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Left handed goalie what hand to catch in?

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  • Left handed goalie what hand to catch in?

    My son is just getting started goal tending, he is left handed and has been catching right, but we are wondering if that's what he should be doing? He is left handed, as a player shoots left, in baseball catches right. If he continues catching right it means holding the stick in his dominant hand but learning to shoot right. If he catches left, it means holding the stick in is non-dominant hand, shooting the way he is used to and getting used to catching with his left hand.

    Any good advice would be helpful.


  • #2
    Depends if he can catch well with his other hand. I shoot right as a player but have to play the puck lefty in goal as I can definitely catch better with my left hand (glove is my strength). I play all sports rights but write, eat, and cut with scissors lefty so I know kind of what you explaining.

    So the way I see it, I sacrifice my puck handling to keep my strong glove. If I could catch equally as well I'd play the opposite way and really be able to play the puck, but I can't so its an easy decision for me. Slowly playing puck better now, but at 33 years old its tough learning to shoot opposite than what you've done for 30 years. (I just started playing goalie 2 years ago...)


    • #3
      I am the exact same as your son, in first year of goaltending (some thirty odd years ago) my dad switched me over to full right, because in his wisdom I caught right playing baseball.. a game I never even cared for. I don't remember any difficulities catching as a regular but I can remember having to practice my shot lots in order to learn how to shoot right. IMHO I think I would've been better off staying with regular gloves, when a ball is thrown at me I can catch it equally as well with my left hand..but it took me a long time to get a proper shot shooting right and seriously.. if only because the the glove and stick selection absolutely sucks when you're a full right goalie.
      Last edited by JHanson; 02-26-2013, 01:39 PM.


      • #4
        Totally ignore the stick for a moment.

        If he plays baseball and naturally catches right/throws left, he'll be better off continuing to catch right.

        Also, shooting as a player and goalie are really totally different..
        I hold the stick in my right hand playing goal (thus a "left" shot) -- but have always played with a right-hand shot when skating out...


        • #5
          I'm left handed and catch left. Just feels most natural.


          • #6
            I'm a righty, but I grew up playing right handed. I tried playing the traditional way when I switched to goal last year. Shortly after I tried playing full right just because I could get a set of FR stuff for cheap. As I catch equally with both hands, I stuck with FR for stick handling.


            • #7
              Whatever hand he catches a baseball with is the same he catches a puck with. The stick handling will come with practice.


              • #8
                The vast majority of people are right hand dominant - the vast majority of goalies catch with the left hand.

                If he catches a baseball right handed, he should catch a hockey puck right handed. to do anything else would be confusing things. A goalie stick will spend more time in one hand than two, so holding it in the dominant hand is probably preferable as well.

                As a bonus, at the end of the season full right gear often goes on sale at much deeper discounts because retailers don't want to be stuck with it!

                I'm right handed, catch left handed, shoot left handed with a goalie stick and right handed with a player stick. I'm left eye dominant, but that's a whole other issue!

                He should do what is comfortable for him, and not what someone else thinks he should do it. It's tough enough to learn the game without forcing the body to learn it in reverse of its natural tendency.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by grimjake1 View Post
                  Whatever hand he catches a baseball with is the same he catches a puck with. The stick handling will come with practice.
                  For baseball I catch/left and throw/right. For hockey I block/left and catch/right. There are no hard fast rules.

                  Originally posted by bc30 View Post
                  He should do what is comfortable for him, and not what someone else thinks he should do it. It's tough enough to learn the game without forcing the body to learn it in reverse of its natural tendency.
                  This is great advise. Now it's just a matter of figuring out what the kid's comfortable with.



                  • #10
                    Throw a tennis ball at him when he isn't expecting it. Whichever hand he instinctively brings up to catch it should be his glove hand. This is what he should catch with if you want him to have the best glove hand possible and he wasnt concerned about which hand he play out with.

                    Most people catch in their non-dominant hand because they require having their dominant hand free to throw. Since this isn't the case as a goaltender, I would argue that a goalie is better off catching with whichever hand their brain instinctually uses.

                    In terms of stick side compared to a player, it's not always better to keep the sides the same. Regardless of handedness and which side the stick is, a skater still uses his dominant hand to control the stick (when both hands are on it). Putting the stick in his non-dominant hand can cause control problems, especially since it's hard to get a firm grip with the bottom hand as a goalie.

                    In my case, I'm very right hand dominant. If you throw something at me, I react with my right hand. I play right-handed as a skater. But, for whatever reason, my catch glove is on my left when I play goal. Combine my poorer eye-hand coordination and motor skills on my left hand with a blind spot in my peripheral on the left side from a retina injury, and I have a below average glove hand. But, I have a very good blocker side. I've long thought about switching to full right, not because my stick would be the same as when I play out, but because I think it would really improve my glove side. But, I'm afraid too much of the rest of my game would suffer, like my stick handling (which is terrible to begin with) since I'd only have my left hand to control the stick and my blocker wich is definitely my stronger side. I've considered switching to left handed playing out because I think it would be an easier transition to match goalie/player stick sides and might even improve my eye-hand on the left side.


                    • #11
                      I used to switch back and forth as a kid playing street and floor hockey, depending on which goalie is "was"
                      Plante = left Esposito = right
                      I had this nifty first baseman's glove that could be worn on either hand.

                      I think that the dominance of one hand over the other is not as black and white as we are lead to believe.
                      I write and eat left handed, but I play guitar, drums, golf, and tennis right handed.
                      I suddenly discovered one day I was writing on the chalk board in my studio with my right hand a few years ago.

                      If I were to play baseball originally I caught with my left hand and threw with my right.
                      I don't play baseball though. I did finally settle on playing "full right" in goal, but I'd have to switch if I played ball because I cannot throw with my left hand.
                      I wish I had gone regular in net if for no other reason than availability of gloves to try on in stores, and sticks. It really is a limitation!

                      So I would suggest you borrow gloves....goalie or ball, for each hand, and go play some road hockey. Try a couple weeks one way, and then a couple weeks the other.
                      Let him decide what feels better.

                      As an aside, one night just for fun I switched gloves with the other goalie for warm up.
                      Honestly I think I still could switch, but what I thought was really funny......
                      Plante was of course a stand up goalie, Esposito was a butterfly goalie.
                      When I was pretending to be one or the other, I not only switched gloves, but also tried to imitate their style.
                      In the above mentioned warm up I found I automatically adotped Plante's stance and started making kick saves and such. I didn't really know why....I just did.
                      I didn't really make the connection to my childhood hero worship until recently, but I honestly think when I switched gloves my brain went "Oh he's being Plante again"


                      • #12
                        Interesting topic. I always wonder "what if?" on this one. I am right handed and play regular. Although as a kid I idolized Tony Esposito, a full right goalie. I played a lot of baseball, so it made sense to catch with my left hand. Also, I suspect that it was easier for my parents to find regular gear for me, especially back in the internet was fantasy era. My belief is that most goalies can learn either way and neither offers a real clear advantage outside of it being much easier to find regular gloves.

                        To me it is the stick that is the real issue. Placing your dominant hand low on the stick is more natural for most players.

                        What I think is interesting is this: When I started playing goalie, the stick blades were straight. If I had to play the puck aggressively, say clear it hard up on the boards, I could simply turn the stick and shoot "backhanded" which was actually my natural forehand. When curved sticks became the norm, I had to adapt. I still have a far weaker shot lefty than righty.


                        • #13
                          I second throwing a ball at him to see which hand he catches with. Choosing that hand as the catcher will let him develop naturally.

                          I am a very dominantly right handed but I play with the trapper on my left hand. I do this simply because it's how I grew up playing goalie. I often wonder if I would be better served with my catcher on my right hand, but I'm afraid of changing/trying it out.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by BCeagle08 View Post
                            I second throwing a ball at him to see which hand he catches with. Choosing that hand as the catcher will let him develop naturally.

                            Thirded (That should be a word)

                            Throw a ball over his head, within his reach, what ever hand he uses is the catching hand plain and simple...


                            • #15
                              I'm a lefty for absolutely everything, sports, writing, eating, whatever. When I was young and started learning to play goal, the easiest access for stuff was regular. So I started catching left, blocking right, and it stuck. I actually thought about switching for a while, and got some full right gear, since I throw left, catch right for baseball, and I tried it for hockey and it was impossible. I couldn't do it.

                              The only right handed thing I do now is when I play out, I shoot right (always have), and shoot left in goal, and catch left.