Improve your vision as a goalie with the proper mask
When it comes to being a hockey goalie vision and positioning are very important. I believe it is vision that allows you to get yourself in the proper positions, thus making vision a high priority. One of the biggest obstacles for amateur goalies is adapting to the vision (or lack of) through the helmet. In order to have the best vision through your goalie mask you need to know what is right for you.
If you are purchasing a used goalie mask or a stock one you need to take a general measurement to gauge for sizes. With a measuring tape, start just above your eyebrow going all the way around measuring the circumference around your head. That will be your general size. There is another, more expense, way and that is getting your goalie mask custom fit. This process involves taking a mold of your head; it’s typically for more serious players or professionals.
There are really two different styles of masks for goalies. The full mask and the combo mask. The full mask is the most commonly used of the two, seen on professionals like Roberto Luongo, Tim Thomas, and Martin Brodeur. It offers a sleek and stylish design and can be custom fit to your head. The combo mask is a hybrid between a player helmet and a goalie helmet. It can be seen on players like Dominik Hasek and Chris Osgood. It offers a little better visibility, but lacks full protection.
There are roughly four different types of cages: The double bar cat’s eye, the single bar cat’s eye, the Don Beaupre, and the HECC style. Cat’s eyes are very popular for their look and style, the offer good vision and excellent protection. The Don Beaupre offers the most visibility, however some people I know don’t feel comfortable wearing it. HECC style is your standard boxed shaped visibility, very similar to a regular skater’s cage. Selecting which one you like best is based on your preference.
Vision is important, but it’s just as important to be able to react to what you see. It would be nice if a goalie could be in his gear all day, out on the rink practicing, but it can be extremely exhausting. I’ve been playing hockey for over ten years and my teammates and I would play with our floor hockey sticks off the rink, which was fun way to play around and practice.