As the NHL regular season gets ready to start in a couple of weeks, we wanted to discuss the roles that convergence and divergence vision training play when it comes to elevating goalie performance.
With NHL players shooting the puck harder and more accurately than ever before, the eyes are becoming more and more important for goalies. Although a lot of goalies have trained their eyes in the past, through either juggling or other tools, there is no better way to strengthen them than through the Vizual Edge program.
As we look specifically at the importance of convergence and divergence, it is easy to see why so many NHL goalies are using Vizual Edge. There may not be a more important visual skill for a goalie than convergence. Having the ability to track the puck all the way in is obviously important for every shot. Although other visual skills come into play on most shots, without possessing a strong convergence ability, goalies will have a difficult time making saves at the higher levels.
Take a look at the clip above. The goalie displays incredible convergence skill as he is able to make a great save on this one-timer. With little time to react to the slap shot, the goalie quickly tracks the incoming shot.
Divergence is also important when it comes to shots from the point and rebounds. When a shot is taken by a defenseman at the point, a strong divergence skill will allow the goalie to immediately pick up the puck, giving the goalie a better chance to make a save. After making the initial save, the puck begins to move away from the goalie, and the stronger their divergence ability is, the easier it is to track the puck to either cover it or make the next save off the rebound.
The other visual training that goalies work on constantly is what we call Alternating. During a game, a goalie will need to track pucks coming at them and moving away from them in a quick sequence. The two main times this occurs are after making a save and tracking the rebound and when a pass is made from the corner to the slot for a quick shot. By using Vizual Edge and forcing your eyes to practice this extremely difficult skill, goalies will improve in these situations by being able to track the puck more effectively.
A great example of alternating between convergence & divergence. The goalie utilizes his divergence skills on the far shot and then switches to convergence on the incoming shot off the rebound