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Choosing The Best Post Position:
"Toe On Post (TOP) vs Bump And Cover" (BAC)
I have always believed that one of the most important skills that a goaltender can learn to master is that of Proper Post Positioning. A Good Post Position should always allow a goaltender to maintain a tight cover on the post that prevents successful scoring opportunities ranging from wrap around attempts to hard drives to the net. A successful post position should give a goaltender the ability to transition their bodies to the other side of the net with one quick and fluid push with no loss of balance or unnecessary injury.
The two most commonly used Post Positioning techniques that are used in today's game are what I refer to as "Toe On Post" (TOP) and the "Bump And Cover" (BAC) method. The TOP technique has the goaltender position them self with the toe of their skate and the bottom underside of their pad firmly planted against the bottom edge of the post. The goaltender then must ensure there are no gaps or holes between their arm and the post, their mid-section and the post, as well as the top of their shoulder and the post. The goaltender then from this position must also be able to push off the post with enough strength to fully transition themselves over to the other side of the net quickly and with enough stability to be ahead of the play. I have seen very few goaltenders that have the ability to successfully perform the TOP method without losing their balance while on their knees or without making themselves extremely vulnerable to broad short handed goals , or shots that may deflect into the net off a shoulder or back. However that being said, Jonathan Quick of the Los Angeles Kings uses the TOP method and I don't think many would disagree that he has been able to find a great deal of success with this method!
Personally, I prefer the "Bump And Cover" (BAC) technique. I find the BAC technique allows me to have my pad inside the post usually half way down my leg to about my shin. From this position I am able to ensure that I can tightly cover the post with no gaps or open areas from top to bottom. When I use the BAC method I find I also have much more power to bump myself over ton the other side of the net. The natural momentum I gain simply from the extra strength that comes from the position of my leg, I feel it increases my efficiency in the net and maximizes my overall performance
At the end of the day it really isn't about what technique is best, it's which technique is best for you and your game. Each individual goaltender has to decide through their own practices and experiences what type of methods and techniques will work best, and what is already working for them. You will know the right choice for yourself when you notice that when you go to stop a puck you instinctively use a particular technique without thinking about it. That means you are familiar and comfortable with a particular technique, and you have confidence in your ability to perform that particular technique and most importantly it begins to prove successful when you play.
Check out this video of Ron Veit and goaltender Zach Weiss demonstrating the "Bump And Cover (BAC)" drill.
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