Goalie Basics

I’ve seen many lacrosse goalies over my years of coaching. Regardless of whether I’m coaching offense or defense, I know what kind of goalie I admire. Here are the basics:

  • Position – Learn your arcs! Know where you are in the arc without looking at the goal.
  • Fearlessness – Don’t be afraid of the ball. Step forward at shots. Attack that ball. Some shots hurt, but learn to ignore it.
  • See the ball – React. Do not guess. The physics of goal-keeping says you have no time to think and react. At 15 yards and 70 miles per hour, you have 0.44 seconds. Training is the key.
  • Bouncers – Many goalies try to read the shot after the bounce. That is wrong. You are stealing 50% or more of your reaction time. Attack the shot and get low. It is easier to come up from getting low than to get low late.
  • Punch your bottom hand – For both high and low shots, punching your bottom hand prevents rebounds.
  • Talk. Talk. Talk. Talk. Did I mention you need to talk? Tell the defense where the ball is.

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