Ice hockey goalie clinics in North America offer a range of styles

By Zulia Hung Mitchell
By Zulia Hung Mitchell |

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I have finally finished my last week of hockey - and I am looking forward to my holiday!

It has been a steep, tough learning curve in North America. From JFK Airport in New York, my father and I flew to Edmonton and then Grande Prairie in Alberta, Canada. Playing on both sides of the border, I realised how different the game was in the two countries.

In Canada, the school ice hockey season starts in late August - at the beginning of the new academic year. In America, a different sport is played in each of the three semesters - autumn, winter and spring. Ice hockey is the winter sport.

The camps in the US focused mainly on techniques and details. There were fewer games, with the spotlight on practising particular moves. 

On the other hand, Canadian goalie coaches believe stopping the puck is more important than anything else, no matter how it is done. 

Choosing the right coach is not about who has the most money or the best reputation. The coach has to be able to work with your style. As Joe Bertagna says: "A goalie's playing style is unique, a combination of his or her good and bad habits." 

I must thank my parents for giving me the opportunity to play hockey in North America. Being able to attend different goalie clinics and meet different coaches, players and even parents has been an enlightening experience. I hope all of you will be able to do the same one day.