I've recently been asked this question several times, so I thought I'd answer it for everyone who was wondering the same thing. Here's my answer...
HOW DO YOU COMPARE TO OTHER GOALIE SCHOOLS?
The simple answer, is, I don’t. But let me explain.
Remember the movie, Jerry Maguire starring Tom Cruise?
Well, think of me as the Jerry Maguire of Goalie Coaching.
LESS CLIENTS. MORE PERSONAL ATTENTION.
I am a goalie coach, and I am about personal attention. I am about investing in people. Not in my financial bottom line.
This is not my career. I am an elementary school teacher, first and foremost. Then, a children’s book author. Those are my careers.
Goaltending is a part of me, has been ever since I started playing at age 5. It is my passion and I created this business because I love to teach goalies. My mission statement is to unlock a goalies true potential and allow them to be the best house league, AAA, Junior or professional goaltender he/she can be.
That’s how my successful bottom line will be determined. By the enjoyment my goalies get out of playing the game we love.
So when you choose to work with me - and you have lots of choices out there - you get me.
Plain and simple.
When you sign up for a “goalie school” it’s likely based on the credentials of the person running the school. But how much attention does that person actually give you?
If a goalie school has 18 goalies on the ice for a 50 minute session, the Head instructor will only be able to spend an average of 2.7 minutes with each goalie (assuming he spends equal time with each)
However, under my model, I am able to spend an average of 8. 3 minutes with each goalie. If my number drops to 4 goalies per hour, (which is my ultimate goal) that number goes to 12.5 minutes.
In a group lesson, some goalies will get more, and others less. Realize this is part of an ebb and flow that shifts with the needs of each goalie.
We have a saying in teaching that rings true here;
“Fair is not that everyone get's the same, fair is that everyone gets what they need.”
While I don’t doubt that young teen goalies that play AAA are highly skilled and good at what they do, but they lack the maturity, experience and understanding of how to read a student's needs and learning style to find the best way to teach that student.
I know this from experience. I too, was once a teenage goalie school instructor.
Teaching is not, has never been, and will never, be a one size fits all practice. The knowledge of the best way to reach a student, to have him/her not only understand what you are saying, but to internalize it to a place where it makes sense, comes from spending over fifteen years of being a teacher in a classroom and reading kids on a daily basis. Not from six years of playing competitive hockey.
My prices for group sessions may be slightly higher than most, but that’s because I refuse to have more than six goalies on the ice with me (Ideally I’d like to have 4 at the most). Ice is expensive and with my model, I don’t have the number of students that “goalie schools” have to cover the cost. I have recently partnered with Rob Drummond Hockey, and hopefully soon, my private lessons will be lower than most.
But you do get a lot more for your money.
While on the ice, I am in full goalie equipment when teaching a new skill. It is my personal belief that teaching from a track suit (especially to young kids) is a doing them a disservice. Again, this goes back to being an experienced teacher. You can’t just tell someone how to learn something.
You need to show them.
Only once we have reached proficiency in a skill, do I feel it acceptable to wear a track suit for repetition practice.
You also get immediate (and post workout) video of your lesson. For group sessions, I will always have three tripods with mounted ipads on the ice for 3 of the 6 nets, taking video of your session. If something isn't working, we can look at the video and see what the problem is and work to correct it. Afterwards, I review the video and see if there is anything else we can learn from.
Less goalies = More personal attention.
It's the Billingsley Goaltending mantra.
Chris Billingsley is an Elementary School Teacher in London and has been for the past 15 years. He's also a Children's book author, with two books currently seeking publication, and a practicing artist. In his spare time, (LOL) he coaches his son, is an avid golfer and has two beautiful daughters and the most amazing wife on earth.