The Reverse VH (Vertical Horizontal) is a goaltending technique used to seal the post and protect the net in tight-angle situations. To learn and master the Reverse VH, follow these step-by-step instructions and practice regularly:
- Familiarize yourself with the position: Study videos of professional goalies using the Reverse VH technique. Notice how they position their body, legs, and arms to seal the post and cover the net effectively.
- Start with the basic stance: Begin in your regular goalie stance near the post, with your skates shoulder-width apart, gloves in front of your body, and your stick blade flat on the ice.
- Drop into the Reverse VH position: Move your inside leg (the one closest to the post) up against the post, with the inside edge of your skate blade or the toe cap making contact. Bend your inside leg at the knee, so your thigh is vertical and your shin is horizontal. Your outside leg should be extended, with the pad flat on the ice.
- Seal the post with your upper body: Lean your upper body towards the post, ensuring your shoulder and hip make contact with it. Keep your chest up and square to the puck.
- Position your gloves and stick: Hold your blocker and stick in front of your outside pad, with the stick blade flat on the ice. Your glove hand should be forward and slightly elevated to cover the top corner of the net.
- Stay mobile and ready: Even though you’re in a compact position, remain prepared to push off the post and slide laterally to react to cross-crease passes or rebounds.
Take a look at this great video from pro goaltender Kasimir Kaskisuo. He does a fantastic job of explaining the RVH.
Here are five drills you can practice to develop and refine your Reverse VH technique:
- Post-to-post transitions: Set up two pucks on either side of the net, close to the goal line. Start in the Reverse VH position on one post. Push off the post, slide across the crease while staying low, and transition into the Reverse VH position on the opposite post. Focus on maintaining a tight seal on each post and keeping your chest square to the puck. Repeat this drill for multiple repetitions.
- Wraparound save drill: Have a teammate or coach positioned behind the net with a puck. As they attempt a wraparound play, drop into the Reverse VH position, sealing the post. Focus on sealing the post and reacting quickly to the puck carrier’s movements. After making the save, recover to your feet and reposition yourself for the next repetition. Alternate sides.
- Puck tracking drill: Place three cones or obstacles in the low slot area, representing potential passing lanes or shooting angles. Have a teammate or coach stand behind the net and randomly pass the puck through the cones. As the puck moves, transition into the Reverse VH position on the appropriate post and track the puck. This drill helps improve your puck-tracking skills and teaches you to react quickly to changing play situations.
- Rebound control and recovery drill: Have a teammate or coach take shots from a sharp angle while you are in the Reverse VH position. Focus on controlling rebounds by directing them to safe areas, such as the corners or away from the slot. After each save, quickly recover and reposition yourself for the next shot. This drill helps you improve rebound control and recovery skills while in the Reverse VH position.
- Defending cross-crease passes: Position a shooter near the face-off dot on one side of the ice and a passer behind the net. As the passer sends a cross-crease pass to the shooter, push off the post, slide laterally across the crease, and set up in a butterfly or standing position to make the save. This drill teaches you to quickly transition from the Reverse VH position to react to cross-crease passes.
As you practice these drills, focus on maintaining proper technique and staying aware of your body position. Consistent practice will increase comfort and proficiency in using the Reverse VH during games.