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Modern stance and stress points on articulations


RichMan
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Being a Habs fan, hence Price supporter, following him in action I've noticed how he has a very low stance. It got me to analyse my own stance and my own physical capabilities (and restrictions). Most of the stress I feel in such a position is in the lower back, the hips and knees. Ankles have been fine so far. I know working on flexibility and mobility strength would greatly improve my comfort. I also find that moving from point A to point B, especially in long t-pushes, in such a low position makes it hard to engage my push leg while keeping level shoulders and getting enough power all the while keeping my balance AND remaining square. Hell of a challenge when you get older and start slowing down. I tend to stand high and then react to the play or shot. Different story on breakaways and dekes of course.

What's your experience?

Image result for carey price 2019-2020 

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7 minutes ago, RichMan said:

Being a Habs fan, hence Price supporter, following him in action I've noticed how he has a very low stance. It got me to analyse my own stance and my own physical capabilities (and restrictions). Most of the stress I feel in such a position is in the lower back, the hips and knees. Ankles have been fine so far. I know working on flexibility and mobility strength would greatly improve my comfort. I also find that moving from point A to point B, especially in long t-pushes, in such a low position makes it hard to engage my push leg while keeping level shoulders and getting enough power all the while keeping my balance AND remaining square. Hell of a challenge when you get older and start slowing down. I tend to stand high and then react to the play or shot. Different story on breakaways and dekes of course.

What's your experience?

I still use a lot of a low stance like this. Always have. Though, I've changed up when I engage that stance. I used to be locked in like that anytime the puck was in our zone. Got burned a lot when I moved up some divisions, so I had to switch it up and use it for only immediate shot attempts or high danger situations.

Though one thing I have recently noticed is that I'm doing the Hellebuyck when I'm moving around my crease. Stick in a more elevated position and not on the ice.

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@RichMan I think your description of standing high and reacting to plays is not too far off what lots of pros actually do (or try to do, or are coached to do etc.).  We talked about him in another thread, so I know you're familiar already, but Keeks did a post about this I think last season some time.  Basically be able to transition through situational stances.  Have a stance that is ready but observational, lets you move or transition into a pre-shot stance.  Have deeper variations the closer the play is etc.

I remember a story a couple of years ago on Price specifically, where he said he started using a narrower stance for the exact reason you mentioned about T-pushes.  With the wider stance you have less push power since you're already extended so far.  

I have hip/mobility limitations, so I found what worked for me was combining that general philosophy with knowing my limitations.  So find that deepest stance you can get while still being able to drive into a butterfly effectively for in close plays.  Find that more upright stance that you can effectively move around your crease in, and lets you look around players effectively without having to bob and weave because your stance is too low.  My different levels all looked pretty similar, we'll see if they change any when I actually get back on the ice at some point :)

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Oh, also I remember Maria Mountain bringing up a point about stress on joints related to height of steel.  Her position was that taller steel is bad in the long run because it puts more stress on your knees, since the taller steel creates a longer "radius" and therefore more torque based on the torque equation.

\tau = rF\sin\theta

I feel like that would be a legitimate concern if you were a fairly mobile person who had a very deep stance AND used Extreme Step blades AND played a lot.  But I think most people using that steel are maybe less mobile to begin with (?), and also it's not legal for professional leagues (or at least NHL)? 

It's an interesting thought related to stress on joints, but I don't think we need a referendum on steel height necessarily.

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My stance relies heavily on the situation and where the shooter is at. When I started I tried to emulate pros as much as possible thinking if they do it I need to do it to be as good as them... I would have a wide stance all the time which would lead to me getting burned when teams would actually pass and move the puck since it was difficult to t push and move laterally. I also would force my stick to ALWAYS be on the ice, which isn't a bad idea but I would focus on that to much and it would slow down my movement. Recently I started standing more naturally and comfortably and noticed I was able to move a lot better and quicker. Now if the shooter is in close ill have my ready stance with stick on the ice, but if the shooter is against the boards or generally not in a dangerous area I will have my stick up and move around without it on the ice.

I personally found that moving more naturally and not trying to always be super wide has helped my game a lot and has led to more saves and better performance.

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I too am of the camp that, while I would love to have a wide stance, the loss it incurs both in mobility and in my case upper coverage (I am a tad under 5’-8”) has restricted my use of it (not to mention the old joints don’t like it too much).  As with others, I play more upright to allow better sight-lines and mobility when the play is farther out. I have been working on getting lower– same on breakaways – using a gradual transition from upright as the player enters  the zone to as wide as I can get when he is at/below the hash-marks (with hopes he is close enough that I have choked off the vertical angle).

I think this all points to an important fact – there is no specific move/stance that is always effective. I have heard a lot of discussion over the years about glove up vs. down (that was a long time ago), whether the VH is effective or the demon incarnate etc.… The reality is, as goalies we need to be very situationally aware and react with the proper move for such. To me that is what separates good goalies from the rest. I see a lot of goalies, especially newbies, essentially striking a pose on certain plays (because their goalie-idol looks so cool doing it) and then getting burned badly and wondering why the goal went in.  Given the right situation the VH is an effective tool as is the b-fly drop and even the pad stack. Best thing to do is leave the posing to the Sears catalog (sorry – dating myself again)

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I've got the transition part down as the play moves into the zone. Best example I can think of is when the face-off is in the circles. It's close, you need to adopt a ready stance. Some goalies are wide legged, some are squatting, some are really bent over - despite it being a "what's best and comfortable for me" approach, you have to wonder what is more effective.

As @Mroy31 pointed out, Carey did change his stance width to have better push-offs.

Being too narrow won't allow for a good b-fly drop or slide, too wide will leave you weak on the push.

Lets not forget the strain for the less flexible ones here.

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28 minutes ago, RichMan said:

I've got the transition part down as the play moves into the zone. Best example I can think of is when the face-off is in the circles. It's close, you need to adopt a ready stance. Some goalies are wide legged, some are squatting, some are really bent over - despite it being a "what's best and comfortable for me" approach, you have to wonder what is more effective.

As @Mroy31 pointed out, Carey did change his stance width to have better push-offs.

Being too narrow won't allow for a good b-fly drop or slide, too wide will leave you weak on the push.

Lets not forget the strain for the less flexible ones here.

Growing up as what we now would call a 'hybrid' goalie, I see the transition as the perhaps the most important part of the equation. It's no wonder that guys don't just blast off slappers from the slot much any more - a goalie that is gradually taking away bits and pieces of the net from the puck's angle is much better prepared for anything than a single 48"x24" block of net. Maybe I'm seeing this wrong...

In what could be classified as a normal situation (not a breakaway, below-goal line play, 3-0, etc.) I have stood up taller as I have gotten older. I also have decreased how far out I will move from the crease. I try to go no more than 18 inches from the top of the crease, but also I try not to fall back in the crease with as much speed and urgency. As the play transitions into the zone, the same transition rules apply. However, I would rather economize movement and angles to better read the play. I also concentrate on better quality skating and footwork over the quantity of either. I've never had amazing ROM in my hips, so my butterfly is not very good. I have for years and continue to work on ROM in order to keep what I have. As a result of my narrower stance and poor ROM, I have chosen to concentrate on '"active ROM", so strength and control at the end of my mobility range. I sometimes surprise myself when I make a pad save that requires a good amount of hip internal rotation. Believing that I can do it if I put the work in before is perhaps the biggest hurdle.

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