DYG’s team looks to improve every position on the field in whatever way possible whether it is technologically advanced like the Throttle Pro or more simple like the Tracer. The Tracer is an adjustable strap system created to help goalies get their body over the ball at all angles. Many goalies just reach for the ball with their hands or bend at the hips instead of their knees when going for low shots. By attaching the goalies helmet to the top portion of their stick DYG has eliminated the lazy movement option.
Use of the Tracer is quick and easy with apparent results over a short period of time. Clip the carabiner to your facemark, slide the loop of the tracer onto the stick and adjust the length to where the Tracer pulls tight when going for a shot. When first using the tracer you will hear the helmet getting pulled in the direction of the ball as your goalie doesn’t move their body with their hands or step towards the shot. As they get better you will stop hearing the pull on the helmet and see as the Tracer almost stays loose as the goalie begins to move fluidly towards the ball. Goalies will almost be forced to move with the Tracer on their helmet.
Our goalie, Rafael, who is very new to the position with just a couple months of on again off again experience in the cage was the perfect person to test the Tracer. He started with slow steps and bending at the waist allowing in most of the shots that came his way leading to frustration at a position that relies on being calm before we tried the Tracer. The Tracer immediately started pulling on his helmet and hard. One concern is it might hurt his neck but we never found this to be the case he said it wasn’t painful it just forced him to move. At first he really didn’t like the Tracer being used because it made him go to unnatural positions even if they made saves. By the end of our first practice Rafael was asking to use it in the scrimmage because he felt as though he could play better with it and he was right he did. For 4 full practices Rafael wore the Tracer through warmups and in every drill, along side the Glyde review to come, and immediately started improving. His hand speed got faster with his confidence and he stops far more shots now than he did before. He is improving far quicker with the aid of the Tracer and the Glyde than he was with us just coaching him with traditional methods. The Tracer allowed us to combine movement drills with live play and forced Rafael to become a stronger goalie which was his hope from the beginning. Though we still have a long way to go the Tracer has definitely helped.
The durability of the product is also great. The strap has taken a beating being used by more than one goalie most very new to the game and shows no sign of fraying. The carabiner has bent a tiny bit but if it were to bend too much to be used the holder that it clips into easily allows for it to be replaced by any carabiner you could find at Walmart or the Home Depot for a dollar.
In all honesty, the Tracer, though simple in concept is an absolute must for every coach out there. Every goalie can work on getting their body moving better no matter how good they are now and the Tracer is adjustable to literally any goalie in a matter of seconds allowing for many to use it at a rapid pace.
OTHER VALUABLE USES
The Tracer is not an expensive piece of equipment and it has many great uses the biggest one being ground balls. By adjusting the tracer to players and running your ground ball drills, you will immediately notice improvement of getting the helmet over the ball, stepping in and scooping through. The dreaded one handed scoop, not a problem- players wont be able to with the Tracer, nor will they be able to just telescope and get into a habit of being hacked. Seriously, every team with new or young players should scoop up a few of these Tracers and save themselves a lot of trouble.