is that my pants are a bit long and interfere a bit with the padding on the sides of the knees on my pads.

DvnJXR7m.jpg

I could also probably have these shortened a bit at Jakes. Unfortunately they had to be XL in order to fit around my midsection ;) I'll be able to buy smaller sized pants eventually...

Finally, let's talk about my butterfly. I just can't seem to get it closed. I have zero flare and have difficulty getting my knees together, let alone closing that opening.

NRpGMxjl.jpg

Here's how it looks from above:

Eg5Sql2l.jpg

Can anyone out there offer any suggestions on this? Or will this just get better over time?

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Wow Chris, you went all out with a pretty nice setup! Congrats. I'm a bit jealous about your helmet and graphics - it's my next purchase to replace my 125lb Vaughn.

The butterfly pics. Are you leaning backwards or trying to put your butt down towards the floor when in butterfly? What if you try to "sit up" a bit straighter, are you able to close your knees a bit more then?

I am probably one of the least flexible humans I know, and I'm able to get my knees closed on carpet (on the ice I'm down to about an inch apart).

Can you identify an area of strain when you go into butterfly like that? Hip flexors? Ankles? IT Bands? Groing? Anything? Perhaps something is too tight and restricting some natural movement.

If nothing is in the way, or blocking it physically I'd recommend doing some exercises to stretch and open your hip flexors and to loosen up your quads and hamstrings. This is the area I need to work a lot, and after being diligent with it I notice a MAJOR improvement.

You don't want to be too stiff out there, or you'll end up getting hurt.

From an inflexible guy who started playing goal about 2 years ago, feel free to drop me a line any time to discuss.

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I thought I'd chime in on your butterfly question:

I found that stretching and working on flexibility made going into a butterfly easier. As another fellow goalie with a narrow butterfly, it didn't give me "width/flare" with my butterfly, but rather it made it much more comfortable (and easier on the joints). You'll get some width, but unfortunately it won't make you into Luongo.

I actually ditched toe ties for a long while. I found that they added too much stress to my ankles (especially), knees, and hips. I just tied my skate strap extra tight, and it worked out just fine. A few times I had to nudge my pads back to square, but it's not as crazy as some people may describe. Since then, I've moved to ToeHooks, which while stiff at the beginning have eased nicely so that it's like using a sliding toe bridge but without the extra laces to tie.

Looking at your video, you're a good candidate for the "Giggy-fly". More important than a wide butterfly flare is the fact that nothing can pass through your legs. Here's an example of the Giggy-fly:

Reebok-XLT-12-300x203.jpg

(source: http://ingoalmag.com/news/nhl-goalies-finally-get-to-try-out-new-smaller-pads/ , halfway down the page)

With that butterfly, you can see why JS paid almost $1000 for knee pads. I noticed that you didn't list any, so I'd strongly suggest you invest in a pair. Your future self will thank you a million times.

As for your technique: you don't want to feel like you're "falling" onto the ice. Rather, you want to feel like you're "driving" your knees into the ice. From your stance, it'll feel more familiar as you work on your butterfly. But judging from your video, it looks as though you're just falling into your butterfly and letting the pads roll forward then down. The pads should just go straight down.

Does the last part make any sense? If you watch some videos on butterfly technique, the goalies are driving those knees into the ice so the pads go straight down.

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With that butterfly, you can see why JS paid almost $1000 for knee pads. I noticed that you didn't list any, so I'd strongly suggest you invest in a pair. Your future self will thank you a million times.

Thanks for all the suggestions! I'm sure it will get easier the more I stretch and get more flexible, and more practice. I still haven't even been on the ice yet.

As for knee pads... I haven't found any I liked. I tried both Bauer Supreme and Bauer Reactor. The reactor were better (but WAY less protective) but didn't have garter loops to hold them up. The Supremes were crazy bulky and never felt right. I ended up buying a pair of volleyball knee pads and they feel great (for landing purposes) but obviously aren't protective. The thigh guards that came with my pads just don't seem to do much for me either, thy don't hug my leg and knee at all.

I was looking at the Warrior knee pads because they are SUPPOSED to slide down (the top half anyway, the bottom part where the knee is stays in place), and also saw the Brian's knee pads in the store and they looked really good (like they'd actually stay in place):

ms1276217-inset2.jpg

I also didn't plan on wearing socks, but that gives a bit more potential for the knee pad edges to get caught on stuff. Dunno, maybe I'll just go ahead and get them.

Oh one more thing... are throat guards (that hang from the mask) generally only worn by guys who don't wear neck guards? Or do most goalies wear both? I'm undecided if I want to wear one or not.

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Thanks for all the suggestions! I'm sure it will get easier the more I stretch and get more flexible, and more practice. I still haven't even been on the ice yet.

As for knee pads... I haven't found any I liked. I tried both Bauer Supreme and Bauer Reactor. The reactor were better (but WAY less protective) but didn't have garter loops to hold them up. The Supremes were crazy bulky and never felt right. I ended up buying a pair of volleyball knee pads and they feel great (for landing purposes) but obviously aren't protective. The thigh guards that came with my pads just don't seem to do much for me either, thy don't hug my leg and knee at all.

I was looking at the Warrior knee pads because they are SUPPOSED to slide down (the top half anyway, the bottom part where the knee is stays in place), and also saw the Brian's knee pads in the store and they looked really good (like they'd actually stay in place):

ms1276217-inset2.jpg

I also didn't plan on wearing socks, but that gives a bit more potential for the knee pad edges to get caught on stuff. Dunno, maybe I'll just go ahead and get them.

Oh one more thing... are throat guards (that hang from the mask) generally only worn by guys who don't wear neck guards? Or do most goalies wear both? I'm undecided if I want to wear one or not.

It's all personal preference. It really comes down to how comfortable you are with everything fit, function, and safety wise. I used to only wear a dangler, but I really want to try out a maltese combo. I hear they are super comfortable as they are custom made. I've never found a neck protector that I felt was comfortable, especially temperature wise. I also have a huge neck at 18 ½" If the maltese is comfortable enough, I may ditch the dangler all together...

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