The Goalie Guild provides education and accessible resources for the entire goalie community. As such, we commission and support research in a variety of areas related to the goaltending position.
During the hockey season, our research is organized and curated into Toolkits. These Google Docs are published prior to our Global Goaltending Retreat and then later released to the public.
Below is a breakdown of our main areas of research, along with a few primers to help you get started on your own learning journey.

Ecological Dynamics

Ecological Dynamics considers athletes and teams as complex adaptive systems and examines skill acquisition through the performer-environment relationship. It is distinguished by the constraints of each individual performer, their tasks and physical characteristics, and by social and cultural factors surrounding performance. (Araujo, Davids & Hristovski, 2006)
In 2022, The Goalie Guild commissioned Rob Gray from the Perception & Action Podcast to record a presentation on Ecological Dynamics within a goalie coaching framework. It's a great introduction to this type of research and is a staple in our exploration of skill development and acquisition.
Ecological Dynamics research commissioned by The Goalie Guild
You can also read Goldman's "Introduction to Ecological Dynamics" article in the 2022 GGR Online Toolkit. Another great place to study Ecological Dynamics is from our friends at Emergence. They not only supplied a wonderful panel discussion for the 2022 GGR, but they also produced a terrific deep dive into the latest finding with a recent study that was published in Frontiers in May, 2023.

VR Training & Tech

As a member of Goalie Advisory Board for Sense Arena, Goldman has conducted research on VR training and development. Namely, he is interested in the immersive learning that goalies experience when wearing the headset. From guided meditation to full-body simulation training, the future of VR is extremely exciting and one we will continue to focus on as time goes on.


In June of 2022, The Goalie Guild invited Dr. Nate Speidel to share his research on autonomous-supportive coaching with our GGR guests. Afterwards, he collaborated with Justin Goldman to create a project-based learning experience for coaches at the 2023 GGR.
Below is a recap of the presentation he gave in June, 2023.

Bolstering Goalie Coach Self-Awareness and Goaltender Self-Determination through Survey Produced Analytics

Dr. Nate Speidel 2023 Global Goaltending Retreat
The purpose of this research is to learn and explore how survey data can be reliably gathered, analyzed, summarized, and interpreted as an evidence-based method for better understanding the goaltender and goalie coach psychosocial dynamic.
Self-determination theory, ecological dynamics, and other empirically supported frameworks will be used to guide participants as they are introduced to various free survey and data analytics software. Our work together is intended to build self awareness and analytical competencies applicable at individual and organizational levels.
Building more awareness of our own coaching practices and having a stronger understanding of autonomous supportive coaching is important, as many of the tenets overlap and integrate with ecological design. They work in harmony with each other and allow for goalies to be more autonomous within that framework.

Hip Health Studies

One of the most relevant areas of research in goaltending health and prosperity is related to the hips and hip joints. Within this area, a few categories are driving most of the emerging studies:
  1. 1.
    Workload Management
  2. 2.
    Biomechanics (Kinesiology)
  3. 3.
    Prehab (Injury Prevention)
With these categories in mind, we are constantly exploring innovative ways to mitigate and manage hip issues. One way we can support this innovation is by increasing workload management competency in coaching.
If we can help coaches in the design of their practices and training programs with better hip health and workload management, we can eventually improve the culture of goalie training and develop healthier, happier athletes.
Below is a very popular and illuminating study on hip problems with pro goalies in Sweden. It is instrumental in the education of goalie coaches and is a key resource for our own research.