Skip to main content

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.

Next Up

canada bodies found

Baby, teenager among 4 found dead along MN, Canada border

Authorities believe all four froze to death.

unsplash roller rink skates CROP

Former roller rink, tennis courts will become new sports hub

The Wooddale Fun Zone has been closed since spring of 2020.

hibachi daruma

Popular hibachi food truck opens second Twin Cities restaurant

The much-anticipated Daruma opens for takeout Thursday evening.

20211128_Vikings_49ers_REG12_0144 (1)

What changes are coming to the Vikings' offensive line?

Once again, Minnesota has work to do to figure out its interior spots

Kris Ehresmann

One of Minnesota's key COVID-19 leaders is retiring

Kris Ehresmann has given more than 30 years of her life to public health in Minnesota.

summit beach park orono

Plan to develop Orono park on hold after Daytons object

The Dayton family donated the land to the city for the park in the 1970s.

covid nurse doctor hospital wikimedia commons

Child from Twin Cities, school staff member die from COVID

Both deaths were reported by the Minnesota Department of Health Thursday.


3 clippers will deliver snow to Minnesota through Tuesday

Clippers move through Friday night, Saturday night and again Monday.

Screen Shot 2022-01-20 at 10.45.51 AM

Video: Inebriated Sheriff Dave Hutchinson after high-speed crash

Hutchinson was unaware of his location and repeatedly said he wasn't driving.


Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Thursday, January 20

A Mayo Clinic data scientists believes omicron may have already peaked in parts of Minnesota, though that reality won't show up in the reported cases until at least next week.

hospital, emergency room

2 dead, 1 critical after being found unconscious in garage

The men were believed to have been drinking together and possibly using drugs.

Flickr - police lights squad siren - Edward Kimmel

2 teens suspected in 20 robberies arrested after police chase

They are suspects in 23 cases in three Twin Cities counties.


What happens if you're pulled over for suspected DWI, and what are your rights?

Experienced attorney Charles Segal takes you through the traffic stop process.

Minnesota sets record for number of 8 and under hockey players

The State of Hockey is doing its part to help grow the game.


Beware scamming and profiteering during the coronavirus crisis

Twin Cities law firm Hellmuth & Johnson says businesses and individuals need to be wary.

Screen Shot 2020-07-29 at 10.00.44 AM

With safety measures in place, St. Croix Casinos are open for fun!

St. Croix Casinos has three locations in western Wisconsin.

Screen Shot 2019-12-11 at 9.05.17 AM

Family jeweler celebrates 34 years in downtown with storewide holiday sale

A tiny skyway shop with big sparkle, Gittelson Jewelers has a holiday tag sale you won’t want to miss.

Screen Shot 2020-02-17 at 9.12.19 AM

A hidden gem, the Pavek Museum is a haven for electronic communication

The St. Louis Park museum is one of the Twin Cities' best kept secrets.