September 10, 2014 – By Israel Fehr
In an effort to revitalize their goalie program, the NVMHA is actively looking to find ways to draw kids to a position on the ice that’s been waning in popularity in recent years.
“With goalies right now there’s a bit of a decline, especially in the younger age groups,” said NVMHA director of hockey operations Dan Cioffi. “We want to put more time into our goalies and developing them and increase our goalie numbers, especially in the younger age groups. We’ll be putting a lot of focus into our goalie program this year.”
There a several reasons for a drop-off in interest. The isolated nature of the position brings on a certain pressure to perform, even at a young age, and goalie equipment and specialty training comes at a high financial cost that some families can’t afford.
The association wants to put forth a financially reasonable program that can provide top-notch coaching and allow the kids involved to learn and enjoy themselves. North Van is working with the North Shore Winter Club to establish a better local recruitment program. The goal is continue making improvements while keeping the best interests of young goaltenders in mind.
“I think we’re leaders in providing goalie development for all our goalies,” said Cioffi. “We do Sunday clinics as well as providing goalie development funds and coaches to go to team practices a couple times a month to work with the goalies.
“The way we run our goalie program is, we don’t just pick one goalie coach or one goalie company to come in and run our goalie program. We want every goalie company to come in and have their input and be part of our program. We want our kids to learn from all of them, not just one of them. Let’s try to get all the information on one page and help the goalies develop.
“I think we have to bring back the fun of [playing in goal].”