Frank Waytowich is a hockey goalie parent whose son Sam plays for the South Dundas Minor Hockey Association. Sam also trains regularly at Gold in the Net – Ontario and Frank played between the pipes himself for many years.
Like many goalie parents, Frank noticed the lack of regular, structured and up-to-date goaltender specific training in his association and last season (2014/2015) he decided to try and do something about it. As a result more than three quarters of all the goalies in the South Dundas Minor Hockey Association received regular and affordable goalie specific training.
As a goalie parent you can do the same. To explain how the partnership between South Dundas and Gold in the Net came about and how you can subsidize your hockey goalie training we interviewed Frank and posted the conversation below. Contact Chantal if you have any questions or like to set up a subsidized program for your own association.
Phone and fax: 613-498-0467
Toll free: 1-866-466-9955
GITN: What were some of the problems your association faced as far as training goalies?
FRANK: In the past they used to do a lot of power skating for all the teams in the association. That was good for players but not specifically for goaltenders. We did two hours of power skating a year where the kids can just show up. The same with body checking clinics where professionals come out to show how to give a check and take one properly to prevent injury. So they did a lot for the players.
They tried the same with goaltending in the past; pay someone a lot of money to come in for an hour or two of goalie training and sometimes we only had three or four goalies show up in a full sized rink. It was a real waste of resources. Obviously it got cancelled so there was nothing for the goaltenders at all.
GITN: What did you do last year with Gold in the Net?
FRANK: The association had put some money aside for goaltender development and we bought training vouchers from Gold in the Net. Because of the volume we received a discount. The association covered part of the cost so the parents would only pay $20 per training voucher for a one hour goalie training for either a Crease Movement/Skating Clinic or a Group Training Session. Once we collected from the parents we gave them a training voucher and they call Gold in the Net to schedule their training session. (*Note that the ratio is not set in stone. Associations can even decide to pick up more of the cost so that parents don’t have to pay anything).
GITN: So the parents themselves schedule the goalie training whenever it is convenient for them?
FRANK: That was the big thing. We tried to get a time where would all go and train together but it becomes too much of a headache to gather all the goalies. With the Gold in the Net subsidized program, we gave them their training voucher and they called on their own. All the teams play and practice at different times so it was really hard trying to organize a clinic. Letting our goalie parents book session on their own worked better for everybody. This was a much easier way to do it.
GITN: How was the response from goalies and parents?
FRANK: We have roughly 16 goalies in the association. I’d say of the 16 goalies at least 12 attended., of course we want to be fair to all goalies so it was offered and made available to all of them. Most Novice, Atom and Peewees participated in the program and benefited especially from these Movement clinics you offer where they are focussing on positioning and sliding and getting ready to make the stops. That is so valuable for kids that age. You want to get the kids a good foundation at a young age because that’s when they need a lot of influence on their habits and skills. If you get the kids doing the right things at that point it makes goaltending so much easier.
It was really affordable and we started with 16 training vouchers. As parents bought them up we used that money to buy more.
GITN: Will you be back this year?
FRANK: As soon as we start the season I am going straight back to the executive and hopefully we can do a little more than last year. We all have to watch the budget because training a lot can be expensive but this training voucher system allowed us every two weeks to go train for at least three months. And it worked. Everyone was kept sharp and it benefitted the association because the goalies coming back with this training made the league better.
GITN: Why are you telling others about this? Isn’t it an advantage to keep this to yourself?
FRANK: I know it is no longer a secret that South Dundas is doing this and I am sure the other associations are already considering the subsidized training. I was a goaltender for 30 years but the styles have changed and the training is more of a science than it used to be. You need to have a formula to follow in order to have the kids learn the most and benefit. I am watching my own son develop and there came a point that I said, “You know what, this is all I can show you. There is more out there but the techniques, the slides, this is all changed based on equipment and based on how hockey has evolved.”
This is where Mats and Norm and the Gold in the Net program they follow really helps. With my son and all the other goaltenders that trains there you can really see the improvement in style. For every shot that is taken on them there is a way to save it and a way not to save it. It is so much easier if they get regular feedback and support.
Contact Chantal if you have any questions or like to set up a subsidized program for your own association.
Phone and fax: 613-498-0467
Toll free: 1-866-466-9955
Gold in the Net is a proven program in which hockey goalies work on skills building with the help of our certified instructors in a challenging but safe and professional environment. Our main focus is to demonstrate and teach but also to make corrections. At Gold in the Net Ontario we ensure that the goalies we are privileged to work are guaranteed very low instructor-to-student ratios so they will receive maximum attention.