InGoal Magazine April 2012 - Summer Camp Edition : Page 24

Eye-Training with Dallas Stars’ Goaltender Richard Bachman by Kevin Woodley at Colorado College and a pro career that has seen him move from the ECHL to the AHL to the NHL in just three seasons, supplanting veteran Andrew Raycroft as the Stars backup this year. Bachman continues his visual training now before every NHL practice and game, and was kind enough to share the routine with InGoal Magazine and its readers. Best of all, only a simple tennis ball and a small space are required in order to do the routine. “I think it’s so important. Everyone does dynamic warm ups and loosens up their muscles and for a goalie it’s huge to get your eyes going and involved in everything and focused and work on tracking,” Bachman said. “I developed it into a routine I can rely on, so that come game day I already know exactly what I am going to do and it keeps it simple.” Bachman starts by simply bouncing a ball back and forth from one hand to the other off the ground, straight up and down, kind of like dribbling a basketball. Unlike hoops, however, where the idea is to feel and control the ball without looking at it, Bachman is locked intently on the tennis ball, trying to see and slow down the seams as they spin. Kevin Woodley photo sk Dallas Stars backup Richard Bachman about the keys to succeeding as a smaller goaltender and he talks about the importance of patience, of being able to wait until the last second before committing, whether it’s to a shot or a pass. A “Throughout all these drills I make sure I am watching almost the seams of the tennis ball The key, continues Bachman, is being able and the rotation of those, and if the tennis ball to read the play, and his ability to do so is the says WILSON on it, I will try to pick up letters great equalizer for a goaltender listed, perhaps and stuff,” Bachman said. “Just try to activate a tad generously, at 5-foot-10 competing and my eyes that way.” succeeding in an NHL that prefers its puck After about 100 bounces up and down, stoppers to stand half a foot taller. Bachman begins firing the ball off a wall from Bachman can’t change how tall he is, but he can different angles. Standing about four to six do everything in his power to get his smaller feet away he tosses the ball from one hand to frame to the right spots faster than his bigger, the other, sometimes throwing it down off the generally less-mobile peers. ground, off the wall and back towards him, For him it all starts with the eyes. Unlike his sometimes tossing it more forward, off the wall, height, however, the 24-year-old rookie can do off the ground and back. something to improve how he sees and reads Bachman even works with a teammate when he the play. can, tossing the ball back and forth to each other Bachman has been training his eyes for the last to remove the predictability – in other words, if six seasons, a practice that started when he was someone else is doing the throwing, he really in the USHL, and continued through two years has no predetermined expectation of where 24 InGoal Magazine April 2012

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