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About Our Goalie Training Program

The Goalie Club Training Program
We Develop The Complete Goaltender

The Goalie Club Goalie TrainingThe Goalie Club Goalie School was founded in 2002 by Des Christopher and Craig Lindsay, experienced goaltender coaches seeking a camp which continuously changed and adapted with the latest goaltending styles and techniques.

The Goalie Club was created for the purpose of helping goaltenders of all ages learn the latest goaltending theories and then implement it into their game.

The Goalie Club is a school built on the principle that to be a successful goaltender, a goalie must understand the game. By teaching goaltenders the why as well as the how of each technique, goaltenders become more confident in their technical game as they progress in their strategic game.

This Total Goalie Concept has guided two TGC members into the NHL, one TGC member onto a US National Team, four TGC members into minor professional hockey and numerous more into the college ranks.

When you train with TGC, you have Coach Des as a great resource to learn about how to make the jump to the next step of your goaltending career. Through Des' experience and network of TGC alumni and their paths to elite hockey levels, Coach Des can work with you on improving your game and achieving your goal of making it to next level and expand your network in the hockey world.

 

Shattuck - St. Mary's

Shattuck St. Mary'sThe Goalie Club teamed up with youth hockey powerhouse Shattuck-St. Mary’s Prep School in April of 2005. The relationship has helped aid in numerous National Championships and gold Medals.

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How The Goalie Club Began

The Goalie Club Beginning

It began as an idea.

Des Christopher and Craig Lindsay both were goaltenders growing up.

Christopher honing his skills, learning his craft in the minor hockey ranks in Calgary.  Influenced by the goaltenders he watched as a youngster in Grant Fuhr, Andy Moog, Mike Vernon, Ron Hextall and Patrick Roy.  And in Lindsay, who hailed from the Toronto suburb of Mississauga, was a kindred spirit.  Both played junior A hockey as teenagers, Des with the Canucks and Royals in Calgary, Lindsay  with the Wexford (Ont.) Raiders. Both ended up at NCAA Division I hockey programs.  Christopher with the Minnesota State Mavericks and Lindsay with UMass-Lowell River Hawks.  Eventually, the twosome with similar backgrounds (which also included professional stints in the U.S.  and Europe ), got to know each other through summer camp work.  And it was that relationship that led to the formation of a partnership that started the Goalie Club in 2003.

The Goalie Club Goalie TrainingLeaning on their vast experiences, Christopher and Lindsay shared a vision on how the unique position should be taught and how they wanted to go about doing so.

“We both wanted to create a goalie school that was not the McDonald’s of Goaltending, but is much more personal,” says Christopher.

“We wanted to know each and every kid. We wanted to know what they needed.  We knew that we wanted the process to be fun.  We wanted to accomplish this with a staff that was fun, passionate and excited to be on the ice with the young players. And at the same time, it was important to be able to be adaptable.  To be able to recognize what techniques are the best and what would be the best for our pupils.”

So, with a philosophy and approach in place, they started offering goaltending camps in the summer of 2003, primarily in the upper Midwest.  And, not surprisingly, the response was immediate.

“We recognized we had something based on how the kids and the parents reacted,” said Christopher. “But we also saw that our kids improved. Skating, positioning, techniques - it was obvious what we were doing had an impact.  There was that right away.  Then, later on we began receiving feedback that the work we did during the summer was manifesting itself with results in the fall during try-outs and the winter with practices and competition.”

So what began as a summer vocation for Des (he was the equipment manager and volunteer goalie coach for the hockey program at his alma mater at Minnesota State), quickly evolved into a year-round situation with relationships forged with minor hockey associations during the winter.

In 2005 Shattuck-St. Mary’s School in Faribault, Minn. took notice of the work that Des and the Goalie Club was doing and hired them to work with their puck stoppers.

The Goalie Club Goalie TrainingSince 2005, TGC has helped the Sabres (both girls and boys) capture several national prep and U16 national titles and Des now serves as assistant coach and goaltending coach for Shattuck-St. Mary’s.

“We’ve very pleased with the success of our development model that we’ve been able to build at Shattuck:, says Christopher, “It parallels what we do year-round with TGC.”

Utilizing all available resources, technology has speeded things up with The Goalie Club website (thegoalieclub.com) providing year-round support via newsletters, emails, postings, Q&A, and now real-time contact through text messaging, twitter and facebook.

“Probably the two key things we provide is communication and motivation,” says Christopher.  “I feel if a kid enjoys being on the ice and the position and you can do it in a positive environment, there’s unlimited potential.  Our staff provides that environment on an everyday basis. Kids want to come to our program.  Not because it’s easy - we’re not the flavor of the day. They sweat, they learn and they get better.”

And what once started as an idea continues to evolve.  For 2012 TGC is hosting two summer boarding schools at Shattuck-St. Mary’s that have traditionally attracted young netminders from all over the United States, Canada and Europe.

“We’ve been able to find the right blend of work-to-rest ratio, coupled with knowledge, enjoyment and culture,” says Christopher. “We challenge the attendees. They’re up at 7:00 and their heads hit the pillow at 10:00 p.m. for six days.”

Airport transportation to and from Shattuck, great facilities, full dining hall and dorm service and seperate boys and girls dormitories are but a few of the amenities which make The Goalie Club Camps experience special.

Attendees will have the option of registering for different programs. The Verge program (up and comers) is designed specifically for goaltenders who have mastered the fundamental and situational programs and demonstrate intense enthusiasm for training. The Prodigy program (midget-aged players) is specifically designed to help the goaltender at the midget, high school and junior levels make the next step.

The Goalie Club Goalie Training“Our summer day camps, which take place in Minnesota, Wisconsin and South Dakota in 2012, are open to goalies of all ages and the pupils will be placed in a group in which they will be challenged with an opportunity to grow, based on their needs,” says Christopher. “Our camps form the base for what we do, but the unique part of what we do, is the full-service aspect.  We work and are available 365 days a year. We work with the mental side of things. We offer comprehensive dryland training programs, one-on-one video analysis, weekly journals, and get into detailed save selection options, post-save recovery and rebound control, blocking and reaction styles, angles and positioning, game knowledge, game skills, puck-handling, equipment selection, etc.  We believe that our pupils are not just goaltenders, but hockey players.”

A track record, with experience that includes coaching and working with goaltenders for more than 20 years, gives Christopher a leg up.

“Watching the game, discussions with other coaches, contantly looking for ways to motivate and teach, teaching netminders is ever evolving,” says Christopher, who’s pupils include those that have gone on to play junior A, major junior, NCAA Division I and III and have had the opportunity to play pro hockey.  It’s expected that a current Goalie Club protégé will be one of the top goaltenders drafted in June.

“It’s simple,” said Christopher.  “We believe in our approach, we hire great staff members and we offer tremendous service.  We’re responsive and we do our utmost to ensure our pupils have fun.”