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With an assist from son, MN hockey dad invents advanced training system

Their homemade innovation takes shooting tarps to the next level.

There the kid was again, out in the driveway on a bitterly cold Minnesota night, practicing his shots.

This was despite the fact that his dad, Jon Black, had spent 300 bucks on a fancy stick-handling training device for him. It’s not that the kid didn’t like practicing with the device. He just seemed to prefer shooting — even when it meant practicing in punishing 10-degree weather with an old-school goal.

But if his son was this determined to be a star shooter, Jon didn’t want to stand in his way. So he got to thinking: what if there was a product that could develop his shooting skills in an engaging way, challenging him to shoot at every key location of the goal (and not just the ones he was comfortable with)?

But there wasn’t one — not yet, anyway.



Jon, an engineer by trade, teamed up with a colleague and invented it. They called  their creation the GOAL GETTER, a first-of-its-kind shooting tarp that gives players a fully interactive training experience thanks to an innovative target system.

The GOAL GETTER’s four targets come equipped with LED lights and sensors that  track shots, attempts and points in real time, allowing you to keep score of your progress while you take your skills to the next level. But what really separates GOAL GETTER from other home training systems? The simple answer is its interactivity, as well as its ability to provide immediate feedback and practical metrics that players can put to good use.

This is possible through four pre-programmed game modes (Shoot Out, Knock Out, Rapid Fire and Free Play). These provide a wide range of training experiences, from a beat-the-clock challenge that improves speed to a randomized target practice that sharpens reaction time. It’s all operated from the easy-to-use, battery-powered Control Module.

It may sound complex, but the GOAL GETTER — with its durable vinyl composite tarp, targets and all — takes less than five minutes to set up. Check out this video to see how it works:

But let’s not forget about the most important thing of all: good, old-fashioned fun.

Playability is paramount if you’re going to get any use out of a training system. GOAL GETTER passed that test with flying colors when Jon rolled out the prototype at a dry-land practice. Jon’s son and his teammates ended up loving it, while the consensus among the coaches and parents could best be summed up in one simple phrase: this thing’s really cool.

Curious to see what your team does with it?

Now you can help take it to the next stage. Jon and his team have launched a Kickstarter campaign to make GOAL GETTER available to every Minnesota hockey family. Pitch in here and help change the game for good.

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